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Illini Ink: Mary Jane Horth

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Mary Jane.jpgIllini Ink - The yearly journal that takes you behind the scenes of the Illinois women's gymnastics team. In this season's fourth edition, freshman Mary Jane Horth discusses the fun Alumni tailgate at Homecoming, finalizing routines and the Halloween themed practice.

Hey Illini Fans!

Happy November! Only a few weeks until we can start the Christmas jams and holiday movies, our favorite time of year! It's crazy to think we've already been in school for a little over two months - time has definitely flown by. But a lot has happened over the past couple weeks to keep us busy.

The last Saturday of October, Illini gymnastics held the annual Alumni Tailgate during our Homecoming weekend. It was exciting to have so many families and alumni back in Champaign for a few days! As a freshman, I know I was shocked at how many dedicated alumni came back and still rock their orange and blue pride. It definitely made me realize the depth of our Illini family and all the support we have behind our team. One of the alumni of the men's team brought his super high-tech camera with him to the tailgate, and he let me play with it for a little while before the football game (probably not the best idea ever, but I made sure to be very careful!). I temporarily became the professional paparazzi of the day, and had a blast taking constant pictures of all the current and former gymnasts along with families and coaches! Although our football team fell to the Michigan State Spartans, it was an awesome day filled with lots of great times and of course lots of great food too!

That same weekend was also the team's fall break, which means we had no practice Friday, Saturday, or Sunday!! It was a great resting time to relax our bodies and catch up on some schoolwork. A few girls were able to go home or spend some quality time off campus with their parents and siblings. Several of us stayed on campus too and cheered on our soccer team onto a win against Michigan State. Speaking of soccer, the girls are hosting Big Ten Championships this coming week right here at the Illinois Soccer Stadium. We will be sure to support them as they start off the tournament against Indiana this Wednesday!

Things are continuing to get really exciting in the gym these days. Routines are coming together more and more every practice, and the energy in Kenney is really picking up! We have 14 more practices until our first intrasquad, so there is a lot of spirit and intensity throughout training each day. Last Thursday, our team celebrated Halloween by bringing in silly costumes to dress up our teammates in. You can see some crazy pictures in our photo gallery as there was a range of fashion from penguins, to a Starbucks coffee mug, and even Hannah Montana made an appearance!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more updates from the Illinois Women's Gymnastics team!

GO ILLINI!

-MJ

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