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Illini Ink: Sarah Lyons

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Lyons.jpgIllini Ink - The yearly journal that takes you behind the scenes of the Illinois women's gymnastics team. In this season's sixth edition, freshman Sarah Lyons talks about getting together with the team for Thanksgiving, the squad's first intrasquad, and Orange and Blue exhibition Sunday, Dec. 8. 

Happy holidays Illini fans!

Time seems to be flying by as we are gearing up for an action packed few weeks with our Orange and Blue exhibition, final exams and last minute preparations to start off our season with a bang! 

Our thanksgiving break started off with us dormers moving into the upperclassman's apartments.  We had a blast living together and it was a great opportunity to grow even closer as a team in and outside the gym. Every year it is a tradition right before break to go to Kim's house for a delicious Thanksgiving feast. We all split up the cooking duties so everyone had a role, the girls were in charge of appetizers, Chad made the green bean casserole, Jay and Jess whipped together some mashed potatoes, and Kim took care of the all-important turkey, stuffing and her famous sweet potatoes.  There was plenty of food and even more laughs throughout the meal.  After dinner, the team gathered to discuss our goals for the intrasquad which was the next day. It was so important for the team to be on the same page, set goals for the line ups to achieve for each event, and most importantly get pumped up!  As a freshman, it really hit me how our achievements as a team are truly limitless. Check out photos from our get-together here.

Our first intrasquad of the season was a blast! The team really came together and it gave everyone a true assessment of where they are at this time of year. This set a baseline for how we are doing, as always there are things to improve on but your Illini gym team is looking strong.  All in all, it was a successful day with many highlights, like our floor group that hit 6 out of 6 routines in a sassy audience grabbing fashion. Since the intrasquad, the energy in the gym has been fabulous, everyone is getting their job done and working to improve on their performances from the intrasquad.

After a few more days of training, we headed home for thanksgiving break! It was a much needed rest for all of the girls and a great chance to catch up with friends and family back home. Of course, we all indulged in yummy thanksgiving dinners and many of us even braved the malls for a little bit of black Friday shopping.

Everyone has returned and campus is back to its normal busy self. Only 18 more days until winter break! But first we have one of the best meets of our season coming up this Sunday; the Orange and Blue Exhibition! Illini gymnastics returns to Huff Hall in style with the men and woman's teams splitting up into team orange and team blue. Both teams compete with each other and our judges are other student athletes, how fun is that? This is fan friendly event that is sure to have some twists and thrills like lasts years tie finish and the back tuck stick off to break the tie. Come to support us and bring your Illini pride!

I think that's it for now! Stay tuned for more Illini gymnastics updates and we hope to see you this Sunday at Orange and Blue exhibition at Huff Hall at 2 pm. GO ILLINI!!

Much love,

Sarah 

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