Illini Ink: Jordan Naleway

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llini Ink - The yearly journal that takes you behind the scenes of the Illinois women's gymnastics team. In this season's ninth edition, junior Jordan Naleway talks about the season opening win at Michigan State, downtime due to cold weather, and the home opener Saturday, Jan. 18. 

Hey Illini Fans!


Season has FINALLY arrived!  After a long but productive preseason, we had the chance to get back out on the competition floor and show everyone what Illinois gymnastics is all about!  Our day in East Lansing was filled with excitement as we competed against Michigan State for the Victory Plank.  Even though we remained focused, that didn't stop us from dancing around the locker room and laughing at Amber while she wore Chad's shoes prancing about.  We carried this energy into Jenison Field House where we delivered a great performance!  An Illini claimed each event title, while the beam team recorded a 49.275 - the third highest beam score in school history and the highest score ever produced on an event in the opening month of Illinois gymnastics - and finally the highest team score in a season opener en route to claim the coveted Victory Plank!  It was very exhilarating to say the least!  Additionally, it was great to see two of our freshmen, Erin and Emily, representing the orange and blue for the first time with wonderful performances!  Upon our return from Michigan State, we were pleased to find out that we are currently ranked 13th in the country!


Even though most of our days during winter break are filled with intra-squads, practice, or competitions, we have definitely found some time to bond!  One of our practices had to be rescheduled because of the freezing cold and we were all on apartment lockdown.  I know my teammates from California and Texas are thrilled to be living in this weather...but of course a little extra time off from school means a lot of other activities!  Sunny and MJ have finished about eight puzzles already with the help of some of the other girls.  My favorite thing to do with this extra downtime is play bananagrams with my roommates!  On top of that, the whole team got together and went out to Olive Garden to celebrate Emily's 19th birthday! We love having this extra time to hang out together.

I know we couldn't be more thrilled for our home opener this weekend as we carry on the momentum from our win against Michigan State!  We had a fantastic performance at Michigan State but we are eager to elevate our expectations and make little corrections that will take our routines to another level.  This is only the beginning of a great season for us and we hope to see you at Huff Hall on Saturday, January 18th at 4pm while we take on Centenary College and Wisconsin Eau-Claire!





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