Hello Illini fans!!
As always, season seems to fly by so quickly, and a lot has happened in the last couple weeks! Following our pink meet with Iowa, we had a busy week leading up to another home meet against Michigan. On Tuesday, February 4, Shawn Johnson was here on campus speaking at the Illini Union. Beforehand, a few of the girls had the privilege of meeting her and going to dinner with her. Then, on Thursday before the meet, we had our usual pre-meet practice at Huff so that we could get a feel for the equipment and be more prepared for our meet on Friday.
Before we knew it, Friday, and our meet with Michigan arrived. After morning classes, we all had team lunch at Potbelly's to ensure that we all had something nutritious in our systems going in to the meet. Once more, we hit another great meet. We went in and did our job and had our highest ratio of hit routines in a meet so far this season.
Last week, we went back to practice and tried to build on all the things we did well and fix all the little details that can always be improved. In the middle of the week, we had a pleasant surprise as Elise Gill, an alumnus who graduated last year, came to visit. So, several of us went to dinner with her on Wednesday at a restaurant on Green Street called Za's.
The team left Friday morning, and for the first time that us and our coaches can remember, the men's and women's teams traveled together to Penn State. Although a little more cramped on the bus than usual, the trip to Pennsylvania was filled with lots of excitement. We flew out of Indianapolis to Philadelphia, where we were supposed to catch a connecting flight to Penn State. And while most of the team made it onto this second flight, we had a slight wrinkle in our plans as the flight was overweight and not all of our team was allowed onto the plane. OOPS! Well, that's ok, we can handle a slight wrinkle. A couple of the girls and guys, as well as a couple of the coaches and Andy, our trainer, all drove the rest of the way to Penn State, and everyone eventually did make it to University Park safely.
The meet itself was one of our best; we scored our highest team score so far this season, a 196.5. Sunny, Emily, and Giana all got 9.9's on bars, beam, and floor respectively and won event titles on those events. We also scored our highest team floor total this season, 49.25. As always, it was a lot of fun doing a double dual meet with our men's team. Competing side by side with our fellow Illini is always a special experience as the extra people and cheering add to the high energy atmosphere.
As we head back on campus now, we are preparing for another hard week in and out of the gym. Outside of the gym, spring semester classes are well under way, and of course round one of midterms is already here. After recording the highest team GPA in the school last fall, we're all working hard to maintain good grades and high GPA's again this semester as we keep up the amazing performances in the gym. Inside the gym, we look forward to continue improving our routines in competition. We are also excited for the coming double dose of excitement next weekend as we get to compete twice, first at the State of Illinois Classic on Friday, then at home against Ohio State and Central Michigan on Sunday. Hope to see you all there!