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    ini Ink: Women's Gymnastics Online Journal Week 15
    Sophomore Sarah Schmidt

    Sophomore Sarah Schmidt

    Jan. 17, 2008

    Get behind the scenes of Illinois Gymnastics with Illini Ink - the weekly women's gymnastics journal. In this week's edition, sophomore Sarah Schmidt talks about traveling troubles on the way to Alabama, the first meet of the season, and beginning second semester.

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    Hello there Illini gymnastics fans!

    We had our first meet this past weekend in Alabama. We had quite an adventurous trip (if that's what you want to call it!) due to some slight travel changes on the way to Birmingham. It started by leaving Champaign a little late because our plane was broken. By the time we got to Chicago, we thought we only had forty minutes to get to our next gate. As you all know the Chicago airport is not exactly small, so we were ready to move fast. We got off the plane from Champaign and the departure board had a big "Cancelled" flashing next to our flight to Alabama. The bad thing was, we knew this was the last flight of the day to Birmingham. Kim and Amy started running to another terminal to see what kind of magic they could work. In the end, we were able to fly into Atlanta after a four and a half hour layover in Chicago. Thank goodness our bus driver was able to change his plans and did not mind picking us up in Atlanta instead of Birmingham. We had a long bus ride to Tuscaloosa but we were able to watch a movie and get a little rest. Despite the delays and cancellations with our flights, we made it there and we were all excited to get our season started.

    When meet day rolled around, we were ready to go. Even though we didn't walk away with a win, we were very proud of our performance. We started off the meet hitting all 6 bar routines, ending with Suki's 9.8! From there, we carried our momentum to vault. Everyone made their vaults, but had some trouble with their landings. Kudos to Marijka who stuck her yurechenko full! We then went to floor and had some very solid performances. It was good to see the freshmen compete their routines for the first time! Beam was a little bit off, but we all know that we will learn from our mistakes and have a better outing this weekend.

    It was awesome competing in front of 11,000 fans; there was so much excitement. It sure made us all excited to compete at Huff Hall this weekend against Ohio State in front of our home crowd. After we got back from Alabama, we were happy to move back into the dorms and get ready for second semester to begin. Everyone was looking forward for classes to start on Monday, even though I know my apartment will miss the many hours of One Tree Hill we watched. This week we are going to be busy with more elementary school visits, doing I-Pride, and handing flyers out at the men's basketball game.

    If you have a chance, come to our home meet this weekend and watch us take on the Buckeyes, while the boys compete against the Gophers. We look forward to seeing you all there, thanks for reading.

    GO ILLINI!

    Sarah

    Illinois Athletics

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