Jan. 18, 2007
Get behind the scenes of Illinois Gymnastics with Illini Ink - the weekly women's gymnastics journal. This week, sophomore Ursula Orozco talks about the upcoming competition at LSU.
Hey Illini Gymnastics Fans!
A lot has happened since our last journal entry. As Laura told you last week, our team visited elementary schools over winter break. The point of these visits is to get to know the community a little better and talk about our sport with the younger kids. Last week, our team split up and went to our final three elementary schools. This was so exciting as we got to hang out with all the kids. We all arrived in time to join them in their lunch hour. Between talking to several grades, mingling with them while they ate their lunch, and joining them for recess, everyone had a good time. We absolutely loved the time we spent with those kids! Surprisingly, those kids had a lot to ask and say! One young girl approached me and asked if Sarah and Julie were twins, and in the meantime Danye Botterman received a special offer from a second grader to see if she would be his girlfriend! Some girls were eager to show us their splits, while the boys showed us their muscles.
After that, our focus was on the gym and making the most out of our final few practices before our first competition of the season in Missouri. Thankfully, practices went really well and we were completely psyched to travel and get to the arena at Mizzou. We packed up our stuff on Wednesday night, and hit the road Thursday afternoon. Bob's wife and two young daughters, Hailey and Claire, were there to see us off and wish us luck before we left.
That night, we ate dinner at the Olive Garden and shortly after, arrived at our hotel, Stoney Creek. A couple girls were former teammates with some Missouri gymnasts, so while those girls visited with each other, the rest of us watched Grey's Anatomy and loved every minute of it.
After that, we had a final meeting with our coaches to discuss our lineup and game plan for meet day. As Bob was explaining that this was the "Pink Out' meet, a meet to raise awareness for breast cancer, he surprised us with new pink leotards. Of course, we loved them and gushed over them for five minutes. The best part was that our coaches had managed to keep our pink leotards a secret, so our attire was a surprise to all at the meet!
The next morning was especially exciting because not only was it our first meet of the season, it was also Julie's 20th birthday! We had team breakfast in the morning, and then took a short trip to the mall to shop around. For lunch, we picked up some food at Panera, and then went back to the hotel.
Once we were ready, we left for competition. By this time, Missouri was hit by a snow and ice storm and we had quite a bit of trouble getting to the meet. Thankfully, we arrived in plenty of time and got right down to business. Our warm-ups were good; however, going into competition we still had some nerves.
We started competition on bars and had some good routines; however, we did have a few uncharacteristic mistakes. Nonetheless we moved on to our other three events and had about the same kind of performance. We knew some routines weren't the best to our potential, however, there were some great routines that we hope we can build off of. In the end, our final score fell short of Missouri's. We are all glad that we now have our first meet under our belt and we're excited to continue on with the rest of the season as we are off to Louisiana this Thursday!
Talk to you soon! Ursula