Women's Gymnastics
Illini Ink: Women's Gymnastics Online Journal Week 17

Senior Krystal Melcarek
Senior Krystal Melcarek

Jan. 30, 2008

Get behind the scenes of Illinois Gymnastics with Illini Ink - the weekly women's gymnastics journal. In this week's edition, senior Krystal Melcarek talks about the meet at Iowa, watching the event on the Big Ten Network, and this weekend's "Pink Meet".


Hey there Illini Fans!!!

This past weekend we competed against the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City. We worked very hard in the gym after our home meet against Ohio State, trying to fix the small details in our routines. Overall, it paid off with a Big Ten win against the Hawkeyes! We still saw a few uncharacteristic errors from some of the girls; however, we are confident that very soon what they do every day in practice will carry over to the meet.

The meet was a great experience for us all, considering it was aired on the Big Ten Network. The competition was a moment in history, not only for the Big Ten Network, but for our team. This marked the second time that a women's gymnastics competition has ever been aired on the network and it was the first time the Fighting Illini Gymnastics team was aired in broadcast history. Since it was being aired on the evening of January 29th, we all got together to see what the meet looked like on national television from the perspective of a fan or a normal viewer. It was so much fun to watch my teammates and I competing and cheering for each other. Listening to what the well-known commentator Mary Lee Tracy had to say about this up and coming outstanding Illini Gymnastics team was also very encouraging to us all. Sarah Schmidt had a spectacular evening and captured the All-Around title with a 39.050. Coach Bob Starkell and Sarah were both interviewed by Mary Lee Tracy, which was fun to watch as well! I am very glad that the Big Ten Network is going to be airing more of our competitions this year. The two meets that will be televised are our February 16th meet against Michigan State at home and Big Ten Championships on March 29th.

After the exciting win over the Hawkeyes, this weekend we take on the Denver Pioneers at home! This meet is a very special event that only happens once a year. The Illini squad, joined by the American Cancer Society and Colleges Against Cancer, will be hosting several fun activities throughout the meet to help raise awareness about cancer. It is called the "Pink Meet". The cool thing about this meet is that if you come and support us wearing a pink shirt you will receive free admission to our meet. I can't wait to see the stands filled with pink! Since this is a very special occasion, we will also be competing in pink leotards to show our support as a team. We are having a great week of practice going and the atmosphere in the gym has been filled with excitement.

The whole team is psyched to take on the Denver Pioneers this Saturday, February 2nd at 7 PM (at Huff Hall)! We hope to see you all decked out in pink on Saturday!

Go Illini!