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    Illini Ink: Women's Gymnastics Online Journal Week 21
    Freshman Abbie Leber

    Freshman Abbie Leber

    Feb. 17, 2010

    Get behind the scenes of Illinois Gymnastics with Illini Ink - the weekly women's gymnastics journal. In this year's 21st edition, freshman Abbie Leber recaps the IGI Chicago Style meet and the Pink Meet from over the weekend along with previewing the upcoming dual meet against Minnesota.

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    Hey Illini Fans!

    What an exciting weekend it was for the Illini women's gymnastics team. We competed in two meets this past weekend. The IGI Chicago Style meet was Friday night followed up with the annual pink meet for breast cancer against Michigan State on Sunday. Time is just flying by; I can't believe we are already 6 weeks into the competition season! Friday we will be leaving for Minnesota. It will be about a 9-hour drive, but bus rides have always proved to be very entertaining. I also loved being paired up in the hotels. You're always paired with someone different and it's a nice bonding experience to share with each girl. I'm looking forward to seeing who I am with next.

    The Chicago Style is a Junior Olympic (JO) competition that hosts a college meet within the venue each year. It was a very exciting atmosphere. It was neat to see so many JO athletes in the stands. I hope seeing the competition helps spur on their college spirit, just as this meet did for me a couple years back. Several coaches and old teammates of the team were also able to come and watch since they were also competing during the weekend. It's always fun to be able to see everyone and catch up. We had a strong showing Friday night and our own Melissa Fernandez grabbed the all-around title.

    Sunday was our annual pink meet for breast cancer awareness. It was definitely one of the most fun and high energy meets of the year. We were against long time rivals Michigan State. A new tradition has begun within the teams called the "Victory Plank" trophy, which will be passed to the team who wins over the other each year. We were able to snag the first trophy, with the help of Sarah's beautiful 9.925 floor routine to secure the win. It was an intense and very close meet, but the Illini fans were behind us all the way. Their cheering and support really helped make the difference. We have now also made a great friendship with the Illini Drum Line. They thoroughly enjoyed the meet and their enthusiasm really helped keep the Illini strong all the way to the last event!

    Practices have been going well and everyone continues to look good with daily improvements! Keep checking back for more updates and thanks again for reading! GO ILLINI!

    -Abbie Leber

    Illinois Athletics

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