Senior Melissa Fernandez
April 12, 2011
Get behind the scenes of Illinois Gymnastics with Illini Ink - the weekly women's gymnastics journal. In this year's 26th edition, senior Melissa Fernandez talks about the team's preparations for nationals and the final practices at Kenney Gym for the Illini seniors.
Hey Illini Fans,
It's that time--Illini Gymnastics is Cleveland bound! Not only is the women's team traveling to Ohio, but the men's team is heading to Columbus, OH for a shot at being National Champions. We wish them all the best of luck! Upon returning to Champaign from Regionals, our first practice was a lighter day to give our bodies a little rest and to catch up on school work. As a team we decided not to put any pressure on ourselves for Nationals- to go out and compete like we know how to. It will be the perfect stage to show off exactly what Illinois Gymnastics is all about! As always, our expectations are high of ourselves and each other. Practices in the gym have been spent working on little details such as controlled landings on floor, dynamic and stuck vaults, swagger beam performances, and rock solid bar routines. If you walked into Kenney Gym this last week of training, the atmosphere felt very focused, motivated, and extremely energetic. We're thrilled and ready for Nationals, to say the least☺.
At the end of the last week we had a vault intra-squad on Friday afternoon and a 3-event intra-squad on Saturday morning. Both went well as we hit 12 for 12 on bars and beam and had many excellent vault and floor performances. It was also great preparation for the 12:00 p.m. meet this Friday; we came in at 9:00 am for the intra-squad to mimic our competition day! It felt good to get some kinks out and to compete with our crowd noise music. Later that day, we had a game night at Hannah & Kelsey's apartment. Almost all our team was there and even some of the men's team members joined us.
We played a great game of Scattegories where Elise's team won by a large margin. We also played a round of Battle of the Sexes. The next day we had completely off, besides treatment. The weather was absolutely gorgeous here in Champaign so we took complete advantage. We walked everywhere we went, grilled out, and many of us laid out to soak up the sun. It was a perfect, relaxing day.
And of course I can't leave out that this Monday and Tuesday served as our (the seniors) last time conditioning (yes!!!) and our last practice in Kenney Gym, how exciting and sad at the same time. Also, this will serve as my last journal entry for the Illini Ink. I'd like to say thanks to all our fans and everyone who's helped us along the way. Your support and encouragement has meant more than you'll ever know. It's been a great four year journey-I couldn't have asked for anything better. THANK YOU!
Wish us luck and see YOU in Cleveland!
Illini for life,