April 16, 2007
Get behind the scenes of Illinois Gymnastics with Illini Ink - the weekly women's gymnastics journal. This week, senior Melissa Singer talks about the NCAA South Central Regional Championships.
Hey Illini Fans!
This past weekend we flew to Tucson, Arizona for the NCAA South Central Regional Championships. Excitement was high in the gym all week! Our performance at Big Tens gave us the confidence that we needed to know that this team could hit in a championship situation. We were proud to have earned the number 4 seed in the region and we were ready to show everyone what we were capable of!
Beam was our first event, which made everyone excited because we had the same rotation that had been so successful for us at Big Tens. We had a few wobbles and some very impressive saves, but overall beam was a success. We were proud of how well the girls fought to stay on that beam and showed everyone what it means to be a FIGHTing Illini!! Floor and vault were triumphant as well. Nicole Cowart had the highest floor score for the team with a 9.825, while Michelle McGrady stuck her vault for a 9.85 and 2nd place! After some locker room volleyball during our bye rotation, it was time for bars, our final event. We hit 6 for 6 with great routines from each girl, anchored by Cara Pomeroy's 9.825 for the final routine of her record breaking career. Overall our regional meet was quite successful. We finished in 4th place with a team score of 194.625 and Coach Bob was honored by receiving the South Central Regional Coach of the Year award.
For the seniors, Danye Botterman, Cara Pomeroy, and I, this last meet was bittersweet as it marked the end of our careers as Illini gymnasts. Four years ago, in that same arena, we were enjoying our first experience at regionals and the program's first regional berth in five years. The 2004 regional was capped off by Pommie's perfect 10 on bars, which will forever stand out as one of this program's proudest moments.
It's hard to believe that these four years have gone by so fast. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that I was given to be a part of this team. I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of my career. The memories and, most importantly, the friendships that I have made at Illinois will always be close to my heart. As a senior class, we are so proud of how far this team has come in four years. Together we have earned four regional berths, a Top 20 ranking and stood on the podium at the Big Ten Championships. And we know that this team will just keep getting better.
Thanks for reading this year, and make sure to check in next year for another exciting season! I know I will.
Always an Illini,