Sophomore Nicole Cowart
Dec. 3, 2007
Get behind the scenes of Illinois Gymnastics with Illini Ink - the weekly women's gymnastics journal. After a couple weeks off for Thanksgiving, Illini Ink returns with sophomore Nicole (Suki) Cowart talking about stuffing herself at Thanksgiving dinner, the team's inter-squad meet before break and Mixed Pairs and final exams coming up.
I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving! Unless of course you are Canadian, like Lori, and just had an enjoyable break. I ate lots of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and noodles topped with gravy all over the place. After a few hours of letting my second plate digest, I went for my cousin's cake, which was a couple of slices of heaven. Of course, I had myself a long afternoon nap to recover from the energy it took to feast and give thanks to my family and friends. My family all stayed together and watched as the Indianapolis Colts, Super Bowl Champs 2007, overtook the Atlanta Falcons on a beautiful night in Atlanta.
Before leaving for Thanksgiving break, however, the team looked exceptionally well at the last few practices. On the previous Friday, we had an intra-squad that was timed according to how we will be timed at Alabama, our first meet of the season. It was a bit nerve-racking running from event to event. I saw a few grips and wrist pads flying in the air as we were all hurrying, but thankfully no one got hit! ;)
We started off on bars as we would at an away meet. Everyone did very well. Krystal started us off with a beautiful bar routine and a strong finish. Allison performed her tkatchev straight into a pact salto with perfect execution. Sarah finished us out by hitting every handstand and even sticking the dismount. We then went to vault where we had all the girls in lineup doing 10.0 vaults. Sarah and I start the team off with layout halfs. Followed by four yurckenko fulls that are sky-high.
After vault, we preceded to floor. We had some mistakes but overall we are starting to get the swing of things with new floor routines and putting in all our passes. It was nice to see the freshman really show their stuff in their routines with all of their passes. We finished strong on beam. We had some mistakes that aren't often made, but most of us were getting out our meet jitters that I know will be corrected before the season. Melissa performed a near flawless beam routine and an amazing double back dismount that made all of our jaws drop. I nearly had to pick mine off of the floor! It was especially nice to see Julie back in action on beam. She has come back with no problems from her achille injury and will be a strong anchor for us on beam this year. All in all, we had some mistakes but we know now what we need to work on and have been working hard to correct them.
I know that we have been working very hard since coming back from a nice break. (I know this because we are all so sore!) I have seen much improvement from all of the girls. It is getting more intense in the gym, but I wouldn't have it any other way. We have Mixed Pairs coming up this weekend, which is always such a fun meet. It is always so nice to see all of the parents together again. I know that Vicki Woolf and my mom will be having a wonderful time together as usual. The week following Mixed Pairs will be a tough week for all of us with finals. Many of us are starting to study for finals with hot chocolate and coffee (if only we had a fireplace), and doing well in the gym as well. Make sure you come and watch us at our Mixed Pairs competition to get a peak at our upcoming season! Stay warm and Go Illini!