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    Illini Ink: Women's Gymnastics Online Journal Week 11
    Junior Kelsey Joannides

    Junior Kelsey Joannides

    Dec. 9, 2010

    Get behind the scenes of Illinois Gymnastics with Illini Ink - the weekly women's gymnastics journal. In this year's 11th edition, junior Kelsey Joannides talks about preparing for finals, Mixed Pairs and the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Holiday Party.

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    Hey Illini Fans!

    I hope everyone has been staying healthy as the holidays are fast approaching. I know the wintry weather sure has set in here in Champaign, and we've been bundling up for these last few days of classes! Wednesday the 8th officially wrapped up the 2010 Fall Semester, and now all we have left are exams! I can't believe how quickly this year has gone by, and I know our freshmen are anxious to take their first round of final exams (with many more to come ☺). Wish us luck! We have been studying hard and managing time well with all the preparations in place for a successful start to our 2011 season.

    In fact, this past weekend we kicked off the annual Mixed Pairs competition, and it was a blast! It was such a great feeling to be back in Huff Hall again in front of an excited crowd. Each one of the girls was matched with a guy (or two, depending) on the men's team and competed together in a fun exhibition. We all were able to throw up full routines and were lucky enough to have some volunteer student-athletes from the Track, Cross Country, and Baseball teams to judge us! As expected, the event was so much fun, and we got some pre-competition jitters out! Congrats to Sam and Austin for coming out on top this year!

    This past weekend also included the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Holiday Party at the ARC. Each year, the team donates money to sponsor kids in the local Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program. This year we were able to give to six children and had a wonderful time meeting them to give them their presents. All the student-athletes attended the party, where we ate pizza, decorated cookies, and painted Christmas ornaments with the kids.

    With Mixed Pairs now checked off the calendar, we're looking forward to a final pre-season intrasquad on December 19th. We took away a lot of good things from the meet and also know what can be improved on when we perform for a real judge in a little less than two weeks. It will be our last practice before Winter Break and then home for the holidays! I personally cannot wait to take my last test, turn in my books, and move the underclassmen out of the dorms and into apartments with us ☺. I hope you've enjoyed reading this week & GO ILLINI!

    Kelsey

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