Dec. 20, 2007
Get behind the scenes of Illinois Gymnastics with Illini Ink - the weekly women's gymnastics journal. This week, freshman Melissa Fernandez talks about the end of exams, looks forward to spending time with family over the holidays and gets fired up about the upcoming season.
Hello Illini fans!
Finals are over! It was a rough week filled with long hours of studying, but now its time for us to have a nice long break from classes, homework, and exams! The four freshman have now finished the first semester of college, and it feels great!
Friday was Laura's (Woolf) birthday and to celebrate, she brought in some delicious, homemade cookies from a company back in her hometown! They were decorated with blue and orange of course! Half were in the shape of a gymnast, the other half a large `20'!! The cookies were so yummy!
On Sunday we had our last mandatory practice before heading home for the holiday break. It was nice to have a full, structured practice after the hectic finals week. Although everyone was anxious to go home to be with their families, we all still had a very productive practice. As was said in previous journal entries, our floor routines are really starting to come along. Our endurance as a team is stronger and our dance is becoming more fine-tuned. On bars we're doing more full sets and seeing more and more stuck dismounts! In-a-row beam workouts have been increasing our consistency on routines.
In our huddle we were reminded to try and keep up with our cardio and stop in the gym a couple times over the 10-day break. And of course, to enjoy our time off with our family and friends!!
When we head back to Champaign on the 27th for a 6:00 pm practice, we will start kicking it into high gear. After watching a great Rose Bowl game and cheering on the Illini to a victory (hopefully!!), we plan on being fully prepared for our first opponent on Jan 11-Alabama. We'll be having a mock meet with a judge coming in to score our routines on Jan 3, after that we will be able to see where we truly stand.
With season being so close, we're all getting very excited and pumped up. As a freshman, we've constantly heard how much fun season is, and now we finally get to experience it! This team has so much potential and we plan on using it to the fullest! Just recently we were ranked No. 23rd in the Preseason Coaches Poll, the highest in Illinois history! We are ready to prove that we belong in these rankings, and we're ready show that we have what it takes to go even further than that!!
Ending on that note, Happy Holidays, good luck to the Illini at the Rose Bowl, remember to come out to our first home meet @ Huff Hall on Jan 19, and thanks for reading!