Top-5 spring break destinations for Illini sports


Michelle Mayer practices her putting during practice on Thursday October 18th at the University Golf Course in Savoy.

By Alex Roux

It’s March, a time when college students from around the country flock to popular spring break destinations.

Cancun. South Padre Island. Panama City Beach.

Spring break begins next week for Illinois students, and the majority of the student population will finally have a reprieve from school-related activities. But our student-athletes don’t always have the same luxury. Their schedules don’t allow for week-long getaways in the middle of the season.

Some teams are luckier than others and still get a vacation of sorts, as their game schedules take them to somewhat exotic destinations. Others are doomed to another week of gray, 40-degree weather in Champaign.

Which teams should you envy and which should you take pity on? 

Here are the top five spring break destinations for our Illini sports teams next week:

1. Men’s golf — Floridian Collegiate Invitational: Palm City, Fla. 

Even though the men’s golf team is no stranger to competing in warm-weather destinations, this trip can’t be beat by the other Illini teams. Located on the eastern coast of Florida, the forecast for Palm City calls for temperatures in the 70s and 80s throughout the week. Nice.

2. Women’s golf — Briars Creek Invitational: Johns Island, S.C. 

I’m starting to realize that golf teams have got it pretty good. They get travel to vacation destinations like Johns Island in South Carolina and play their favorite sport. Not to mention the Illini just returned this week from Augusta, Ga., the Mecca of golf. Hopefully they don’t have any unfortunate run-ins with the abundant wildlife Johns Island claims to offer.

3. Women’s track — Arizona State Invite: Tempe, Ariz. 

Although it’s not near any beaches, the weather will definitely be warmer in Tempe than it is in Champaign when the women’s track team competes in the ASU Invite on March 28. Last time the Illini were at ASU, Ashley Spencer won two events. They’ll have to compete without Spencer’s services this time around, as she’s now a Texas Longhorn. 

4. Men’s gymnastics — Big Ten Championships: Lincoln, Neb. 

No, Lincoln isn’t your typical spring break destination. But the second-biggest city in Nebraska is host to the Big Ten Championships this year, where Justin Spring’s team is looking to do some damage after placing fifth last season. It’s a quick turnaround for the Illini, who placed second in a competition at Nebraska last Saturday. By the end of break, I’m sure the Illinois gymnasts will have had enough of Lincoln for this year at least.  

5. Baseball — Games against Xavier, Illinois State and Purdue: Urbana and Normal, Ill. 

The Illini baseball team got all of their traveling to scenic destinations out of their system last month, when Illinois Field was unplayable. But late March means home games for Dan Hartleb’s squad, and sometimes staying at home for spring break isn’t that bad. Their longest trip will be a 45-minute drive to Illinois State to face the Redbirds. At least they get a break from travel, unlike the softball team, who will play series at home, in Missouri and in Minneapolis during break. 

Alex is a sophomore in AHS. He can be reached at[email protected] and @aroux94.