Mahopac Senior Captain Started Gymnastics at Young Age

Cassie Traina is the lone senior on Mahopac’s varsity gymnastics team. Credits: Tabitha Pearson Marshall

Mahopac senior Cassie Traina is a captain on the varsity gymnastics team.

How old were you when you started doing gymnastics and how did you get started?

I was 3 when I started taking classes at Odyssey. I started because Judy and Jack (Hartog) coached my aunt at her gym and they were creating a gym of their own in Mahopac.

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How does it feel to win the Division 2 team title?

Winning the Division 2 team title means all my hard work has paid off. After being on the team for four years it is nice to see that we can come together as a team and win divisionals for the second year in a row. Gymnastics may seem like an individual sport but we couldn’t have won without each other’s scores and dedication.

What does the team need to focus on going into sectionals?

The team needs to focus on staying tight and doing clean routines. They need to remember to also be positive about their routines and they need to encourage one another to do the best routines possible.

As a senior captain, how do you see your role on the team, and how much do you value being a team leader?

I organize the apparel for the team. I communicate with the team about what coach (Vin) Collins needs me to pass along to them. I reinforce the importance of coming to practice and staying in good academic standing, and I lead the warm-ups at practice. Being a senior captain on the gymnastics team is something I have looked forward to since freshman year. All of the captains before me did a good job handling the team and it was important to me to do the same.

What is your favorite team activity, pre-meet or post-meet ritual that you share with your teammates?

My teammates and I like to bring a speaker on the bus and play music and sing along together after meets.

Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?

My grandma. She has taught me that even when things in your life get hard you shouldn’t give up. She has also taught me the importance of valuing my education, gymnastics and family.

Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?

I have played the cello since third grade.

Do you plan on continuing to compete in gymnastics in college? If yes, where are you going and why did you choose that school?

I plan on continuing club gymnastics in college. Recent injuries to my ankle have prevented me from being able to do collegiate gymnastics.

Do you know what you want to study in college? If yes, what and why?

I’m studying biology in college so that one day I can become a pediatric oncologist.

Who is your favorite professional athlete and pro or college sports team?

Alicia Sacramone and the New York Rangers.

What is your favorite music to listen to warming up for a meet?

We play all different types of music when we warm up for a meet.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

The power to fly so that I can get places faster and without traffic.

If you could pick one place to visit on vacation that you’ve never been to, where would you go and why?

The Amalfi Coast in Italy because it has a beautiful scenic view and nice beaches.

What is your favorite food to eat before or after a meet?

After a meet I like to go to Cacciatori Pizzeria.

Best place to eat in Mahopac and why?

Gino’s. I love Italian food and they make the best chicken parm.

Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Why?

Instagram because I can see what my friends are up to.

For a young athlete growing up in Mahopac, what would you tell them about the experience of being part of the gymnastics program and why should they go out for the team?

Being a part of the gymnastics program at Mahopac is like being part of another family. As coach Collins always says, “Once you’re on the team, you’re on the team for life.” Gymnastics teaches you discipline and dedication. It also shows you that what you do as an individual has an effect on your team and because of that you should always try your best.

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