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.

Sign Up for E-News

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.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Here's What You Missed Last Week

Last week, the Daily News ran a headline, “When is our father coming home?” This dealt with a person here illegally, married to an American woman with a family, who was arrested at an Army base while delivering pizza. You are supposed to think that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), under Trump, is tearing families apart. As usual, it was a crock of cow pies. It was ...

Watergate Analogies Apply to Obama, Not Trump

My liberal counterpart in this publication is about my age. Maybe I am the baby of the group, but we all have had the same seminal experiences of our youth: Vietnam, the civil rights movement and Watergate. These are what shaped our political perspectives.

Looking back, maybe, just maybe those who thought Nixon was really deserving of his fate cannot be faulted for thinking so. It was once ...

Reagan on Trump

The party of “Honest Abe” has now become the party of Dishonest Don, and what follows are some disturbing displays of a Republican Party that has become devoid of conscience:

• More than 4,600 American citizens dead in Puerto Rico—a postscript to the government’s abysmal response to the widespread devastation of Hurricane Maria; 
• The underhanded ...

The Rich Get Richer, and We’re Paying For It

According to a Harvard University study published late last year, most Americans believe that the richest 20 percent of Americans own just half of the nation’s wealth. Wrong! The top 20 percent own 93 percent of the nation’s wealth, and the top 1 percent own 40 percent of that wealth. Additionally, the top 10 percent of earners in 2017 took home more than half the nation’s ...

Competing—Against Yourself

This is the time of year when students are recognized at public ceremonies for notable achievements in their studies, their sports and in their extracurricular pursuits.

Where we live, there are awards in various sports that are named for our son, who also is memorialized by town ballfield Harrison Apar Field of Dreams and a charitable foundation of the same name.

Due to a rare dwarfism, ...

Honoring Our Veterans’ Freedom of Speech

Memorial Day is over, but writing about America’s veterans doesn’t have an expiration date.

My dad, George, was as proud a veteran as you’d meet. He served in the Army in World War II and loved our country no less than the next veteran. I am proud of him, as is my brother, Robert, who served in the Air Force.

Growing up, the one vacation we took each year was spent with ...

I Come from the Land Down Under

I know this is a family column, so I’m going to put this in as delicate terms as possible.

This morning I woke up and I knew, as sure as the sun shines over Bora Bora, that something was very, very wrong in that place in my body where the Bora Bora sun doesn’t shine.

It’s that place I used to refer to my daughter as her hoo-hoo. But it certainly wasn’t a happy ...

Mouthing Off

When I went for oral surgery last spring, the doctor told me he could only do one half of my mouth that day or I wouldn’t be able to eat for two weeks. Considering it was almost bathing suit season, I didn’t think that was necessarily a bad thing. But he convinced me otherwise, and told me if I was really gung ho about getting it all done, I could come back in a month or so to have ...

Upcoming Events


Wed, June 27, 9:00 AM

Putnam County Department of Health, Brewster

PCDOH Free HIV Testing Day

Health & Wellness