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Athlete of the Week: Cassie Bergin, East Islip

Cassie Bergin of East Islip poses for a

Cassie Bergin of East Islip poses for a portrait during Newsday's All-Long Island gymnastics photo shoot at company headquarters in Melville on Friday, March 23, 2018. Credit: James Escher

Who is Cassie Bergin? For starters, she is the top gymnast on the East Islip team, which she joined in the seventh grader. She’s a state competitor and on track to qualify for the state team again.  

Bergin’s name may not ring any bells, but it should. Her accomplishments have earned her Newsday’s Athlete of the Week.

“Cassie is extremely hardworking and dedicated to her sport,” coach Dennis Jones said. “Her work ethic, camaraderie and overall attitude have contributed to her success.”

Bergin’s dedication has been on display since she made her debut at the state championship last season. As a freshman, she placed third on beam, out of approximately 50 girls, scoring a 9.55. This year, she’s undefeated on beam at dual meets and she’s helped lead East Islip (6-0) to an undefeated record in Suffolk II.

“I’m always extremely happy that I get to compete in any meet,” Bergin said. “When I placed third, I was shocked but so happy. I would say I owe my success to my teammates, coaches and parents. They are always there to boost my confidence and have really helped me along the way.”

Bergin’s older sister, Kristen, inspired her to be a gymnast. She’d watch her sister practice and wanted to join in. But in the beginning, Bergin was afraid.

She credits Kristen for helping her get over her fear.

“When I was younger, we had a beam at home,” Bergin said. “My sister and her friends would spot me. At first, I was scared, but I kept practicing. My sister would practice with me and I progressed from there.”

It is almost comical to think that Bergin was afraid of the beam, considering the event is now her specialty. Her high score this season on the difficult event was a 9.5 according to Jones.

“Beam is probably the most mentally challenging event given the width and size of it, but Cassie has done so well on it. It’s a great achievement,” Jones said.

Bergin continued, “Beam is my favorite event. I feel most confident on it and I’m not as nervous like I am with other events.”

The season is over for Bergin and the East Islip squad. Now they wait to see if they qualify for the Suffolk Championships and if Bergin will earn a spot at the state qualifiers. Both seem likely.

East Islip’s only loss this season was to the combined team of Bay Shore / Islip in a cross-league meet.

Bergin isn’t worried about either meet. Her confidence peaks whenever her team is behind her.

“My goal is to make counties, hopefully make the state team as an All-Arounder and I feel like I can do it because of my team,” Bergin said. “Everybody on this team always shows up. They push me to be a better gymnast. As long as we stay focused, we can do it.”

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