Sports Person of the Week
Cafferty Competes with No Fear, Has Super Year
Megan Cafferty, a Clinton resident who competes at Flip-Flop Gymnastics in Deep River, finished in first place for the all-around as a member of Flip-Flop’s Xcel Platinum team at the State Championship meet. (Photo courtesy of Megan Cafferty )
Megan Cafferty had an amazing season as a member of the Xcel Platinum team at Flip-Flop Gymnastics in Deep River this year. Megan, a Clinton resident, finished first in the all-around at the State Championship meet by taking first place on the bars, second place on both vault and beam, and fifth place on the floor exercise. Megan also represented Connecticut as one of the Super Seven at a regional competition in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.
It was a huge accomplishment for Megan to make it to regionals. Megan, who qualified for that meet by virtue of her strong showing at states, attributes her move to Flip-Flop Gymnastics as a major factor in her success.
“I’m really proud of the fact that I got to the Super Seven team in regionals. I’ve always wanted to go to regionals,” says Megan, who is entering her freshman year at Morgan. “This year, I moved to Flip-Flop, and they really let me explore what I can do. They helped me develop different skills and expand on them more. I perfected more of my skills and got better at states. I knew I could do it if I was focused. I just kept my eye on being the best.”
Along with her new skills, Megan and her coaches, Monica Bauer and Amy Richmond, came up with a new routine that featured her expanded repertoire. Megan also incorporated a little more of her personality into her performance.
“My coaches helped me pick out a new thing that would fit me better. I chose a piece of music that fits me, and we put in a bunch of passes and came up with a dance to fit my personality,” Megan says. “I have a lot of movement in my routine, because I’m constantly moving and a very active person.”
Megan likes to go for it when she’s competing in the floor routine. The event gives Megan the chance to display her talents in the air, although Megan also has some stellar skills in her other events, particularly the beam.
“My favorite event is the floor. I love tumbling, flipping, and twisting. I have so much energy and I love to just flip around,” says Megan. “I would say my best events are floor and beam. I have good balance, and I always know where I am in the air. I have good air awareness. People ask how I know where I am because I twist so much, but I guess that’s just how I am.”
Megan likes to picture herself performing her routines prior to a big competition like the State Championship. This approach helps Megan hone in on what she wants to accomplish.
“When I’m on my way to the meet, I have my ear buds in. I think of my routines over and over in my head,” Megan says. “I think about all the good things that can happen. I usually just visualize my routines over and over again.”
Bauer, who’s the owner of Flip-Flop Gymnastics, appreciates Megan’s wide range of abilities. Bauer says that Megan can do it all and credits her success to a desire to continue learning.
“Megan’s a really well-rounded athlete. One of her best attributes is that she’s gutsy,” says Bauer. “She’s a risk taker and she will go for new skills. She’s really confident in that way. She can learn new skills quicker, because she’s not afraid to try them.”
Megan’s friends and teammates sometimes wonder where she finds the courage to attempt so many different maneuvers. While launching into the air may seem scary to some, Megan enjoys the thrill of going airborne.
“I’ve always been a bold person. I have a lot of energy, and I love learning new skills and just flipping around,” Megan says. “I feel like you just have to get over your fears and have to think of what can go right instead of what can go wrong. How are you supposed to know what you can do if you don’t try?”
As for the upcoming season, Megan will be trying out to compete at the Junior Olympic level at Flip-Flop Gymnastics. She will also help out as a junior trainer for the younger kids. Additionally, Megan will be competing as a team-of-one for Morgan during the high school gymnastics season in the winter.
While Megan has improved a lot during her time at Flip-Flop, she has her sights set on achieving even bigger things. Megan feels grateful for everyone who’s helped her get to this point.
“I want to compete as a Level 7 this year. My first meet is the Rhode Island Invitational in December. So, I will start practicing, clean up routines, and work on skills,” says Megan. “I want to thank my coaches and teammates at Flip-Flop. When I first got there, I didn’t know many people, but the coaches were so kind and really got to know me well. So did my teammates. They are so supportive, and I love them all.”