Casey Baumann has made the most of her senior season with the Falmouth-Mashpee gymnastics team, earning a spot on the league all-star team for the second year in a row with consistent excellence for the squad. The Flippers’ senior has moved up the team ranks through her four years with the club and can always be counted upon to give a great effort, and a better smile at the end of her routine.
Bauman, the daughter of Kurt and Leslie Baumann, said that favorite subject in school is biology. She calls a faux fur blanket, which is “incredibly soft,” her most prized possession. Casey is not only an all-star on the mat, but also in school where she is a member of the National Honor Society and the honor societies for math, Spanish and Science.
Casey said that “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” is her all-time favorite movie and “Grey’s Anatomy” is her favorite TV show. She likes the music of Flo Rida and Nelly. Her go-to meal is almond-encrusted salmon with a side of bruschetta from La Cucina, then a fried ice cream from Sam Diego’s.
How did you get involved with gymnastics? How much do you enjoy it?
My mom signed us up for mommy and me gymnastics classes when I was almost 2 years old. She said I was a “climber,” so she knew I would love it. While I love gymnastics for the unbelievable skills that I have mastered that the average person cannot do, the thing I love most is my gymnastics family.
Gymnasts have to participate in several different events over the course of a meet. Do you have a favorite? Why? How about a least favorite? Why?
Floor and vault have always been two of my favorite events because the skills came easily to me, and I have always scored well on both of them. Recently, beam has become another one of my strongest events, but standing on a four-inch piece of wood four feet off the ground will always be intimidating. Bars is definitely my least favorite event (hence why I never do it in high school meets). It gets you all chalky, your grips smell horrible, your hands become calloused and getting chalk in your eye is no fun when you wear contacts.
In order to be good at gymnastics, you must put in lots of practice. How much work do you typically do during each week? Do you do it year-round, or just during the season?
Over the years I have dedicated a lot of time year-round to practicing, conditioning, and competing for the club team and the high school team. Now that I only do high school gymnastics, I have cut back to about 12 hours a week in the gym. Once the season is over, I will probably continue to do at least 6 hours a week to stay in shape.
The regular season is now ending and you’ll be going to state soon. What would you think is a successful season for the Flippers? Have you met your own personal goals?
Our goal every season is to be one of the top 15 teams in Massachusetts and make it to sectionals. We still have more scores to be averaged before we find out about sectionals, but even if our goal is not met, I consider every season to be successful because all of the girls put in a lot of hard work and late nights. Before this season began, I was sick with mono and out of the gym for over a month. I was cleared by my doctor the first day of high school practice but when I went back, I had lost a lot of muscle, stamina, and skills, so I knew this season was going to tougher than any other. My personal goal was just to get back to where I used to be. I’m happy to say I achieved my goal.
The Falmouth-Mashpee team is a cooperative team. Do you think it is an easy transition competing as teammates with kids from another school? Why?
Almost all of the girls on the team started their gymnastics careers at Flip Flops Gymnastics. Most of us have been friends for at least 10 years. It is a completely effortless transition and it is much easier to compete with them rather than against them.
What do you think a scouting report would say about you?
I think a scouting report would say that I have consistent skills and well-scoring routines all while having fun competing. My coach has always said I have a “dynamite” vault and I don’t think anyone would disagree.
If you could replay one game that you have played in, which one would it be? Why?
If I was asked this question a week ago, I would’ve had to think about all the meets I’ve ever competed in. Now, after our meet on February 8, I would have to say I would go back and redo my beam routine from that night. I had never split the beam in my entire life before that day and I wish I could say that same thing once my gymnastics career is over because, for gymnasts, that’s a pretty impressive brag.
What do you consider the highlight of your athletic career so far?
Senior year has been one of the toughest seasons for me. I’ve not only been experiencing mental blocks on my events, but I’ve also been under the weather for a few months so I’ve had a difficult season. Winning medals, trophies and awards have been great experiences but being able to push through my mental blocks to help the team has been most rewarding and I would consider the highlight of my career.
Who is the best teammate you’ve ever played with? What makes that person stand out?
All of my teammates have been amazing through all the years, but one I could not live without is Danielle Shea. I could always count on her to fool around at practice with me, make me laugh and cheer me up when I was having a bad day. This has been the first year I have not done gymnastics with her and it has been completely different.
Do you have any sports-related superstitions? If so, what are they?
Ever since I started gymnastics at Flip Flops, the moons have been a major superstition. My coaches always say that the week before a full moon is great for gymnastics. Everyone has awesome practices and amazing meets. Whenever I have a great practice and the team has a great meet, I always wonder why, and every time it is because the full moon is coming.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from playing sports?
I have tried playing a variety of sports, but gymnastics was the only one I stuck to. It has taught me so many things over the years. Most importantly it has taught me to be humble. You can’t win every meet, you can’t have perfect routines all the time and you don’t always score well. I’ve learned not to care when I mess up, to be happy for my teammates when they beat me and to forget about a bad score and try harder next time.
Who has been your inspiration?
I really don’t have an inspiration. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved watching Simone Biles and Aly Raisman, but they haven’t really impacted my gymnastics career. I prefer discussing and setting personal goals with my coaches and working toward achieving them. The thing that motivates me most is being able to contribute to the high school gymnastics team’s success.
Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my parents for putting me in a sport that has shaped my entire life over the last 17 years, for finding the time to drive me to the gym four times a week, and for trying your hardest to attend every meet. My biggest thanks go to my three coaches, Kathy, Shailey, and Duncan. All three of them have pushed me to be the best gymnast I can be and they make every practice fun (even when they make us do super-hard conditioning). They are truly the reason I have continued this sport throughout the years. I could not imagine them missing from my life. And I definitely need to thank my favorite teacher in the world, who started as my freshman biology teacher and is now someone with whom I share a special bond. Heather Goodwin, thank you for getting me through high school in one piece.
What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited? Is there somewhere in the world that you’ve always dreamed of going? Why?
Last April I went on an exchange to Spain with several of my friends and it was one of the best experiences. I got to live with my exchange student for two weeks and experience all aspects of a completely different culture. I want to travel all over when I am older, so there isn’t one place I’ve always dreamed of going, but a nice tropical vacation is always enjoyable.
What’s the biggest difference between you as a senior and as a freshman? If you could go back, what advice would you give to your freshman self?
As a freshman, I felt that high school was never going to end. Now as a senior, I’m not ready for it to end. I definitely took time in school and time in the gym for granted because I never thought it would end. If I could go back and give my freshman self advice, it would be to enjoy every bit of it because it doesn’t last nearly as long as you think it does.
What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
I already said that biology was my favorite subject in school, but “favorite” is an understatement. A lot of people know that I am a little obsessed with it, but few people know that I have a tattoo of a double helix, the common symbol of Biology, wrapped around my ankle. It is by far my favorite thing ever.
If you could switch places with one person for a week, who would it be and what would you want to do?
I would love to switch places with my cousin Isabel, who is currently attending medical school at Brown University. I am completely intrigued by the stories she has shared about her experiences. The first-year medical students are given their “donor” body to study human anatomy and physiology hands-on. Being in her shoes would allow me to see if I have what it takes to pursue medical school in the future.
Describe your idea of the perfect day.
My perfect day would start by waking up without an alarm (which may be 7:30). I would go out to breakfast with my mom and then meet up with my dad, my brother, and his girlfriend and head to the Beachcomber where we would trek down the ginormous dunes with corn hole, spike ball, and ladder golf in hand. We would spend the day playing games and diving into the freezing cold torrential waves, constantly on the lookout for seals and sharks.
What are your post-high school plans?
As of right now, I don’t have a top school, but I am planning on attending a four-year college after high school majoring in biology or microbiology.
Where will you be in 10 years, and what will you be doing?
At the moment, I want to attend medical school after college. Hopefully, in 10 years I will be done with school, working in a lab, squinting through a microscope all day.