Tess Hachey will be the first one to admit that her name does not pop up in a lot of gymnastics stories because she’s not one of the premier scorers on her team. That doesn’t matter, though. Hachey loves her teammates, and being on the team and doing the work. And, it’s not like she doesn’t have a whole lot else going on for herself. She’s a student-athlete, and the athlete part does not overshadow the student.
Hachey was a cross-country all-star at MHS when the sport was being offered at the varsity level. She will run spring track as well, and in the wintertime she’s a contributor to the cooperative gymnastics team between Falmouth and Mashpee. The daughter of Eileen and Jack Hachey, Tess has a twin sister, Mary, and younger brother, Joe, who is also an all-star student. Her favorite subject in school is robotics. She’s earned the Rensselaer Medal and the Robotics Academic Award.
Tess’s most-prized possession is her laptop and the hard-working young lady holds two part-time jobs, putting in time at The Lanes Bowl and Bistro and Smitty’s Ice Cream. Her favorite all-time band is The Beatles and “Lady Bird” is her favorite movie. Her favorite TV show is “Parks and Recreation.” Tess said her favorite meal is an Asiago bagel with egg, cheese, avocado and sriracha, which she’d like to chase with coconut almond chip ice cream.
How did you get involved with gymnastics? How much do you enjoy it?
I started gymnastics in 5th grade, which is a lot later than most people, but I really loved it. It was always fun to go to practice and learn new skills. I stopped club gymnastics my sophomore year, after breaking my ankle, but I followed through with high school gymnastics just because of all my friends, and, of course, my coach, they’re all really supportive and just good to be around.
Gymnasts have to participate in several different events over the course of a meet. Do you have a favorite? Why? How about your least favorite? Why?
My favorite event to practice is probably bars; I just find it really fun to spin around and dismount. However, vault is my favorite to compete in. It’s my best event, as well as the quickest event, and I really don’t love being in front of people. My least favorite is floor, mainly because I never have the energy to tumble, and I’m not very coordinated for a routine.
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?
Currently, I just do gymnastics during the season, which is from late November to February. I typically spend about six hours at practice, with one or two meets a week.
The regular season is now ending and you’ll be going to states soon. What would you think is a successful season for the Flippers? Have you met your own personal goals?
In the end I think a successful season really just comes down to the happiness of the players and our coach. Of course, it will be nice to make sectionals, but at least to me, as long as everyone is proud of themselves for something, I’d say that’s a big win. Personally, I just wanted to compete a half-full on Senior Night. I mean it wasn’t the best vault ever, but I’m just happy I competed for that last time, in front of all my friends and family.
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?
Considering almost all of the kids—both Falmouth and Mashpee students—practice at Flip Flops, it really isn’t a big deal. Everyone already knows each other and if we don’t, I like to think we are pretty welcoming.
You are also involved in track in the spring. What events will you participate in, and what is it that you enjoy about them?
During track, I typically participate in the 4x4 and sometimes the two-mile. I also high-jump and throw javelin, which is a lot more enjoyable for me. I’m not very competitive, so track is more about just staying in shape and being with my team. The team is really close—the coaches and players are truly some of my favorite people.
What do you think a scouting report would say about you?
I don’t think they’d report anything.
If you could replay one game that you have played in, which one would it be? Why?
At last year’s league meet I rolled over the vault table onto the mat, which was pretty embarrassing. It made an entertaining video, but if it came down to it, I would probably redo that meet.
What do you consider the highlight of your athletic career so far?
I think I peaked athletically freshman year at the cross-country league meet. So aside from that, there hasn’t been anything too exciting.
Who is the best teammate you’ve ever played with? What makes that person stand out?
I think Molly LeBrun is the best teammate I’ve ever practiced and competed with. We have similar humor and additionally, Molly is one of the most empathetic people I’ve ever met. She is easy to joke around with and she’s also very supportive, even when the meet may not be going great.
Do you have any sports-related superstitions? If so, what are they?
I don’t have any sports-related superstitions.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from playing sports?
It’s the people that make the team, not the talent.
Who has been your inspiration?
Hannah Binette. She is a talented and kind human being.
Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I really just want to say “thank you” to (Coach) Shailey and Kathy for reminding me that it is about having fun and being proud of yourself. And, also my teammates and friends for making Senior Night so memorable: the cards, flowers, speeches, and love were truly appreciated.
One of your interests in school is robotics. Have you done any fun projects in that area, and is that an area you plan on pursuing beyond high school?
Last year, and this year, I’ve been working on a project with the 5th grade students at Quashnet. I’ve been helping them build their own underwater robots, with PVC pipes and wired motors, which has been a great learning experience. The kids are adorable and interested in robotics, which has definitely contributed to my plans of studying environmental engineering this fall.
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 summer I visited Inishbofin, which is a small island off the coast of Galway, Ireland. It was an incredibly beautiful and quaint spot, where my grandmother had grown up before immigrating to Boston. It was a very impactful trip; I got to meet a lot of new family members and explore a place other than the Cape.
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 senior I’ve realized that the people in the audience are not worried about how I perform. I was always so nervous to compete, but in reality the fans are impressed with gymnastics of any level. I would’ve just wanted to remind my freshman self that it doesn’t really matter if you mess up, there will be a next time.
What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
People might be surprised that I have a twin sister. Gymnastics is something that we don’t do together, so some people probably have no idea.
If you could switch places with one person for a week, who would it be and what would you want to do?
If I could, I would switch places with Elon Musk for the week. First I would give myself, plus my friends, Teslas. Then, secondly, as a philanthropist, I would donate money to both environmental sustainability and human-rights charities.
Describe your idea of the perfect day.
A perfect day would start with an iced coffee and a breakfast sandwich. It’d be followed by a couple of hours at the beach and probably some Smittys, completed by good music and friends.
What are your post high school plans?
After high school I’m going to be attending a four-year college for environmental engineering. I am probably going to UMass Amherst, but I’m still waiting on a decision from Boston University. I am just excited for some change and the opportunity to study something that I really care about.
Where will you be in 10 years, and what will you be doing?
In 10 years I will hopefully be surrounded by people I love and in a stable, rewarding job. Maybe I’ll be living in Boston, or DC or even Ireland. I just hope I’m able to explore as many options as I can.