Assistant Sports Editor
“It was terrifying,” said senior gymnast Brittany Baglow.
“I didn’t think she was ready,” said her coach, Cheryl Raymond
“I knew she could do it,” said assistant coach Nicolas Sacchetti.
Following the ECAC Championships in Cortland, N.Y. on Sunday, March 10, Baglow approached Raymond with a plan to upgrade her start value from a 9.9 to a 10 on the difficulty scale. The spirited gymnast from Amherst, Mass. decided she was ready to once again attempt a skill that ended her season just one year ago. Baglow had suffered an Achilles tendon tear performing a double back flip during a floor routine, immediately forcing her into an Aircast walking boot and out of the sport that she grew up loving.
“She came up to me and said, ‘Coach, I think I’d like to do my double back flip in my floor routine again,’” recalled Raymond. “I had gotten to the point where I said that she can’t get that skill back she is not ready for it. To me it was more of her being mentally ready rather than physically being ready. We put it into a floor routine and she did fine on it. It was a matter of her being ready to tackle it and she did and she was great.”
With adding the double back flip, Baglow’s routine had a start value of 10 and aided her to place third in the all-around competition, earning her All-American honors. Along with this, Baglow also finished the balance beam with a score of 9.500, and a 9.450 on the vault, with All-American honors following suit in each event.
“I mean it was amazing,” said Baglow. “You can try to describe it, but in the moment it was like ‘wow.’ It was almost unexpected as well because I went into the competition hoping for the best, but I wasn’t expecting those specific results so it was an amazing feeling.”
Along with an All-American honor on the balance beam in 2011, Baglow has accumulated four separate honors throughout her incredible career. The senior captain also became just the seventh gymnast in Springfield College history to become an All-American in the all-around competition.
“Brittany is just enjoyable to work with,” added Raymond. “She is dedicated and works very hard. She gets along with everybody on the team and leads by example. I would take a million Brittany’s. That is the type of athlete you want to have: determined.”
It’s hard to believe that just one year ago Baglow suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon tear. Fighting to get back into all of her events, the all-around competition was a long shot for the petite gymnast. With a lot of hard work and determination, Baglow achieved all that she wanted to and more in her senior season.
“It was definitely a journey all the way through,” said Baglow. “I came in this season hoping to maybe compete in beam and uneven bars. Then I was able to start with that and work up. To do all-around at the beginning of the season was out of sight, but I kept working hard and got there.”
As for life after Springfield College gymnastics, Baglow plans on sticking with the sport.
“I will be coaching this summer at my home gym, Hampshire Gymnastics,” added Baglow. “I am going to take a year off from school, but [I] would like to come back for grad school and maybe help with the team.”