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Bridgette Caquatto

Thursday January 30, 2014Injuries behind her now, Bridgette Caquatto wants to contribute more as a competitor

Gainesville, Fla.

Bridgette Caquatto

By Charles Kingsbury, UF Communications

 

Twenty-six minutes is enough time to prep sophomore Bridgette Caquatto for a round on bars or a floor routine.

 

Twenty-six.

 

So, what's the secret behind her success? Sleep.

 

"For your sleep cycle, you either take a 26-minute nap or an hour-and-a-half nap," Caquatto said.

 

As an athlete, Caquatto knows time is of the essence. Her advice to her teammates? Take a 26-minute nap.

 

"Anytime anyone on the team gets super tired or I'm tired, I always say, 'Oh, you have to take a 26-minute nap,'" she said.

 

She’s is confident in the science she researched for a class last year and is happy to share the information with her fellow Gators.

 

"For your sleep cycle, you either take a 26-minute nap or an hour-and-a-half nap. Anything short of either time goal and you wake up tired."

 

Her constant desire to help her fellow Gators any way possible is just one of the ways she impacts her teammates.

 

Caquatto has been a steady contributor for Florida in 2014. And it all stems back to her freshman season.

 

At the 2013 NCAA Regionals, Caquatto was called on to fill the spot left behind when senior Randy Stageberg was sidelined after dislocating her shoulder during a practice after the Southeastern Conference Championships.

 

No stranger to pressure situations, she nailed a 9.925, good enough to earn third overall and to help Florida reach the NCAA Championships in Los Angeles, Calif. And in the 2013 NCAA Super Six team final, she anchored the lineup with a collegiate-best 9.95.

 

Now a year later, more polished and mature, Caquatto is looking to become a force behind Florida's new guard.

 

With the likes of local household names such as Marissa King and Ashanée Dickerson gone, Caquatto has felt her role increase for the better.

 

"I myself, I just try to come in and have positive energy, always try to look at the bright side of things. I just want the team to do the best that they can do this season."

 

"So whether it's a day that someone needs comforting or a hug, I want to be there."

 

More importantly, Caquatto is glad to be operating at full health again after battling nagging injuries suffered prior to joining the Gators for her freshman year.

 

"This year is really exciting for me. I'm real thankful to have my health back [and] to be able to contribute to this team however they need me.

 

"Last year, I wouldn't say it was disappointing at all. It was a little bit at the beginning of the season. Not being able to participate in the sport that you love because of injury was tough."

 

Now healthy, Caquatto wants to prove she can be a reliable contender. And it all begins with her work ethic.

 

During the summer, Bridgette and her sister, Mackenzie, kept in shape, regularly attending the gym. Off days brought her outdoors, riding bikes or taking her mother up on YMCA classes.

 

It has paid off.

 

So far in 2014, Caquatto has played an integral in the program's early success. Through three meets, she's been a part of every vault, bars and floor lineup. In Florida’s last meet, she set or matched collegiate-best marks for each event – vault (9.875), bars (9.95) and floor (9.95).

 

Her 9.95 on floor versus Georgia on Jan. 24 contributed to Florida's highest floor total in the program's history.

 

And as the season continues, Bridgette, at full rest and full health, is sure to make significant strides in her second year as a Gator.

 

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