Murphy lands her spot at the University of Maryland


Katie Fonden

Maggie Murphy practices her skills in her home gym at Brestyan’s Gymnastics.

Kate Kelly, Co-Features Editor

Four hours, Monday through Saturday. Six hours in the summer. The same walls and the same events. Yet somehow, junior Maggie Murphy continues to find a thrill in the intricate flips and skills that come with gymnastics. Now, she’s able to take that passion to the next level.

Finishing her junior year, Murphy has officially committed to the University of Maryland as a Division I athlete in pursuit of her love for gymnastics.

Participating in a camp hosted by the college over the previous summer, she immediately took an interest in the campus. Both the location and atmosphere of the state was enticing to Murphy, and after a second visit back, she had nearly made up her mind. 

“Just meeting the coaches made me realize that’s where I wanted to be because they were so amazing,” Murphy said. “After that, they offered me [a spot] and I spent a week there with my parents. It was like I was ready to say ‘yes’, right at that moment.”

Having both sisters and a mother who were gymnasts, Murphy was entered into classes at a young age, joining Brestyan’s Gymnastics club as soon as she could. Brestyan’s has a history of Olympic medalists as well as countless championship titles, and Murphy competes here as a level ten gymnast. 

While Murphy has tried other sports and even plays field hockey for WA, none have ever resonated with her the way gymnastics does. This is partially, she says, from the level of variety when it comes to events in the gym. 

“Just seeing all the skills that I’ve learned on bars especially, like my upgrades with releases and dismount, and getting to learn them was just so much fun,” Murphy said. “They’re definitely hard at first but then once you start to do them, you get the hang of it.”

Murphy has been noted in publications such as the Lowell Sun and Boston Globe for her talent and record winning performances. Also committed to her participation on the WA Gymnastic Team, Murphy will become a captain going into her senior year. 

“Maggie has evolved in skill and leadership over the last few years. She took on the reins as a junior and I am excited to see what she brings to the team as a senior captain,”  WA gymnastics coach Stephanie Coburn said. “It’s been exciting every December to see what new skills she has learned since the previous season.”

However, things haven’t always come as easy in Murphy’s career. Growing up, she had three elbow surgeries which severely impacted her ability to compete and train. Even still, she worked hard to regain her skills and get to where she is today. 

“For me, Maggie stands out in the fact that she is always happy with her performances. Her smile in the gym just shows that she loves this sport with so much heart,” Coburn said. “If she has a rough event, she gets back up with the ‘I know what to fix next time’ and an ‘it’s alright’ attitude.”

Looking forward to a relatively stress-free senior year, Murphy is excited for what the future holds at Maryland and looks forward to meeting a new community of gymnasts. 

“You’ve just got to keep working hard. Obviously there are going to be your down moments, but those are just what make the good days even better,” Murphy said.