Mount Hebron's Magnes determined to be the best Back from injury, gymnast wins two

April 19, 1993|By Michael Richman | Michael Richman,Contributing Writer

Danielle Magnes' stubbornness constantly gets the best of her. And right now, its getting the best of the Mount Hebron gymnast's opponents, too.

If Magnes senses a lapse in any personal performances, she'll try to refine it until, in her mind, it's immaculate. Vikings coach Lisa Michael calls it a "good stubbornness," one that has helped Magnes become one of the top gymnasts in the county.

"When things aren't going right for Danielle, she's not willing to give up on it," Michael said. "She does it over and over and over again until it's perfect. She's a perfectionist."

"I get frustrated easily," Magnes admitted. "When I'm doing a skill and it's not going the way I feel it should go -- even if it looks good to other people -- I'll just try harder to do better."

The junior has competed in two meets, winning all-around in both, and, with teammate Amy Walton, Howard's Pamela Bradley, Atholton's Shannon Mennell, and Oakland Mills' Lori Jackson and Kelley Callaway, is considered among the best.

In the first meet, featuring Mount Hebron, Howard and Hammond, Magnes captured every event except balance beam, finishing 33.40 overall. In the second meet, despite falling twice on beam, she won all individual exercises against Centennial and North Harford for a 33.0 all-around score.

Magnes is repeating her freshman accomplishments, which were highlighted by a No. 6 finish in county all-around (33.2). She also placed second on uneven bars (8.8), sixth on vault (8.6) and fifth on bars in the state meet (9.0).

Magnes missed her sophomore season. On her first exercise last spring, she ripped the anterior cruciate ligament in the left knee and missed the season. She had arthroscopic surgery over the summer and was uncertain whether she could compete again, especially since she would be required to wear a five-pound knee brace.

The brace didn't curtail any mobility, and in January she notified Michael of her decision to return. The seventh-year Vikings coach tagged Magnes "the comeback kid."

"I told her there were going to be a lot of hard roads ahead of her and she'd have to adapt to her knee brace," Michael said. "She said she was willing to go ahead with it."

The brace doesn't help with the pain, and Magnes isn't immune to occasional twitches during meets.

"It's OK when I tumble," she said. "But there are times when I land on it and it'll ache. I walk it out."

Magnes' highest scoring event is floor exercise. But with a strong upper body created "by all the push-ups and sit-ups [Michael] makes us do," the gymnast said, her most polished routine is bars.

Magnes thinks her scores will improve because she has a different attitude this season. The team captain isn't as nervous as she was during her freshman season.

"I've gotten the nerves out from the beginning," she said. "They're still butterflies, but not full-blown nerves. I've learned that if I do bad on one event, I'm not to take that event with me to the next one. I'm competing with a new attitude."

Teammate LeNora Thompson, a junior who's competed with Magnes throughout high school, notices that she's "really determined."

"If she's working on something and it doesn't go good, she gets real frustrated," Thompson said. "But she keeps at it until it goes good."

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