Atholton girls hold off Hebron Gymnastics

April 30, 1993|By Michael Richman | Michael Richman,Contributing Writer

Mount Hebron gymnast Danielle Magnes noticed a "fear" in the eyes of her Atholton Raiders opponents yesterday. The Raiders, four-time defending Howard County champs, the team that hadn't lost a county meet in five years, were handed "a run for their money," Magnes said, but escaped with a 124-123 victory in a tri-meet yesterday at Mount Hebron.

North Harford finished at 61.5. Wilde Lake, originally scheduled to compete, only sent a boys team.

As in last week's loss to Oakland Mills, Mount Hebron led after two events. This time, after vault and uneven bars, the Vikings held a 60.5-59.5 edge over the Raiders.

Atholton recaptured the lead on the next exercise -- balance beam -- outscoring Mount Hebron, 31.5-30.1, for a 91.0-90.6 advantage.

Then, on floor exercise, capping the evening, Atholton's Shannon Mennell (8.6), Heather Mennell (8.4), Michelle Benson (8.3) and Sarah Gove (7.7) provided a 33.4 score and

a 124 total. Beam and floor are the Raiders' strongest events.

Needing 33.4 points to tie, Mount Hebron's LeNora Thompson (6.6), Berkeley Noonan (7.5), Amy Walton (9.4) and Magnes, in that order, combined to fall one point short.

Walton, bothered by a sprained ankle, competed in all-around for the first time this season to a No. 1 finish (34.7). She was trailed by Magnes (34.3) and Shannon Mennell (34.2).

"I'm kind of disappointed. I really wanted to beat them," Walton said.

"We have to do better than this on Monday," said Atholton coach Terry Smith, referring to the county championship at Oakland Mills. "But the girls have a very good attitude. They decided whether we won or lost that they were going to work hard tomorrow and beat them Monday."

Walton finished first on floor (9.4) and bars (8.7). Magnes, despite a fall, took beam (9.0) aided by a high-level, cartwheel dismount, and Shannon Mennell claimed vault (8.6).

"It's a big accomplishment," Vikings coach Lisa Michael said. "We came up three points, which brought us up to the score that Oakland Mills beat us with last week."

Atholton and Mount Hebron alternated rotations on the first two exercises. The Raiders tallied 28.6 (bars) and 30.9 (vault) to the Vikings' 30.3 (vault) and 30.2 (bars), leaving Mount Hebron -- competing at full strength for the first time this season -- ahead by one point.

At that point, Michael was asked if an upset was in the making.

"Let's hope. We have Amy Walton on floor," she said, meaning that Walton missed floor in the loss to Oakland Mills.

It wasn't to be. Atholton, back-to-back state champion, pulled off its closest county win in five seasons.

In boys competition, entailing gymnasts from Wilde Lake (four competitors), Mount Hebron (three), Glenelg (one) and Oakland Mills (one), Wilde Lake took first with 71 points. Wilde Lake's Chad Tidgewell won all-around (32).

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