Women's Gymnastics
Isabella Magnelli Leading UK Gymnastics On and Off Competition Floor

Isabella Magnelli Leading UK Gymnastics On and Off Competition Floor

by Tim Letcher

Sometimes, the impact that a particular player has on a team cannot be measured with mere numbers. Such is the case for Kentucky gymnastics senior Isabella Magnelli.

Yes, Magnelli excels in every event in which she participates. On Friday night, that was the vault, the beam and the floor. However, Magnelli means more to the UK gymnastics teams than the numbers she puts up, according to Kentucky head coach Tim Garrison.

“I think the best way to explain Bella, in a nutshell, is that you may remember what people say, but you’ll always remember how they make you feel. She makes you feel amazing,” Garrison said. “She’s just one of those athletes. That’s just her personality. She’s a special personality. She breathes life into the gym when she walks in, and she does the same on the competition floor. She’s amazingly confident and the team benefits from having her as a key component.”

For the record, Magnelli had another big night on Friday, as the fifth-ranked Wildcats beat BYU 197.775-196.600 inside Rupp Arena. The Suffern, New York, native had a season-high 9.950 on the beam, which was good for her sixth career win on that event. Magnelli added a 9.925 on the floor and a 9.875 on the vault. Overall, she was very happy with her performance on Friday.

“I think it went awesome. I started off pretty strong on vault, even though my toe was bleeding, but I just wanted to do a good vault for my team,” Magnelli said. “I went over on beam and my mindset on beam was so much different than it was in the past meet. I was more confident in myself. Understanding that I have a song playing that’s a testimony to my life and hearing the crowd sing it just warms my heart. I was super happy for beam, it was my redemption from last week. Going over to floor, just having fun and trusting my gymnastics and myself. I just knew I needed to go out there, stay nice and tight and have fun.”

Magnelli is well aware of how her leadership and attitude help her team. Her infectious personality and ever-present smile make her a favorite among UK fans as well as her teammates. According to Magnelli, she has had that personality her entire life.

“It has been. I’m super blessed. God has made me to be that type of person for so many reasons,” Magnelli said. “It’s so amazing to have such a beautiful talent that I’m so blessed with, but also having that personality that people can go to whether they’re having a bad day or a good day. Gymnastics is such a hard sport, mentally, and having teammates like me being mentally strong and bringing up the energy and saying positive things toward my teammates allows everyone to enjoy it.”

While she knows that she brings energy to the team, Magnelli also knows that others on the team contribute to that cause as well.

“It’s not just me, I can’t do it all myself,” Magnelli said. “Bailey (Bunn) is a big part of that, too. (Carissa) Clay brings a lot energy.”

Kentucky has accomplished big things already this season, but the best things might still be ahead of the team, according to Magnelli.

“This team can be so good,” Magnelli said. “To think that a 197.775 (tonight), we didn’t even go out there and do our best. There’s a calmness on this team, there’s confidence in this team. I think we’re just going to bring it all together and get that 198-plus. It just shows how much talent is on this team. We keep on fighting. We’re so much mentally stronger, physically stronger and we just continue to fight and fight and fight.”

As this team continues to improve and break new barriers, Magnelli will be in the center of it all, both on the competition floor and off of it.

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