Once, twice, three times a record for middle school cheerleader

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by Brian Farrell

WVEC.com

Posted on November 1, 2012 at 11:41 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 2 at 12:21 AM

VIRGINIA BEACH -- In early October, 13-year-old Danielle Harbour heard about a cheerleader in Texas who set a world record for back handsprings. Harbour, a Salem Middle School cheerleader, thought she'd have a go at breaking it. The number to beat: 35.

"I did, and I got 38, and the crowd was really pumped, and I was like, 'Oh, well. I'll try it again,'" Harbour told 13News.

During her second attempt, Harbour hit 40. Thursday, during halftime of the Salem Middle-Kempsville Middle game, she had a third try and made it to 41.

"There's not much that stops her when she puts her mind to something," said Harbour's mother, Andrea Harbour. "Very proud of her."

In 2004, accomplishments like these seemed unlikely. When Harbour was 4 years old, she fell over the fence between her home and her neighbors' house. The neighbors' Rotweiler attacked her, mauling her right thigh.

"Her leg, they weren't sure if they were going to be able to keep the leg, originally," explained Andrea Harbour. "She recovered very well. It was a very scary time. We almost lost her."

Harbour remembers nothing of the attack.

"I do remember going into gymnastics. I had a little walker, you know, I remember going into gymnastics with that one day. That was pretty fun, and they were all really encouraging, so it helped me to get back to and get to where I am now," Harbour shared.

With her fellow cheerleaders counting her off Thursday, the 13-year-old made her way from end zone to end zone.

"I don't know how I keep from throwing up. My body just isn't one of those kinds of bodies that throws up when it gets dizzy. I'm really dizzy afterwards. Don't get me wrong," Harbour said. "I can't eat, obviously, right before it, because that would just not work."

Harbour described the dizziness as being the same most people would experience.

As Harbour finished her run Thursday, shouts of support and a bunch of hugs came from her squadmates, A quick breather later, she joined her fellow cheerleaders for their halftime routine.

"I hope it says that they can go for, like, if they see something that looks fun and encouraging, I hope they go for it."

 

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