Scott MacDonald, 23, hasn’t gotten off his high horse since winning the world vaulting championship at Switzerland’s Lake Constance last summer. Vaulting is an esoteric sport—more or less gymnastics on horseback—that may date back to even before the ancient Greeks but hasn’t exactly conquered the U.S. There are still only about 800 competitive vaulters here, and MacDonald was the first international titlist. Son of an L.A. radiologist, Scott got involved six years ago at his San Fernando Valley prep school, and though he had no riding or gymnastics experience was a natural jock who soon became “truly addicted.” He now trains up to five hours daily, mastering vaults like the “cross scissors on” (above), in which he mounts a moving horse bassackwards. MacDonald currently teaches vaulting at a stable near San Jose and insists, “There’s no question I’ll make a career of this.” That despite an accident-prone medical history that has included a wrenched shoulder, contusions of both ankles and a serious eye ailment caused by a piece of flying cement. An original alternative to his vaulting ambition—the stage—went by the wayside when he dropped out of Los Angeles Valley College and his theater studies there. That left one other option—free-lance photography—but that, too, is on hold because Scott just busted two fingers.
Cynthia Alexander, 22, has no problem when someone demands to see the boss at the Hermantown Star. She is the founding publisher-editor, not to mention star reporter, chief photographer and circulation manager. Cindy, an English major from the University of Minnesota, sensed the need for a local paper when Hermantown, Minn. two years ago voted to incorporate to avoid annexation by its expansionist neighbor Duluth. She consulted with her father, a high school administrator, who co-signed the $7,500 loan which launched the Star, an eight-page weekly selling for 200. So far her accomplishments include one triumphant editorial crusade (to force the U.S. post office to recognize Hermantown as a mailing address), a newsbreak on a local bank heist and blanket coverage of sports, about half devoted to women. “Not that I’m pro-woman particularly,” she explains. “The girls’ teams have just been more successful.” A part-time staff of three and an ad manager now spell her in her frantic hat-changing, and with Star circulation (now up to 700) and ad revenues approaching break-even, Alexander boasts, “I may even start paying myself soon.”