Locals set to compete in state games
Hartselle masters track athlete Jim Fuqua hopes that he can bring home his third gold medal from the Alabama Sports Festival State Games this week in Birmingham.
Fuqua is one of a handful of local athletes competing in the Olympic-style competition this week at several different venues around the Birmingham area.
The veteran of state and national competitions was the 2009 gold medalist at the Senior Olympics.
Fuqua recently won the Alabama Senior Olympics with a throw of 174 feet in the javelin despite a shoulder injury that will require surgery later this year.
Former Falkville standout Michael Dekich, now competing for Auburn, is also entered in the javelin event.
Dekich, who just finished his sophomore season at Auburn, set a personal record with a distance of 196 feet, 8.25 inches in the javelin at the Yellow Jacket Invitational in March.
He also finished 14th in the javelin at the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Championships in May with a throw of 174 feet, 6.5 inches.
Hartselle High School’s Ashton Pennington is also entered in the javelin. She is one of the top javelin athletes in the state.
Hunter Grantland, 15, will compete in the 100 and 200 meter events Saturday.
The track and field competitions will be held Saturday at Hoover High School’s on-campus track facility.
Also, six local gymnasts – part of the Calvin Twisters Gymnastics team that trains in Decatur – will compete this week. Keely Templeton of Danville, and Meridith Sides, Clair Grammer, Natasha Hollingsworth, Mikayla Ferguson and Mary Kate Evans will participate in the gymnastics competition Saturday at Head Over Heels Gymnastics.
Other local athletes could also compete in the State Games, but were not registered with ASF officials this week.
The opening ceremonies will be held at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Arena.
The BJCC is located in downtown Birmingham at 2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard North.