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Plenty of gold for local athletes

BIRMINGHAM – Jim Fuqua overcame a torn muscle and a severe shoulder injury to win his third javelin title this summer.
The rain Saturday didn’t help the Hartselle athlete’s performance either.
Competing from the shot put pit because of wet conditions, Fuqua wrapped up the men’s masters 55-59 age division title with a throw of 45.81 meters.
He tore a groin muscle on one of his throws and did not get a chance to add to his winning total.
“I guess throwing 150 feet while standing on just one leg isn’t too bad,” Fuqua said.
Fuqua will undergo surgery next week on a torn rotator cuff that has hampered his throws for several months. He’ll have to rehabilitate the shoulder for up to six months before he can begin training for the Senior Olympics and the World Championships next fall.
Fuqua’s gold medal he earned at Hoover was his fourth in state competitions this summer.
In May, Fuqua won the Alabama Senior Olympics after posting a throw of 174 feet. Twelve days late he added a throw of 182 feet, one inch – the second-best throw in his age group this year worldwide.
He also finished first in the Birmingham Track Championships earlier this month with a throw of 176 feet.
Hartselle High School’s Ashton Pennington won the Young Female division’s javelin title with a throw of 32.04 meters, beating Hoover’s Magen Schrimsher by more than two meters.
Falkville’s Michael Dekich, now at member of Auburn University’s track team, won the Adult Open title for men age 19-29 after he had a throw of 46.78 meters.
Germelle Fulford of Tuscaloosa was second with a best throw of 41.72.
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.
Danville’s Keely Templeton won the Level 7 all-around title after winning three of four individual events.
Templeton finished first in the balance beam, floor exercise and vault competitions. She was second in the parallel bars.
Mikayla Ferguson, a Hartselle resident, was second in the Level 4 all-around competition after finishing in the top two spots in four individual events.
Ferguson won the parallel bars competition and was second in the balance beam, floor exercise and the vault.
Templeton and Ferguson were among six local gymnasts who were competing from Calvin Twisters Gymnastics team of Decatur.
Other local gymnasts in the Alabama Sports Festival were Meridith Sides, Clair Grammer, Natasha Hollingsworth and Mary Kate Evans.
The Calhoun Twisters gymnasts won the Level 3 and Level 8 team championships. The team’s Level 5 group will finish second.

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