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Columbia County athletes to compete in Olympics

Posted: July 4, 2012 - 12:14am

Columbia County is sending two men to Olympic competition this year, both in shot put.

Former Lakeside High School and University of Georgia track and field star Reese Hoffa won the men’s shot put in the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials on June 24 and is headed to London for his third attempt at an Olympic medal.

Hoffa also competed in Athens, Greece, in the 2004 Olympics, and in Beijing, China, in the 2008 Olympics. This year’s games will be held July 27-Aug. 12, with the shot put competition and finals scheduled for Aug. 3.

On Saturday, Paralympian Scott Winkler of Grovetown won the men’s shot put title during the U.S. Paralympic Track and Field Trials in Indianapolis, Ind.

On Sunday, Winkler was named as one of the competitors for the Paralympic Games Aug. 29-Sept. 9 in London.

Winkler, who was paralyzed from the waist down in an accident while deployed with the U.S. Army in Iraq, was one of five military veterans named to the U.S. Paralympics team. Under his classification in the events, he is scheduled to compete on Sept. 1.

Meanwhile, four Columbia County swimmers fell short over the weekend in attempts to qualify for the Olympics, including Evans and Florida State University graduate C.J. Hendry, Lake­side graduate Katherine Huff, Martinez resident and Aquinas High School sophomore Jackie Jeschke, and Lakeside grad and Georgia Tech University senior Eric Chiu.

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