Tracksters Rake In Medals At Grand Canyon Games

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The Grand Canyon State Games contested last weekend in Tucson turned out to be a showcase for the talents of the Tonto Apache Track and Field team.

"Almost every team member was a medal winner," coach Billy Joe Winchester said.

After praising all Tonto Apache athletes for doing a super job, Winchester took time to laud 11-year-old Charlie Lopez.

"Each week he gets better and better," the coach said.

According to Winchester, the youngster's interest in throwing the discus was sparked last spring after he found a discarded discus under some brush on the reservation.

The youngster took it home, where his father repaired it for competition.

Now, Winchester says, the boy takes it every where he goes. "He might sleep with it."

Lopez's commitment resulted in a gold medal in the event at the GC games.

"It's great what he's doing," Winchester said.

Not allowed to compete

About the only disheartening experience the Tonto Apache team suffered in Tucson occurred in the youth boys division javelin event.

The Tonto Apache team had Anthony Johnson entered but officials would not allow him to compete. Winchester explained how the scenario unfolded.

"He was told he could not throw because he did not have his own javelin," he said.

If he'd been allowed to use another javelin and compete, the coach said, "He would have been a gold medal winner. He's the best in the state."

Escorting the team to Tucson was local Special Olympic track and field star David Frohme.

"We really enjoyed having him along," Winchester said.

Tonto team results

Bantam boys (Shot-put)

Gold medal Mugel Lopez

Silver medal Valentino Doka

Midget girls (Discus)

Silver medal Heather Waterman

Midget Boys (Shot-put)

Bronze Medal Charlie Lopez

Midget Boys (Discus)

Gold Medal Charlie Lopez

Youth Boys (Discus)

Gold Medal Michael Waterman

Youth Boys (Shot-put)

Gold Medal Michael Waterman

Youth Girls (Discus)

Gold Medal Jennifer Flores

Youth Boys (300m Racewalk)

Gold Medal Matt Johnson

Intermediate Boys (Shot-put)

Bronze Medal Taylor Walden

Intermediate Boys (Discus)

Bronze Medal Waylon Quotskuya

Youth Boys (High Jump)

Gold Medal Michael Waterman

Intermediate Boys (High Jump)

Gold Medal Daniel Bunting

Silver Medal Waylon Quotskuya

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