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Olympic athletes in our own backyard

July 11, 2008 - Craig Harvey
Growing up in Jamestown, I watched possibly one of the greatest basketball players in Jamestown High School history in Maceo Wofford.

Fans would pack the McElrath Gymnasium every home game to watch this phenom. When his high school career ended, Wofford went on to play at Iona. I always wondered how someone of his talent could only get to Iona and how good someone must be to get a scholarship to Duke or North Carolina.

I thought to myself, "Wow, Chautauqua County will never be able to produce a star athlete."

Boy was I wrong.

Well my thoughts may be shared by many, as it will take a special person to make it to a powerhouse college and be an immediate impact player in one of the four major sports, Chautauqua County has something better.

This county is home to the United State's No. 1 pole vaulter who will represent the U.S.A. in the Olympics in Jenn Stuczynski.

Meanwhile, Jamestown High School graduate Sheldon Battle competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the shot put.

Though he did not qualify for Beijing, I dare someone to find me two athletes that competed at the Olympic trials that are from the some county.

With Battle being only 25 years old and Stuczynski only 26, I can imagine both will have a strong chance to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games.

Chautauqua County has some of the finest athletes around. Thanks to Stuczynski and Battle, we are quickly realizing how special this area is.


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