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Her Eighth Straight Gold

By Frank Rizzo
BINGHAMTON — August 1, 2000 – Carrie Gorton, formerly of Roscoe and now of Sparrowbush, won her eighth straight gold medal in the open women’s javelin Friday at the 23rd annual Empire State Games.
The 2000 ESG were held in Binghamton and the surrounding area.
Gorton, who holds the longest current winning streak at the Games, had unexpected competition at the SUNY-Binghamton track complex.
After three (of six) throws she trailed Lindsay Stephenson of Hamburg 41.76 meters to 41.44 (137-0 to 135-11).
“I was nervous because I haven’t been training and you never know who’s going to show up,” Gorton said after her win. “The past few years the competition hasn’t been as strong, but once in a while you have a woman who shows up who’s decent.”
Stephenson, Gorton noted, “was a concern. She took the lead for a while and that was my own fault. My throws were below average in reference to my career.”
Gorton set the ESG record of 50.72 meters (166-5) at the ’96 Games in Buffalo.
But on her fourth attempt Gorton reclaimed the lead with a 43.42-meter (142-5) effort, and on her fifth clinched the gold when the spear traveled 46.70 meters (153-2).
Stephenson placed second with a 45.26 (148-6).
Gorton has been competing at the ESG since 1987 — she qualified in the shot put then — when she was between her soph and junior years at Roscoe Central School.
Asked what she would do differently next year Gorton replied, “Train! I took the javelin out of the closet the day before the trials.”
Gorton received some sideline help from Hudson Valley region coach Robert Decker — who is the weights coach at Monticello HS.
“I ran over to Mr. Decker and said, ‘I know I’m guilty of not practicing,. but what’s the main thing I’m doing wrong?’”
The adjustments Decker suggested were in the position of her elbow and her approach speed.
“If I lost today I’d be upset because (Stephenson) would have beaten me on my worst day, and not my best,” Gorton reflected.
Gorton works in the Port Jervis Middle School as a counselor.
Though she had talked of trying out for the 2000 Olympics, the lack of a full-time trainer made the quest difficult, although Gorton hasn’t ruled out the 2004 Olympics.
“Women javelin throwers typically reach their peak in the early 30s,” Gorton, 29, pointed out.
In the meantime, she still has the Empire State Games.
“I’ll keep going as long as I can do reasonably well.”

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