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Lori Brown | Democrat

Merton Lockhart of Grahamsville holds his javelin in his right hand while proudly wearing the three gold medals he won in the discus, javelin and shot put events in the Masters Division at the recent Empire State Games in Buffalo.

Merton Lockhart wins gold medals at the Empire State Games

By Lori Brown
GRAHAMSVILLE — August 6, 2010 — Merton Lockhart had a successful trip to the 2010 Empire State Games, which were held from July 21-25 in Buffalo.
The Grahamsville resident returned home with three gold medals.
Lockhart participated in the Masters Division men’s 80-84 age group and won gold medals in the javelin, shot put and discus events.
He earned gold in the javelin with a throw of 21.38 meters (70.14 feet). His winning distance in the shot put was 7.14 meters (23.43 ft.) and his winning distance in the discus was 16.62 meters (54.53 ft.).
“The experience at the Empire State Games was great,” Lockhart said.
“Driving around trying to find the track was quite an experience, as we got lost,” he continued. “My wife, Joyce, supports me and accompanies me to most of the games.”
The age groups in the Masters Division are broken down into five-year increments. The Empire State Games also feature competitions in Scholastic and Open Divisions.
At certain age levels, the Empire State Games officials change the weight of the javelin, discus and shot put. For Lockhart’s age group, the javelin weighs 400 grams (.88 lbs.), the discus is .75 kilograms (1.65 lbs.) and the shot put is 3 kilograms (6.61 lbs.).
In 2007, Lockhart went through quadruple bypass open heart surgery. He has also battled lung cancer.
“As of right now, Sloan-Kettering Cancer Hospital is still keeping an eye on it,” he said of the cancer.
Lockhart started his Empire State Games career in 1991 by competing in swimming events. He competed in the New York State Senior games first and learned about the Empire State Games from other people.
He attended a prep school in Heightstown, N.J. to learn how to better his skills in the javelin.
Now at the age 80, Lockhart competes in the three track and field events of javelin, shot put and discus.
To prepare for the Empire State Games, he practices at home and practices putting the shot at the Tri-Valley Central School track.
In his trips to past Empire State Games, Lockhart won medals in swimming and the javelin.
“I am going to go as long as I can and do the best I can,” Lockhart said of competing at the Empire State Games in the future.
“I enjoy the camaraderie, too,” he added.

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