Temple topples state’s best

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 4, 2005

During his time at Forest Glen Middle School and Lakeland High, Tim Temple tossed around a few overweighted Frisbees (otherwise known as a discus) and a miniature cannonball (commonly called the shotput). But until he moved to Missouri two years ago, he’d never tossed around a hammer.

&uot;I learned the basics (at Lakeland) from coach Greg Rountree and Vincent Pugh,&uot; said Temple, 17, now of Columbia. &uot;I didn’t do too well at shotput, but I learned the basics.&uot;

Last summer, Temple headed to a track camp at the University of Missouri, where he noticed the hammer throw.

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&uot;I’d seen it a few times on television, and I thought it looked fun,&uot; he said. &uot;The rotation is different, and it takes a lot more speed.&uot;

Over the next few weeks, it became a part of his training repertoire.

&uot;I try and practice two or three times a week, and every day during track season,&uot; he said. In May 2004, competing in the Show Me State Games, Temple won the javelin, hammer and discus in 15-16 boys competition. Over the past school year, he made it to the district finals in the discus.

Early in the summer, he went back to the Show Me games. This time, he faced 17- and 18-year-olds from across the state, and took second in javelin and hammer throwing.

&uot;That got really tough,&uot; he said. &uot;Moving from 15-16 to 17-18 was crazy.&uot;

In June, he headed to the USA Track and Field State Games in Knoxville, Tenn. to throw the hammer. Battling the best 17- and 18-year-olds in the country, Temple came in sixth.

&uot;I’ll be back next year,&uot; said Temple, who hopes to attend UMI and study criminology, intending to become a cop.