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Rugby student wins state free throw championship

A Rugby Middle School student won the State Foul Shooting Championship in the 12- and 13-year-old girls division on Feb. 12 and is headed to a regional competition next month.

After winning the annual Elk's Lodge Hoop Shoot State Final, Aunica Tomlinson will now move on to the Regional Final hosted in Fredrick, Maryland, on March 12, competing against state champions from Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Virginia and West Virginia. Prior to winning the state competition, Tomlinson won the first two rounds and represented the Western North Carolina district at state. She competed against the three other districts and won by sinking 18 out of 25 shots.
The Elks “Hoop Shoot” Free Throw Contest is the largest and most visible of the many youth activities sponsored by Elks Lodges. More than 3 million boys and girls, ages 8-13, will participate this year. The Elks “Hoop Shoot” highlights the Elks commitment to America's youth. From the millions of youngsters who participate and advance through local, district, state and regional competition, six national champions are named — one boy and one girl in each of three categories: ages 8-9, 10-11 and 12-13.

The winners each receive a trophy and their names are inscribed on a plaque at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. Parents accompany contestants throughout the competition. The parents of finalists at the state, regional and national levels attend the competitions as guests of the Elks.