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SC's Special Olympics team excels in 2014 games

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NEWARK, N.J. (WCIV) -- South Carolina's Special Olympics team is proving to be a competitive force at the 2014 games in New Jersey.

"There's been some pretty cool stuff go down this week so far. Not only is Team SC doing great but all of the delegations here are accomplishing some pretty awesome things," said Leigh Cheatham, the team's media representative.

The doubles tennis teams have been dominant with the team of Darryl Malone and Stevie Betros, of Charleston, taking fourth place finishes just off the medal platform; pairs Chris McPherson and Eric Perez, of Hilton Head, and Stephanie Mack and Kylie MacFarland, of Charleston, all earning the bronze medal; Demi Harper and Netties Howerin, of Columbia, earning silver, and Columbia's John Doudoukjian III and John Doudoukjian Jr. won gold.

Rock Hill's Scott Rohrer won the gold in golf, and Kathleen Stoller won silver with more medals being awarded on Thursday as play wraps up.

Charleston's Tate Mikell and Columbia's Travis Luthren earned gold medals in swimming.

South Carolina's basketball teams are competing Thursday and the flag football team kicked off it's gold medal match Thursday morning.

South Carolina's soccer team has a pair of games lined up for Thursday against Florida and Maryland in the hunt for a medal, but lost a close match to Nebraska on Wednesday.

The gymnastics, aquatics, and track and field teams are also competing Thursday.

Earlier in the week, the SC Assassins from Sumter High School beat Oklahoma in their first game but lost to Rhode Island in their second. They turned around to a rematch against Oklahoma followed by a match against Indiana.

In powerlifting, Columbia's Jackson Ware finished fourth in bench press, deadlift and squat despite a wrist injury.

Cheatham said a member of New Jersey's basketball team his a buzzer-beating three-pointer to send the game to overtime. It was featured on ESPN Sports Center's Top 10.

"Over the past few nights we've all be on a dinner cruise around New York Harbor. It's been amazing to see the New York City skyline. Another cool tidbit has been that all this week the Empire State building has been lit up in the USA Games colors, Yellow, blue and red, It's been a pretty cool site to see," she said.

The teams have even run into a few celebrities and a familiar face in Mount Pleasant Maj. Stan Gragg who ran the final leg of the torch run. He escorted the team into the opening ceremonies.

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