EAST COAST STARS SHINE

The final preliminary meet of the nation’s largest female track series, the Colgate Women’s Games, featured some of the East Coast’s best athletic talent as competitors of all ages continue to set the national pace with fast times, and excellent performances at the Armory, New York from Nov. 29-30.

From an initial field of more than 10,000 girls and young women, some 430 point-scorers from the preliminary meets have earned their place in the Semi-Finals to be held on Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, where they will continue to contend for a place in the finals, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013.

In the High School division, Junior Olympic Champion and Colgate Women’s Games’ record-holder Sandreeka Bancroft of Manhattan’s Benjamin Cardozo High School remains in first place after winning the 55-meter-hurdles in 8.2; Bronx Twins Arianne and Ariel Strunkey of Taft Educational Campus also repeated their victories in the 200 meters in 25.5 and 25.8 respectively.

Freshman Chelsea Ogindo of Peekskill High School upset Shaniqua Kirkpatrick, of Cardozo High School, crossing the tape first in the 1500 meters in 4:45.1; and Emilie Cowan of Columbia High School in Maplewood, NJ won the 800 meters in 2:21.6. In the High Jump, a much improved Brionna Singleton of Newark Technical High School cleared the bar at 5’6” for the win over Colgate Women’s Games veteran Shayla Broughton of Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers who took second clearing 5’2” and Egypt Parker, a sophomore at St. Catherine’s Academy in the Bronx, continues to dominate the shot put, tossing 11.95 for the win.

In the Mid School division, Sidney Townsend of St. Cyril Middle School in Landsdowne, PA improved her performance in both the 200 meters (25.6) and 400 meters (57.6) for the double win, trading places with Paris Peoples of IS 238 in Queens, NY who won both races at the first preliminary meet, sending the pair to the semi-finals tied for points.

Gabriella Wilkinson of Friends Central School in Wynnewood, PA a familiar sight in first place since Elementary A, continues undefeated and continues to impress, shaving nearly 7 seconds off her 800 meters run and finishing first in a very fast 2:13.8. Wilkinson made it a double win by taking the 1500 meters in 4:45.9; and My’khiyah Williams of Ocean Hill Collegiate Middle School in Brooklyn, NY who set the Elementary B High Jump record at 4’9” returns as a Mid School competitor, placing first in both prelims with improved 5’2” performances.

In the Elementary A division, Avery Lewis of Friends Central School in Wynnewood, PA scored a double win in the 55 meters (8.0) and 200 meters (30.0). At press time, officials are researching the 55 meters performance to determine if Lewis hand-timed 8.0 qualifies to become the 3rd tie for the division in the Colgate Women’s Games’ record books.

In the College/Open division long-time Colgate Game’s champion Amber Williams of Parsippany, NJ won the 200 meters in 25.5; and Paige Brown of Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ scored a double win finishing first in the 55 meter hurdles (8.5) and clearing 5’4” in the high jump.

Meet Director Fred Thompson said, “We were very pleased to enjoy the preliminary meets at the Armory for this special 40th annual competition. Thousands of girls who participate in the preliminary meets but don’t move forward to the finals were able to compete at a world-class venue, an experience

they will never forget.”

Another perfect mix of returning champions and rising new stars, provided excitement for the largest crowds of spectators in the Games’ forty year history, and veteran fans said the Armory accommodated all comfortably.

“The number of participants and fans prove the sport is alive and well, continuing to empower girls and young women of all levels of talent,” said Thompson. “Thousands of girls each year have a great time learning how to compete, and will draw on these skills throughout their lives. They’ll learn how to work hard and challenge themselves, discovering how fast and how far they can go. It’s not just about those who become national champions or even Olympians, it’s more about the countless young people whose lives have been positively influenced by this experience,” said Thompson.

From an initial field of more than 11,000, some 430 top point scorers will compete in a semi-finals on Sunday, Dec. 22, at the Armory to determine who will face each other the following Saturday, Dec. 28 where trophies and educational grants-in-aid from Colgate-Palmolive Company are awarded to top place finishers in each age/grade division.

The Colgate Women’s Games have produced more than 20 Olympians, hundreds of age/grade division national champions, and countless changed lives. Each year, high school participants are among the most heavily recruited athletes by colleges and universities across the nation. Coaches, recruiters, athletes and fans can follow scores each week at Colgategames.com.

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