East coast track stars shine at Colgate meet

Charnice Anderson of Paul Robeson wins the 55-meter run.
Photo by Lem Peterkin

The final preliminary meet of the nation’s largest track series, the Colgate Women’s Games, featured some of the East Coast’s best athletic talent, many achieving their personal best scores of the season, as thousands of participants of all ages competed for a spot in the semi-finals to be held at Pratt on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016.

In the High School division on Friday, Brooklyn’s Paul Robeson national relay champions swept all four of their events when Charnice Anderson (7.0) upset first place Iantha Wright (7.01) of St. John’s Prep in Queens by .01 seconds; Alyssa Sandy won the 55-meter hurdles in another personal best (7.94) of all Colgate Games’ meets, remaining undefeated through all of last season as well; Latoya Stewart placed first in the 200 Meters again in her best time this season (25.33); and Amanda Crawford won the 400 meters in 56.73, also a personal best.

In the Mid School division, Anjoli Mathew of Lincoln Middle School in Brookline, MA made it four straight undefeated meets with her win in the hurdles in 8.44. The Junior Olympic medalist travels nearly five hours each way each week from Massachusetts to run about 8.5 seconds. Also on Saturday, steadily improvingChidumga Nkulume of Union New Jersey upset undefeated Brianna Brown of Bronx Latin Middle School in the 55 meters, with her best performance of the series, 7.18. Brown began as an Elementary A competitor, one of the series youngest participants in 2012 and enjoyed a perfect season and first place overall each year since, while newcomer Nkulume began week one in 8th place in the 200 meters, and quickly climbed to second behind Brown in the 55 and 200 each meet since, until this upset. Brown won the 200 meters again with her best performance of the series 25.73.

Avery Lewis of Wynnewood, PA, who officials have called one of the nation’s fastest girl her age every year since her seventh birthday, scored her own personal best on Sunday in the Elementary B 55 meters (7.47). The Fourth grader, who holds two Elementary A records in the 55M and 200M continues to improve, dominating girls in fifth and sixth grades as she remains one of the fastest girls in the nation at age 10.

Alyssa Sandy wins the 55-meter hurdles in another personal best (7.94).
Photo by Lem Peterkin

Meet Director Cheryl Toussaint thanked all participants, and said this year’s competition featured many of the nation’s best athletes at every level. “This season we witnessed dozens of participants achieving their personal best in the final preliminary. That’s usually a mark of great coaching and support. We’re hoping to see even better performances and more impressive improvement in the semi-finals and finals to come.”

Several athletes, including some returning for multiple years, travelled many hours and hundreds of miles throughout the season. “The number of girls who arrive each week from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and as far as Georgia, Massachusetts and Buffalo, NY is testament to the importance of the Games. What’s truly amazing is the drive these young ladies have to travel such great distances to improve their craft!”

From thousands of participants, some 430 top point scorers will compete in a semi-finals on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 at Pratt to determine who will compete at the New Balance Track and Field Center at the Armory, NYC on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, where trophies and educational grants-in-aid from Colgate-Palmolive Company are awarded to top place finishers in each 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.

Tickets to the Armory finals are free by request at Colgategames.com.

My’Khiyah Williams makes it over the bar.
Photo by Lem Peterkin

More from Around NYC