First time competitors and returning national champions shared the spotlight recently, as the nation’s largest track and field series for women, the Colgate Women’s Games returned to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Standing room only crowds cheered on star athletes from ages seven to seventy, from all over the East Coast as they set a fast pace for the opening of the indoor season; and Friday night’s High School meets ran long as participation in the High School Shot Put swelled to double the average number of participants.
In the High School division, national champion Zola Golden of Poughkeepsie scored a double win in the 200 meters (26.) and 400 Meters (58.6); Freshman Gabrielle Wilkinson of Friends Central Academy in Wynnewood PA won the 1500 meters in 4:51.8; Returning High Jump champion Shayla Braughton of Medgar Evers College Prep cleared 5’4” for the win, and returning Shot Put champion Egypt Parker of St. Catharine Academy, Bronx won with a toss of 12.76 M.
The Shot Put participation swelled to a record numbers of participants and Meet Director Cheryl Toussaint said that publicity about recent outstanding performances have helped spread the word. “The Colgate Games are truly inclusive and the Shot Put provides another way for students other than runners to compete in athletics, a crucial part of building self-esteem.“
In the College/Open division World Games Champion Samantha Edwards ran a 7.0 in the 55 meters. Edwards recently joined the Virginia State University athletic staff as a Graduate Assistant, and holds 10 NCAA All-American honors and is the school’s most decorated Student Athlete of all time. New Jersey’s Breaisha Morton won the 200 meters in 26.1, and the High Jump, clearing 5’4”.
The Elementary A, B and Middle School divisions saw hundreds of newcomers competing with returning student athletes all hoping to earn their way to the finals to be held at the Armory in New York City on Feb. 7, 2015.
Toussaint said “We were pleased to see so many familiar faces back at Pratt Institute, where the Colgate Women’s Games began. All weekend around the track, veteran national champions encouraged novice newcomers as families enjoyed a day of watching their kids in friendly competition. I think all of our officials, and our returning participants would agree that especially so close to the holidays, it’s really nice to come home to Pratt.“
Three more preliminary meets and semi-finals at Pratt will determine finalists who will compete at The Armory 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 several 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.