Fast times at Colgate Women’s Games

More than 11,000 girls and young women competed last weekend in the first preliminary meet of the Colgate Women’s Games, the unofficial opening of the indoor track season.

In Friday’s High School Meet – Senior and series veteran Claudia Francis of Cardozo High School in Queens, ran a 2:15.6 in the 800 meters; Tia Cooper traveled all the way from Pencader Charter in Delaware to sprint the 55 meters in 7.1; and Joanne Imbert of Valley Stream High School in Long Island cleared 5’4” in the high jump; just a few excellent performances setting the pace early for the balance of the 2011 competition.

On Saturday in the Mid School Division, Jenny Bellefleur of Carnell School in Philadelphia scored an impressive double win, crossing the tape in the 55 meters in 7.2, and taking the 200 meters in 26.3. Brooklyn’s Shayla Broughton of PS 202 won the division’s high jump clearing the bar at 5’2.” Also on Saturday, in the College/Open Division long time participant and national champion Amber Williams of Parsippany, NJ won the 55-meter hurdles in 8.1.

Meet Director Fred Thompson said these opening performances were outstanding, especially considering the early meet dates this year. “Our opening meets are usually the last weekend of December, after the girls have had at least a few weeks more training, said Thompson. “Our schedule this season, created an early competition and these results have been pleasantly surprising.”

Four preliminary meets and a semifinals at Pratt determine finalists who will compete at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011, where trophies and educational grants-in-aid from Colgate-Palmolive Company are awarded to top place finishers in each age/grade division.

The 37th annual Colgate Women’s Games are now the nations longest running corporate-sponsored event benefiting young people, and the largest amateur track and field series for women.

The games have produced 22 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, as coaches recruiters, and sports media follow scores each week at

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