The 37th annual Colgate Women’s Games saw three long-standing records fall and a fourth tied at Pratt Institute, in a season that also featured record-breaking participation. More than 11,500 girls and young women travelled each week from as far north as Boston and as far south as Virginia, and one young lady travelled all the way from Chicago to run.
That competitors and parents are committed to get to Brooklyn from so far away, up to five times and back, through any weather is a testimony to the importance of the Colgate Games. The games have become a proving ground for the nation’s best talent and a stepping-stone for countless young women that go on to college and become successful productive citizens.
Meet Director Fred Thompson said the games are not only for Olympic hopefuls and national champions. “Well over 11,000 girls enjoyed a great season, made new friends and had a positive experience that will last a lifetime. Thousands will come back every year and their lives will be changed for the better.”
Among the 217 finalists of all ages at Madison Square Garden, the event is a showcase for several Olympic hopefuls and national champions and performances at Madison Square Garden were outstanding. Here are this year’s Special Award winners and additional outstanding performances:
Gabrielle Wilkinson, 11 of Upper Darby, PA who broke the Elementary B record in the 800 meters (2:18.8) – ran a 2:21.02 at the Garden and took home the Jackie Joyner Kersee Trophy for Outstanding Competitor at Madison Square Garden
Sandreka Bancroft of Queens, N.Y. who broke a 27-year-old record in the Mid School 55-meter Hurdles (7.9) – ran an 8.37 at the Garden and took home the Bill Cosby Trophy for the Outstanding Competitor at Pratt.
Kassidy Frankson of Manhattan who tied a 28-year record in the Elementary A 55 meters (8.0) ran the race at The Garden in 8.21 and was awarded the Fred Thompson Trophy for the Most Improved Competitor.
Taylor Parsons of Maryland ran the High School 200 meters in 25.69 and won the Donna DeVerona Trophy for Most Promising Newcomer.
Lateisha Philson of Queens, N.Y. who broke the High School 55-meter Hurdles (7.6) ran an 8.19 at The Garden, Claudia Francis of Queens ran her best race of the season, and possibly a national best this year in the 800 meters in 2:11.41; and Joanne Imbert of Valley Stream, N.Y. cleared the high jump bar at 5’9” for the third time this season.