From an initial field of more than 10,000 girls and young women from all over the East Coast, 210 of the nation’s best athletes have persevered through four preliminary meets and a semi-finals at Pratt Institute to earn spots in the Madison Square Garden finals of the Colgate Women’s Games to be held this Saturday, January 28 beginning at 10:00 a.m.
The 38th annual series featured some of the nation’s top talent from every age/grade division, with returning champions and local newcomers sharing the spotlight, including several who remain undefeated headed to Madison Square Garden.
In the shot put finals held earlier this week, Egypt Parker of Learning Tree Prep in the Bronx had her best toss of the year, 10.04M. The 13-year-old newcomer to the Colgate Women’s Games dominated the Mid School division shot put all series.
Returning mid school champions who finished undefeated after Saturday were: Jameelah Muhammad of Philadelphia’s Harambee Institute of Science and Technology, won the 55 meters in 7.39; Tia Livingston of Quibbletown Middle School in Piscataway, took the 55-meter hurdles in 8.6; Brooklyn Broadwater, from Philadelphia’s AMY Northwest School, won the 400 Meters in 59.04; and Shayla Broughton of IS 202 in Brooklyn, cleared 5’2” to win the high jump.
An Elementary B high jump record was set this year when MyKhiyah Williams of Brooklyn’s Ocean Hill Collegiate Charter School cleared 4’8” in the second preliminary. Williams, who repeated 4’8” in the final preliminary, and again at the semi finals, has raised the bar by six inches since last year when her best jump of 4’2” made her the Elementary A champion.
In the Elementary A division, Briana Brown of PS 6 in the Bronx had a perfect season, scoring double wins in the 55 meters and 200 meters each meet. Her fist place finish in the 200 meters at the semi finals was also her season’s best, 29.72.
In the High School division, returning freshman Sandreeka Bancroft of Cardozo High School in Queens who holds the mid school record in the 55-meter hurdles, crossed the tape in 8.25 on Saturday. Teammate Latisha Philson, a senior at Cardozo and the high school 55-meter hurdles record holder, chose the 55-meter dash this year and also finished undefeated after her 7.21 performance at the Semis.
Kenae Taylor, another former mid-school champion, now a freshman at Philadelphia’s Engineering and Science High School, remained undefeated after finishing with her best race of the year in the 800 meters, (2:20.34).
Other notable high school leaders include Brooklyn’s Sandrae Farquharson of Medgar Evers College Prep, who won the 400 meters in 58.09; and the Bronx Strunkey twins, Ariel and Arianne of Holcombe Ruckers High school, who finished in first and second place in the 200 meters, in 25.74 and 25.77 respectively.
In the College/Open division, Amber Williams of Parsippany, NJ made it a perfect season scoring double wins each week in the 200 and 400 meters. She won the 400 meters Saturday in 57.04.
Fred Thompson says the number of returning champions and promising newcomers that finished in first place this season are nearly perfectly balanced.
“This is a great sign that the sport is alive and well, and that our meets are still attracting top talent, with performances that remain the national benchmarks to beat. The Madison Square Garden finals will spotlight some of the nation’s best athletes from every division.”
Thompson also thanked the parents and coaches of all the participants for their support. “Every parent and coach that supported their kids by bringing them to Brooklyn each week, including hundreds that travelled great distances, should know that they’ve made an outstanding contribution to these kids that will have a positive impact throughout their lives,” he said.
During the finals of the 38th annual Colgate Women’s Games trophies and educational grants-in-aid from Colgate-Palmolive Company will be awarded to top place finishers in each age/grade division.
The Big Apple Circus will provide entertainment during the intermission/track reconfiguration, at approximately 1:00 p.m.