From an initial field of more than 11,000 girls and young women from all over the East Coast, 217 of the nation’s best athletes have persevered through four preliminary meets and a semi-finals at Pratt to earn spots in the Madison Square Garden finals of the Colgate Women’s Games.
The 37th annual series saw record-breaking attendance at Pratt; record-breaking participation approaching 11,500 competitors; and three long-standing records fall in the Elementary B, Mid School and High School divisions. (Gabrielle Wilkinson, 11 of Upper Darby, PA- 800 Meters 2:18.8), (Sandreka Bancroft, Queens, N.Y. 55-meter hurdles 7.9) and Lateisha Philson, Queens, N.Y. 55-meter hurdles 7.6)
At the semi-finals on Saturday all three record breakers made it a perfect season with first-place finishes in their division. Gabrielle ran the Elementary B 800 meters in 2:25.51, Sandreka finished the Mid School hurdles in 8.26, and Lateshia won the High School hurdles in 8.22
Also on Saturday, in the High School High Jump, Joanne Imbert of Valley Stream High School cleared the bar at 5’9” and heads to the Garden looking for just one more inch to tie the 27-year-old record of 5’10”.
Iana Amsterdam of Newark Tech High School won the 200 meters in 26.0 beating Taylor Parson of Old Mill Senior High School (26.59). Parson traveled each week all the way from Maryland to compete. The pair head to the finals tied for first place.
In the High School shot put, Brooklyn’s Adrienne Alexander remained undefeated. Her best toss this season was 13.25M. The Shot Put Finals took place on Monday at Pratt.
Meet Director Fred Thompson said this year’s Madison Square Garden finals would spotlight some of the nation’s best athletes from every division. “With record breaking performances, some stunning upsets, and a semi-finals that saw many athletes have their season’s best races, this year’s finals is sure to be exciting.”
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.
The finals of the 37th annual Colgate Women’s Games will take place at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, Jan. 29, where trophies and educational grants-in-aid from Colgate-Palmolive Company are awarded to top place finishers in each age/grade division.
Entertainment during the intermission/track reconfiguration will be provided by Alice Tan Ridley, a finalist on “America’s Got Talent.”
Tickets to the Madison Square Garden finals are free by request at Colgategames.com.