Pratt Institute, Brooklyn (2/3)… From an initial field of more than 10,000 girls and young women from all over the East Coast, some 224 of the nation’s best athletes have persevered through four preliminary meets and a semi-finals at Pratt Institute to earn spots in the finals of the Colgate Women’s Games to be held Saturday, February 23, 2013 at the Armory Track in New York City, beginning at 10AM.
The 39th 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 the Armory.
The Semi-finals this past Saturday at Pratt featured several close races that decided front-runners headed to the finals:
In the High School division, returning champion and Colgate Games’ record holder Sandreeka Bancroft of Cardozo High School in Queens won the 55-meter hurdles in 8.36, ahead of Brigitte Pewu who finished in 8.50. The pair traded wins all season and will compete for first place with Bancroft up by five points; In the 200 meters, Courtney Washington of Philadelphia prevented Lauren Lyons of Cardinal Spellman in the Bronx from completing a perfect season. Washington stunned the crowd by crossing the tape ahead of Lyons for the first time this season, 26.08 to 26.38; In the 400 meters, Briel Biggs of Manhattan’s Frederick Douglass Academy upset Brooklyn’s Ja’Nai Cameron of Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers Prep School with her first win all season. Biggs finished in 59.98 just a head of Cameron’s 60.04. The pair head to the finals with Cameron up by five points; In the shot put Keziann Jones of Brooklyn’s Boys and Girls High School tossed 10.88M to retain the lead over Egypt Parker of the Bronx who tossed 10.55M.
Brooklyn’s Shayla Broughton was the only High School competitor to finish undefeated in the series. Broughton cleared 5’2” at the semis, and heads to the finals having cleared 5’6” in earlier meets. Broughton’s daughter Solange is also a high jump finalist in the Elementary A division.
In the Mid School division, Sydni Townsend of St. Cyril School in Pennsylvania made it a perfect season, after winning every 200 and 400 meters throughout the series. Townsend opted for the 400 and crossed the tape in 59.6; Gabrielle Wilkinson of Friend’s Central in Pennsylvania, also enjoyed a perfect season by winning every 800 and 1500 meters. Wilkinson, who began competing in the Colgate Women’s Games in the Elementary A division, and holds the Elementary B 800 meters record (2:18.80), opted for the 1500 meters on Saturday and won the race in 4:41.34.
In the Elementary A division, five of six events featured undefeated competitors heading to the finals. Newcomer Avery Lewis of Friends’ Central won the 55 meters every week, including the semi-finals, which she won in 8.52; Jada Mora of PS 347 in the Bronx took the 55 meter-hurdles every week, and won the semi finals race in 12.14; Sabrina Imes of The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA won the 400 meters all season, and finished Saturday in 70.9; Jamilah Jackson of PS 315 in Brooklyn won every 800 meters this season, including the semis which she took in 2:43.65; and Shaniya Williams heads to the finals undefeated after clearing 3’8” in the high jump.
In the College / Open division, national champion and long-time Games’ competitor Amber Williams of Parsippany, NJ finished with another perfect season in the 200 and 400 meters. Williams won the 400 meters semi-finals race in 58.29.
Meet Director and Colgate Women’s Games’ founder Fred Thompson said, “We are very encouraged to see so many talented young people truly excelling at something they love to do. The Games’ aren’t just about producing Olympians and national champions. Thousands of girls are learning to compete and finding that their hard work pays off.”
Thompson thanked all of those who make a difference in the lives of participants.
“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.”
Thompson also noted that the Games’ are an antidote to one of our nation’s biggest problems, an obesity academic fueled not only by poor nutrition, but a culture of inactivity.
“As millions of kids spend much of their time in cyberspace attached to their phones, tablets and computers, our girls and young women, and the parents and coaches who support them, have made the decision to disconnect and participate in the real world. Their physical activity and mental discipline will continue to make a world of difference throughout their lives.”
The finals of the 39th annual Colgate Women’s Games will take place at the New Balance Track and Field Center at the Armory in New York City on Saturday, February 23, 2013, where trophies and educational grants-in-aid from Colgate-Palmolive Company are awarded to top place finishers in each age/grade division.
The 39th annual Colgate Women’s Games are the nation’s largest amateur track and field series for girls and young women, and have produced more than 20 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.
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