The final preliminary meet of the nation’s largest track series, the Colgate Women’s Games, featured some of the East Coast’s best athletic talent, as competitors of all ages set the national pace with fast times and excellent performances.
A pair of teammates from Queens stood out at the January 14 meet at the Pratt institute in Brooklyn, as Sandreeka Bancroft, a former mid-school record breaker, returning as a freshman at Cardozo High School in Queens, stayed undefeated in the 55 meter hurdles, after her series-best performance, (8.1). Teammate Latisha Philson, a senior at Cardozo also made it a perfect series after matching her best in the 55-meter dash, (6.9).
Athletic success extended to the city’s other boroughs as well, with Brooklyn’s Sandrae Farquharson from Medgar Evers College Prep, winning the 200 meters in 24.8 and the 400 meters in 56.3 in the high school division – both scores were her best times this year.
The Bronx was represented as well, with Egypt Parker, of the Learning Tree, leading throughout the series in the shot put, tossing 9.85 meters. Brianna Brown of P.S. 6X in the Bronx, one of the youngest participants, scored double wins throughout the series in the 55-meter dash and 200 meters. Also in the College/Open division Tara DiLuca of the Bronx, won her fourth 55 meter hurdles race, in 8.3.
Meet director Fred Thompson said that the Games are among the nation’s most competitive meets, but the true benefits go beyond athletic excellence.
“Thousands of girls each year have a great time learning how to compete, and will draw on these skills throughout their lives,” he said. “They’ll learn how to work hard and challenge themselves, discovering how fast and how far they can go. It’s not just about those who become national champions or even Olympians, it’s more about the countless young people whose lives have been positively influenced by this experience.”
From an initial field of more than 11,000, some 430 top point scorers will compete in the semi-finals at Pratt to determine who will face each other at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, January 28, 2012, where trophies and educational grants-in-aid from Colgate-Palmolive Company are awarded to top place finishers in each age/grade division.
Coaches, recruiters, athletes and fans can follow scores each week at Colgategames.com. Tickets to the Colgate Women’s Games Finals are free. To order tickets, please visit www.colgategames.com, the MSG box office or www.ticketmaster.com.