Record Number of High School Shot Put Participants Suggests Key Message Reaching Schools
Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY (12/18-20)--The indoor track season got off to a fast start with the first meets of the 36th Annual Colgate Women's Games this weekend, and Sunday's event was the only track meet in New York City not cancelled.
Girls and young women from elementary school through college and beyond set the pace for the season, but the big story was Friday when more than eighty high school students competed in the shot put, an event that usually draws no more than thirty to forty girls.
Meet Director Fred Thompson said Friday's shot put turnout, suggests a different group of girls are getting the message. "Shot put typically isn't one of our popular events. Friday's crowd suggests that we're doing a better job of reaching out to athletes with a different skill set. We're happy we've attracted them to the Games and hope they stay involved for a long time." said Thompson.
Thompson says Sunday's crowd underscores the importance of the Games, and an unfortunate dearth of similar activities for girls and young women.
"Pratt was filled with thousands of people, from as far as Philadelphia and Maryland, all the way up to Boston. This isn't just another competitive track meet; it's a culture," says Thompson. "Everywhere you look is another heartwarming story of success, a changed life, or a multi-generational triumph, and we've been doing it consistently for 36 years!"
In the High School Shot Put, Teaneck's Apresha Hampton took first with a 12.45-meter toss, beating out Brooklyn's Adrienne Alexander, who threw 12.24.
Kali Kendall, a freshman at Brooklyn's Bishop Loughlin High School won the 1500 in 4:52.9.
Pelham Prep Academy's Whitney Fountain took the 55 Meters in 7.0 seconds and the 200 Meters in 24.9 seconds.
Benjamin Cardozo's Lateisha "Lala" Philson breezed through the 55 Meter Hurdles t in 8.2 seconds.
In Middle School action, Queen's Sandreka Bancroft of Junior High School 231 came in first in the 55 Meter Hurdles in 8.7 seconds. Olivia Baker of South Orange, NJ, finished in 60.4 seconds, to win the 400 Meters.
Four preliminaries and semi finals determine who will compete for trophies and educational grants-in-aid from Colgate-Palmolive Company at Madison Square Garden, on Saturday, January 30th.
The Games have produced 22 former Olympians, hundreds of age/grade division national champions and countless changed lives. Coaches, college recruiters, participants, family and friends can follow scores and results each week at ColgateGames.com.