East Coast Track Stars Head to Finals of Nation's Largest Track & Field Series for Girls

15th Jan 2020

Felicia Blake and Jam Shakwi Honored as "Coaches of the Year" at 46th Annual Colgate Women's Games

BROOKLYN, N.Y.Jan. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- From an initial field of thousands from all over the East Coast, some 230 top point-scorers in divisions from elementary school-through-college-and-beyond, have earned their way to the finals of the nation's largest track series for girls, the 46th annual Colgate Women's Games.  


The Semi-finals featured Olympic hopefuls in every age division continuing to set or retain nationally leading scores and achieve personal records as they prepare to compete on February 1, 2020 at the Armory Track in New York City for trophies and educational grants-in-aid from Colgate Palmolive Company.  The Colgate Women's Games boast 26 Olympic alumnae, Hall of Fame athletes, hundreds of Junior Olympians, age-division national champions, and countless changed lives. 


Meet Director Cheryl Toussaint honored two "Coaches of the Year" for their long-time support of women's track and field and the Colgate Women's Games.

Felicia Blake, Head Coach of the West Orange High School Track and Field and Cross Country teams, has competed in the Colgate Women's Game herself, and has brought busloads of young participants from East and West Orange since 1980.

Jam Shakwi, Head Track Coach at Bronx High School and The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, NY, has been the USATF Youth Chair and Meet Director for the Gotham City Track and Field Festival. Toussaint said he has been instrumental in developing young talent in field events; including shot put champions and coaching athletes from elementary school through college since 2004.

"Ms. Blake and Mr. Shakwi represent two of very many caring and committed coaches.  Their skills and dedication help produce some of today's best young track and field athletes who are sure to become tomorrow's leaders and most successful citizens in all walks of life," Toussaint said.

"The Colgate Women's Games encourages young people to strive to challenge themselves in an atmosphere of friendly competition as a means to empower them with self-esteem that will last a lifetime," she said.

Toussaint also thanked all coaches, parents and friends of this year's participants, "Thank you for your incredible selfless efforts to get to Pratt, some from great distances throughout the series. Each of you makes a tremendous contribution toward a more positive future for those you encourage and support. We hope you have enjoyed every minute of your experience, and will join us to celebrate and cheer on our finalists at the Armory Track on February 1, 2020."   

In the High School Division,
Dayahanna Douglas, from Brooklyn's Midwood High School, won the 55 meters in 7.39; Tia Taylor of St. Basil Academy in Jenkintown, PA won the 55 meter-hurdles in 8.36; and Brianna White of Brooklyn's Bishop Loughlin High School won the 200 meters in 25.87.

Jadah Fitzgerald of John Adams High School in Queens, NY won the 400 meters in 57.88, her best time of the series and a new personal best.  Adia Palmer of Bishop Loughlin won the 800 meters in 2:19.28 ; Maya Dorer, from Brooklyn's St. Joseph High School, remained undefeated with her win in the 1500 meters in 4:46.4.

Bianca Staples of Valley Central in Montgomery, NY cleared 5'2 for the high jump win, and Danae Hill of West Orange High School, NJ, won the shot put with a toss of 12.30.

Five Mid School Athletes Achieve Personal Records
Four-time Colgate Women's Games' record-holder Avery Lewis of Friends' Central in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, won the 55 meters in 7.32; and Ron-niah Wright of Richards Middle School, Stone Mountain, GA won the 55 meter-hurdles in 8.65.

Abigail Charles of Fox Lane Middle School in Bedford, NY won the 200 meters in 27.31, her best of the series and a personal record.  Kaela Swift of Success Academy in Brooklyn won the 400 meters in 1:00.6; and Damira Allen of Northley Middle School in Aston, PA won the 800 meters in 2:21:05, a new personal record.

Leilani Gibson of Engineering Science University Magnet School in West Haven, CT won the 1500 meters in 4:58.5 her best time of the series, and also a new personal record.  Alanna Woolfolk of Clayton Middle School, NJ cleared the high jump bar at 5'6" for the win and a new personal record; and Shalisha Robertson of Betsy Ross Arts Magnet School in New Haven, CT won the shot put with a toss of 10.75, also a new personal record.

In the Elementary B Division
- 55 meters - Sophia Cope of Terrill Middle School in Scotch Plains, NJ crossed the tape in 8.26
- 55 meter-hurdles - Savannah Minter of PS 153 in the Bronx won in 11.45
- 200 meters - Rhia Randolph of Philip's Academy in Newark, NJ won the 200 meters in 28.06
- 400 meters - Soleil Kelly of Lower Gywnedd Elementary School in Ambler, PA placed first in 1:05, her best time of the series.
- 800 meters - Paige Sheppard of St. Bartholomew Academy in Scotch Plains, NJ won in the 800 meters in her best time of the series, 2:28.23
- High jump - Alyssa Durant of Happy Hallow Middle School, Boston, MA cleared the bar at 4'7" for a new personal record.

In the Elementary A Division
- 55 meters - Jennifer Thomas of Icahn Charter School Scotch Plains, NJ placed first in 8.77
- 200 meters - Genisa Modestin of PS375 in Brooklyn, won with her best time of the series, 32.29
- 400 meters - Sahmira Dixson of West Belmar Elementary in Wall Township, NJ placed first in 1:16.2
- 800 meters - Chelsea Smith of Aquinas Academy in Livingston, NJ remained undefeated through the series with her win in 2:44.85
- High jump  - Addison Bligen of Memorial Spaulding in Boston cleared 3'2" for the win.

College/Open and 30's Plus competitors featured nationally ranked athletes, several of who have competed since elementary school. Their results are available at colgategames.com

The finals of the 46th annual Colgate Women's Games will take place on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at the Armory Track, NYC.   Tickets to the finals are free and open to all by request at colgategames.com or via email 232800@email4pr.com