NY Novas Open Up Indoor Track And Field Season
It is the nation’s largest amateur track series open to all girls from elementary school through college. Held at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute, competitors participate in preliminary meets and semi-finals over five weekends throughout January. Finalists compete for trophies and educational grants-in-aid from Colgate- Palmolive Company at New York’s Madison Square Garden in February.
On Saturday, December 18, Rockaway Novas attended their first meets of the games. Jacqueline Saunders competed in Mid School Division with 55-meter dash and 200-meter dash.
Amelia Prince raced in College/Open Division with the 55-meter dash and the 200-meter dash. Novas’ assistant coach, Mitsuko Washington, participated in the 30s plus division and competed in the 200-meter dash and 1500-meter run. Saunders and Washington returned to Pratt Institute on New Year’s Eve to compete in the second meets.
On Sunday, December 19, Elementary A (first through third grades) and B (fourth through fifth grades) Division was held at the same location.
Novas young runners, Felicity Hutchinson, Victoria Prince, Ledgm Washington, Keeaira Saunders and Jada Smith, all competed in the 55- meter dash. Hutchinson, Prince, Washing ton and Smith raced in the 200-meter dash also.
They competed on January 2 at the second meets. The Pratt Institute Activity Center was filled with the excitement of many athletes and their friends and families on every meet.
On Tuesday, December 28, two silvers and a gold medal were brought home by two very determined boys from Novas. Timothy Grimes and Daikichi Washington traveled in snow to the Armory Track and Field Center in Washington Heights to attend Armory Youth/Open/Masters Holiday Classic.
They both competed in Midget Division of Long Jump and High Jump. Washington jumped 12’8” long, came in second place, Grimes jumped 10’4 1/2” long and came in sixth place. In the high jump, Washington leaped 4’6” high (not to mention he is 4’11” tall) to win first place and Grimes cleared 3’6” to finish second. “On my last try (of 4 feet), I knew I didn’t make it because I felt my elbow hit the bar,“ Grimes said about his jump. It was his first indoor meet and Grimes showed his strong potential for field events.
On his last attempt of 5-feet, Washington’s body cleared the bar, but his ankle hit it and he dropped on the pit. “It was higher than my height but I really thought I could make it,“ said Washington. Though he wasn’t able to clear 5-feet high, he was still happy bringing the gold back home.
They both teamed up with the members of another track club from the Lower East Side, “Kids On The Go,“ andracedinthe4x200-meterRelay.