UPDATED: West Orange HS girls track and field and cross-country coach Flecia Blake honored as Coach of the Year for Colgate Games

Photo Courtesy of woboe.org.
Flecia Blake, far right, poses with her 2017 West Orange High School girls cross-country team that won the Super Essex Conference-American Division regular season title with a 9-0 mark.

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Flecia Blake, the head coach of the West Orange High School girls track and field and cross-country teams, was one of two coaches honored as Coaches of the Year for her long-time support of women’s track and field and the Colgate Women’s Games. The 46th annual Colgate Games were held on Jan. 18 at Brooklyn, N.Y.

Blake 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, N.Y., was the other Coach of the Year award recipient.

Flecia Blake, the head coach of the West Orange High School girls track and field and cross-country teams, was one of two coaches honored as Coaches of the Year for her long-time support of women’s track and field and the Colgate Women’s Games. The 46th annual Colgate Games were held on Jan. 18 at Brooklyn, N.Y.

Blake 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, N.Y., was the other Coach of the Year award recipient.

In an email to The West Orange Chronicle, Blake wrote that she was pleasantly surprised to receive the award. She also spoke about her experiences with the Colgate Games.

“I am grateful and honored  for the award,” she wrote. “My first acquaintance with the Colgate Women’s Games was a sixth grade field trip to Madison Square Garden to watch. Colgate was really BIG. It  came on WABC channel 7 at 7 p.m. on Saturday (finals). The only thing was that girls from New Jersey could not compete. So I watched (and) compared my times and said … ‘If  I lived in New York I would be on the podium.’

“I believe in (the) mid 80s they opened the competition nationwide. I coached for East Orange Recreation. Over the time span  I coached several Colgate champions and finalist in the Elementary A&B, and Mid School divisions. During that period I also competed and made the Finals in the 30+ in the 200 meters. It was a dream come true.”

Blake mentioned that since 2000, she and WOHS boys track and field coach Jason Jackson — who previously coached at Columbia HS — have brought athletes from both Columbia and West Orange high schools to expose athletes to “gritty competition. So being recognized by the Colgate awards committee is an honor. I love the Colgate women’s games. I  am especially excited about one of our own athletes, Denae Hill, who is in first place with a shot to recieve a $1,500 scholarship towards the school of her choice.”

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include quotes from Flecia Blake.

 

 

COMMENTS