A 10-year-old Brooklyn girl with a B average broke a 30-year-old Track & Field record on New Year’s Eve at the Colgate Women’s Games held at Pratt Institute.
Mykhiyah Williams, who attends Ocean Hill Collegiate Charter School in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, cleared 4 feet, 8 inches in the Elementary B Division High Jump during the preliminary meets.
The leap snapped a long-standing three-way tie for the previous record of 4-foot-7, established first in 1982 and tied in 1992 and 1995.
“Today’s record reminds us that there are young girls with real talent and skills who are ready to work hard at any age if given the proper encouragement to succeed,” said meet director Fred Thompson. “There are virtually no schools with programs for kids at the elementary and middle school level, yet it’s during these school years that kids will decide for themselves whether they’ll use their natural abilities to better themselves and to discover how far they can go.”
Mykhiyah’s breakthrough jump utilized superb technique in her jumping style known as the Fosbury Flop, so-named for Dick Fosbury, who invented the style as a 16-year-old high school jumper in Oregon.
The technique calls for the jumper to go over the bar backwards, headfirst, curving his or her body over the bar and kicking the legs up in the air to clear the bar at the end of the jump.
Mykhiyah is the youngest of four girls and her mother, Monique Lebron, said she used to take her to the Colgate Games after she became involved with them through her older daughters.
“She used to come with me when she was in pre-K and kindergarten and would always watch the other athletes,” said Lebron. “She didn’t start training. She would basically sit back and watch and naturally started doing it (Fosbury Flop) the right way.”
Lebron, a single mom, said her daughter also does gymnastics and swims and her favorite subject in school is science.
“I’m driven to give my kids all I can so they can excel and be the best in whatever they can,” she said. Photo: Lem Peterkin