One invitational race doesn't make a whole cross country season, but the Colonie girls and Shaker boys teams had good starts at last Saturday's Shaker Invitational at Colonie Town Park.
Colonie's girls team ranked ninth in the Northeast region pre-season poll finished second to class A power Academy of the Holy Names, while Shaker's boys team placed third in its division.
"I think this was a pretty good first meet," said Colonie girls coach Frank Myers. "We had some surprises and some disappointments, but everyone did."
"My kids ran well. We just weren't as good up front (as other teams)," said Shaker boys coach Ed Springstead. "But Queensbury (second place) and Shenendehowa (first) are very good teams. I'm not going to cry over finishing third to those two."
Holy Names was the only girls team to place five runners in the top 20, led by Claire Hardwick's third-place finish in a time of 19:08.10. Colonie came the closest to matching Holy Names by placing its first five runners in the top 30. Kaitlin Mock led the Lady Raiders with a seventh-place finish in a time of 19:36.99, and Mikala Anson took 11th place in a time of 19:49.48. Shannon Finnegan was 13th in a time of 19:54.95. Jessica Sherry (24th place) and Naya Roberts-Smith (27th) rounded out Colonie's top five.
Shaker's girls team finished fifth in the team standings. Seri Gordon led the Lady Bison with a 10th-place finish in a time of 19:48. Sara Ochs finished 14th in a time of 20:02.89, and Emma Risler was 17th in a time of 20:12.33.
Scotia-Glenville's Jillian King won the girls individual title with a time of 18:24.39.
Shen was the strongest boys team at the Shaker Invitational. The Plainsmen " ranked fourth in the Northeast region preseason polls " placed four runners in the top 10 to finish with 40 points. Queensbury was second with 56 points, and Shaker finished a close third with 59 points. Colonie was seventh with 193 points.
Shen's Steve Murdock, who moved from Saratoga Springs to Clifton Park during the offseason, pulled away from the pack to win the boys individual title with a time of 15:33.00. Queensbury's Matt Flint was second in a time of 15:43.89, and Shen's Adam Quinn finished third in a time of 16:09.82.
Shaker placed all of its runners in the top 15. R.J. Sniffen led the Blue Bison with a fifth place finish in a time of 16:18.0, while Nick Webster, Matt Bogdan, Craig Weiss and Chris Manico took 12th through 15th place.""