Edwin Springstead has played a major role in the history of high school cross country in Colonie.
In his early days at Colonie Central High School, Springstead guided the Garnet Raiders to the 1962 state title and coached Barry Brown, who went on to be a world-class athlete in steeplechase and the marathon.
Since 1966, Springstead has been a fixture with the Shaker boys cross country team, coaching hundreds of athletes toward collegiate careers.
So, it only seemed appropriate that Shaker would honor Springstead for his 50-year career Saturday by renaming its annual invitational after him.
The only person who didn't like the gesture was Springstead himself.
I'm very appreciative, but it's not necessary, he said. "It's not about me " it's about the kids."
"Eddie is just a modest person," said Shaker girls cross country coach Marbry Gansle, who helped get the invitational renamed after Springstead. "I've always looked up to Eddie. This is my 30th season at Shaker, and it's been a great time working with him."
A number of Springstead's kids were at Colonie Town Park for the ceremony and races including his two sons, Ed Jr. and Michael.
"It's well deserved," said Ed Jr., who ran for his father from 1975 to 1979. "It's about time someone showed my father some recognition."
"We're very proud of him," added Michael, who also ran on his father's team. "My dad's a class act, and as a father myself, the best compliment I could give is that I hope my son takes after him."
Colonie girls cross country coach Frank Myers was a member of Springstead's 1962 state championship team, and he credits his colleague for creating his lifetime love for the sport.
"I had to go out for a fall sport (in high school). Otherwise, I couldn't play basketball in the winter. That was the (school) rule," said Myers. "So, I chose cross country."