The Engineer Games in Troy isn't a big high school indoor track meet on a scale of the New Balance Games in New York City or the Yale Invitational in New Haven, Conn.
But it is still the only local high school indoor track meet, and as such it draws a large number of Section II teams. Sunday's installment at RPI's Robison Gymnasium featured nearly every Capital District squad not named Saratoga Springs.
There's supposed to be 42 teams represented here today, said long-time Guilderland girls indoor track coach Dick Usher.
"It's a highlight for a lot of the kids. For some of them, it might be their last race because our next meet is Sectionals (in two weeks)," Usher added.
Shenendehowa took the meet seriously. The Plainsmen won both the boys and girls titles with dominating performances. Shen's boys team more than doubled runner-up Shaker's point total to claim the title by a margin of 120-56, while the girls team defeated Saratoga County rival Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 101-63.
"We didn't put all of our top kids in there, but we'd like to do well," Shen boys coach Don Paretta said midway through the meet. "This is a good prelude to Sectionals."
The only negative at the meet was the slippery tartan track surface inside Robison Gymnasium. The poured concrete offered little or no traction, which led to several slips and falls by the competitors. Colonie's Jim Kehrer " one of the section's top sprinters and jumpers " slipped during the 50-meter hurdles qualifier and fell on one of his approaches in the high jump.
"It's better (to happen) today than at the state qualifier," said Colonie boys coach Mike Palmer. "We're resting most of our big guys today anyway, but it's still a lesson learned. They still have to perform."