There were enough twists and turns in Saturday's Eddy Meet boys invitational mile race that it belonged on a cross country course instead of Union College's track.
There were several lead changes before Shenendehowa's Mike Danaher fended off Colonie's Tyler Stewart and Niskayuna's Louis Serafini for first place.
Coach (Don Paretta) told me that there's a big trophy for the winner, so I focused on this since (Friday), said Danaher.
Voorheesville's Macky Lloyd took the lead on the first lap before Niskayuna's Louis Serafini and Guilderland's Roland Graves caught him. Serafini had the lead midway through the race, but Graves caught him on the front stretch to grab a slim advantage.
"The race went out a little slower than I would have liked, so I took it out front," said Serafini.
Danaher and Stewart moved up to the front of the pack on the third lap, but Serafini and Graves remained within striking distance. Stewart took the lead on the back stretch of the final lap, but Danaher and Serafini gathered themselves and moved past Stewart as they hit the final 100 yards.
"It was a shock because I know I have a strong final kick," said Stewart. "For them to pass me was a surprise."
"With 100 (yards) to go, I was thinking I was still in it because either (Danaher or Stewart) could have dropped back," said Serafini.
As it turned out, Danaher wasn't going to look back. He gained the lead over Serafini and held on for a half-second victory over Stewart and Serafini. Danaher finished with a time of 4:22.31, while Stewart took second in a time of 4:22.81. Serafini placed third in a time of 4:22.86, and Graves took fourth place in a time of 4:24.23.
"It's a huge win," said Danaher. "The season has been up and down for me, so I'm happy I'm in position for a title."