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Shaker uses pack mentality to win Springstead Invy

The Shaker boys cross country team gave coach Ed Springstead a victory in the invitational named for him.

Four runners placed in the top 10 to lead the Blue Bison to the boys team title at Saturday's Springstead Invitational at Colonie Town Park. Shaker finished with 39 points, 15 points better than runner-up Queensbury.

We ran well, said Springstead. "The kids ran well. A little breakdown here or there, but otherwise they ran well."

Shaker's pack mentality served it well on the Colonie Town Park course. While runners from Niskayuna, Shenendehowa and Columbia took the top three places, Shaker grabbed four of the next six spots to easily beat the competition.

"We had a gap of 34 seconds between our first and fifth runners," said Springstead. "It could have been a little closer, but the spacing was good."

Jon Vallecorsa led Shaker's pack with a fourth-place finish in a time of 15:54.4. Mike Libruk followed in fifth place with a time of 16:00.6, and Christian Delago placed seventh with a time of 16:06.0. Casey Glboy (ninth place, 16:15.0) and Kyle Foster (15th, 16:28.4) rounded out Shaker's top five.

Niskayuna's Marshall Pagano won the individual title with a time of 15:42.3. The senior passed Shen's Ian Dorsett and Columbia's Kyle Gronostaj with one mile left to pull out the victory.

"It was definitely really tough," said Pagano. "The guys who took it out did it fast. I just tried to keep up and stay close enough to them."

Colonie placed fifth in the team standings with 145 points. Ed Brown's 18th-place finish in a time of 16:35.1 paced the Garnet Raiders. James Fox placed 28th with a time of 17:15.9, and Mike Sherry finished 29th with a time of 17:16.5.

On the girls' side, Queensbury got all five of its runners into the top 20 to claim the team title with 42 points. Niskayuna was second with 74 points, and Shen placed third with 83 points. Shaker took sixth place with 135 points, and Colonie finished eighth with 162 points.

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