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Varsity Alumni Club hosts Fifth Annual Raider 5 K. Another strong showing by Shields.

POSTED June 04, 2016
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: It’s an event that serves to help both the present athletes at Torrington High School, while keeping the notion of how special it is to be an Alumni of the program front and center.

The Fifth Annual Varsity Alumni Club Raider 5K Run was held on a beautiful Saturday morning in June and continues to get better each and every time out.

Sure, it’s technically a race but more importantly, it’s an event that brings the past back to the present and shows how strong the ties that bind are in Raider Nation.

Anna Shields won the race, a year after being the top female finisher, in a time of 19:58, 24 seconds ahead of the second place finisher and top male, Leal Manoel (59 years old) from Danbury.

Shields, the former Lewis Mills star, ran to a 6:27 mile pace and cruised to the victory.

Raider Brandon Stater (20:56) was the top high school runner, while Brian Mattiello (21:00) took fourth and Raiders boys basketball head coach Eric Gamari rounded off the top five with a time of 21:19.

The VAC is an organization that looks to help raise money for scholarships that are given to Raider athletes and the group is strong and puts on a great event.

Hot dogs and hamburgers (all graciously donated by Dan Palladino from Scarpelli’s in Torrington) were served to the returning road warriors who then had more time to hang out and catch up with friends.

Paul O’Heron, Mario Longobucco, RJ Poniatoski and a dozen more VAC volunteers make sure this event runs like a top every year.

The same group also organized and ran the recent 15 team Track and Field Challenge with all those proceeds going to the scholarship fund.

Scarpelli’s was also the food sponsor for that event.

True community involvement, it’s what the Varsity Alumni Club stands for and thanks to great local folks like Palladino, it works.

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