Bill Shrader, Sr. Scholarship Winners 2023

The recipients all have amazing backgrounds in academics and running. In academics, all are members of the National Honor Society and in athletics all will be running cross country and track at the colleges they attend. We look forward to reading of their accomplishments in the future and feel honored that we can help them now.

Each year the HMRRC grants 6 scholarships for $3,000. To follow are brief biographies of the winners: their academic honors, running achievements, and how running has influenced their lives.

Neel Chittur

Albany HS – Will attend Stony Brook University


School Valedictorian
National Honor Society and Spanish Honor society
Leader/Student President
Varsity Co-Captain, Masterminds Club
Co-founder of Team, Albany High School (Team AHS) - Terminal c1 games high school all-stars national coding competition (placed 4th out of 35 teams)
Princeton Book award
AP Scholar with Distinction

Running Accomplishments

Varsity Cross Country Captain
Suburban Council All-Star Cross Country Team
MVP and Athlete of the Month
Broke 40-year Indoor Track Record 3200M Record at State Championships
NYSPHSAA Student-Athlete

Influence of Running

Ever since my first medal in the elementary school "Just-Run" program, to now running division 1 cross-country/track, running has influenced my life. This sport has been extremely rewarding and allowed me to become Captain of my school teams, a leader in my community, make new friends, and earn personal records, all while becoming stronger mentally and physically.

The most important things I have learned from running are consistency and discipline. Being consistent in my training granted me successes that have spilled over into my academics. Being disciplined and sticking to my training schedule every day no matter what enabled me to excel in races. Using these skills of persistence and dedication in academics, I have achieved a GPA of 99.93.

Megan Vianese

Schuylerville HS – Will attend University of Rochester

Extra-curricular activities

  • Drama Club (Grades 8-12)
  • National Honor Society/National Junior Honor Society (Grades 8-12)
  • Student Council (Grade 12)
  • Varsity Club - Vice President (Grades 11, 12)
  • Yearbook Club (Grades 10,11)
  • Vocal Ensemble (Grades 9, 12)
  • Women’s Choir (Grade 9)
  • Saratoga Children’s Theater (Grades 8-12)
  • Student peer support counselor (Grades 11, 12)

Running Experience.

Cross Country - Schuylerville High School (Grades 8-12)

  • NYS Championship - Grades 8, 9, 11 (individual), and 12 (team)
  • League Championship Team Win - Grade 8
  • NYS Section 2 Class CC Winner - Grade 9
  • NYS Section 2 Class C 3rd place - Grade 11
  • NYS Section 2 Class C runner-up - Grade 12
  • Team Captain - Grades 11, 12
  • Section 2 Sportsmanship Award - Grade 12

Indoor Track - Schuylerville High School (Grades 8-9, 11-12. Covid Grade 10)

  • State Qualifiers 1000m and 4x400 - Grade 11, 12
  • League Championship Team Win - Grade 12
  • Sectional Championship Team Win - Grade 12
  • Numerous top three finishes in multiple track events during sectional championships throughout the years.
  • Team Captain - Grade 12

Outdoor Track - Schuylerville High School (Grades 8-9, 11-12. Covid Grade 10)

  • Team Sectional Champions - Grade 11
  • Numerous top three finishes in multiple track events during sectional championships throughout the years.
  • Team Captain - Grades 11, 12

Importance of Running

As a competitive runner for more than a third of my life, I can definitively say that running has had a tremendous impact on me… running has given me an outlet to allow personal time to clear my head and foster the connection between my physical body and mental state. The number of times I have come up with an idea, found a solution, or drawn important conclusions while on a run are countless. Additionally, being outside in nature during a run facilitates my psychological stress recovery when I’ve had a particularly hard week, allowing my mind to release unwanted luggage along with my body.

Forcing myself to lace up my shoes on tired days, cold days, and vacation days when I just want to sunbathe, has proven to myself and others that my sport has not only made me physically strong, but mentally tough as well.

Another advantage of running is the lifelong friends I have made. It is a sport that continues to bring me into contact with amazing people. It is also an activity I can continue into adulthood both competitively and non-competitively. I intend to utilize running for the rest of my life.

Jason Colindres

Schenendehowa HS – Will attend University of Buffalo

Running Experience

I have been on the Shenendehowa Varsity Track team and the Legion Track Club team since 8th grade as well as the XC team from 9th-11th grade. My main events include the 60H, 300M, 400H, 110H, 400M, DMR (400), SMR (400), 4x800 and 4x400. I have been a Section 2 champion in the 110H, 300M and 400H. My relay teams competed at NYS Championships in the 4x400, DMR and 4x800. I competed individually at NYS Championships, New Balance Nationals and the USATF Jr. Olympics in the 400H. I made 3 New Balance Nationals appearances for the SMR, DMR, 4x400, 4x800 and the 400H. I have been named a Times Union all-star, student athlete scholar and multi year team MVP. I am currently the team captain and the #1 returning 400 hurdler in New York State and top 10 in the country.

Importance of Running

Every day when I walk out onto the track I get excited … It's such a great feeling to know that I am going to put in hard work and see the benefits of it at the next track meet. Running gave me confidence and purpose during middle and high school. The harder I practiced, and the more races I ran, the faster my times got. This success lit a fire inside me…Competing in relays with my teammates created strong bonds of friendship and helped us support and push each other. The adrenaline and excitement I feel waiting for the gun to go off so I can race a 400H is indescribable. And now, I feel great pride and a sense of accomplishment knowing my hard work has paid off and I will be running for a D1 program at the University at Buffalo next year.

Olivia Armenia

Colonie Central HS – Will attend Siena College

Extra-curricular activities

In my freshman year of high school, I played on the Colonie Varsity soccer team until switching to cross-country in my sophomore year. I played soccer since I was five years old, playing on travel teams since I was eight years old. I continued to play travel soccer for the Capital United Soccer Club through the end of my sophomore year in high school.

I have been a member of iCare for four years. iCare is an initiative at Colonie High School where students and faculty members work together on programs to help benefit the local community.

I have been a member of CHAMP, Colonie High Athletic Media Program, for four years.

Running Experience

  • I began my running career in my eighth-grade year, participating in modified track. After playing varsity soccer during the fall of my freshman year, I joined the indoor and outdoor track teams. In my sophomore year in high school, I stopped playing school soccer to join the cross-country team. Since that time, I have been running all three seasons, cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track.
  • I have been a team captain for two years for cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track.
  • I have been recognized as a NYSPHSAA Scholar-Athlete in all fall, winter and spring seasons of my high school career.
  • I have been recognized as the Colonie High School student athlete of the week in the fall of 2021, Spring of 2022 and Fall of 2022.
  • I have been recognized with the following awards during cross-country, indoor track and outdoor track: Rookie of the Year, Super Sophomore, Excellence in Distance Running, and Most Outstanding Distance Runner.
  • In the Spring of 2023, I was awarded the Cleary Award, a special award at Colonie High School. This award was developed over 60 years ago, honoring the life of Eddie Cleary. Criteria for receiving this award includes adhering to rules of good sportsmanship and fair play, consistently giving your best effort in every practice and competition, demonstrating consistent loyalty to the team, coaches and school, demonstrating a willingness to help assure the success of the team and demonstrating conduct, both on and off the school campus, that the individual and the school would be proud of. This award was voted by my teammates.

As part of the cross country and track teams, I have volunteered at water stops for events including the Hudson Mohawk Marathon and the CDPHP Corporate Challenge

Importance of Running

Running has played an important role in my life for as long as I can remember. I used to run 5K road races with my dad for fun…I originally joined outdoor track to stay in shape for soccer. Once my varsity soccer season ended freshman year, I joined the indoor track team. That is when I truly realized my passion for running. No one forced me to switch sports, I made the decision on my own. Running was where I belonged. My stressful school days disappeared during my afterschool runs. As great a feeling as a “runner’s high” is, the comradery and friendships I have made through running are even more important…Being a distance runner requires both physical and mental toughness…Running has helped me develop a high level of self-discipline as shown in my schoolwork and extracurricular activities.

I believe running will be part of my life as long as I am physically able. Running has given me the tools to handle the pressures of life and has taught me to manage my time. Ultimately, it is not only the training and competition that has gotten me to where I am today but also the support system from the people around me who have become a second family. I hope to maintain this sense of family as part of the running community.

Madelyn Powers

Queensbury HS – Will attend Northwestern University

Extra-curricular Activities

Nordic Ski Team (Captain), Speech and Debate Club (President), Key Club, member of Red Cross, Mock Trial Captain, Reading Club I created for elementary students, and internship at law offices of Newell & Klingebiel.

Running Experience:

I have been a varsity member of the Queensbury Cross Country and Track and Field teams for all 4 years of high school. For every season throughout high school I have been given the scholar athlete award. My junior year for cross country I qualified for the state championship race after placing 4th at the girls Class B sectional championship. At the state meet I placed 10th. Following my performance at states I qualified for the federation meet, placing 49th there. I also placed 23rd that year in the girls NXR New York Championship Race. I was named the MVP of my team that year. I was also on the first team for the Foothills Council and second s_tate team for the Class B girls. My junior year track season I won the 800, 1500, and 3000 at the Foothills Council Championships. I placed first at the sectional championships in the 3000. At the NYSPHSAA State Qualifying Race I placed 6th in the 1500 and 3rd in the 3000. I was given the MVP award for my team as well and I was first team for the Foothills Council in the 800, 1500, and 3000. My senior year cross country season I placed 1st at the Queensbury Invitational. I also placed 1st at the Foothills Championships and the Section 2 Class B girls’ championship. I qualified for the NYSPHSAA Championships and placed 5th for Class B girls and 28th in the merge. At the federation meet I came in 22nd place. At the NXR Girls Championship Race I came in 19th. I was MVP on my team for this season as well and 1st team for the Foothills Council. l was also 1st team for the girls Class B all state team.

Importance of Running

Through cross country and track I have found passion, determination, and grit. Running helped me learn the importance of hard work and dedication in achieving goals I thought were dreams… There is no feeling as great as crossing the finish line proud of yourself and your performance, and knowing it was your own hard work that got you there.

Running taught me lessons I will carry with me for all of my life. I learned from an iron deficiency my junior year about the value of having grit in the face of obstacles.. Running is the place where I find peace and happiness. It is the thing I can always rely on to show me the importance of my determination in times where other parts of my life are hard. I hope to continue running for the rest of my life.

Mariem Sayahi

Clayton A. Bouton High School – Will attend Williams College

Extracurricular Activities

  • Wind Ensemble: I play the trumpet, where I am first chair in my section.
  • Science Olympiad: I served as secretary sophomore year and earned three medals at the regional level.
  • Key Club: I volunteer with my community and school to make our community a better place.

Running Experience

Track and Field from age 7 to 12 (Participated in multiple USATF Adirondack and regional Junior Olympics meets)

I have been on the Voorheesville High School XC and T&F varsity team since 7th grade. I led my team to several titles including XC colonial council, sectionals, and 2022 NY State Class D Championship. I participated in NY Federation championships, and NXR.

Importance of Running

Running is part of my identity: I run for fitness, for fun, and for competition. I run to be with others, and I run to be by myself. Running offers me the best of both worlds: an individual sport and a team sport. Running has taught me discipline and how to work harder, even when I don’t feel like it at that moment, in order to achieve a bigger goal. There are countless workouts in snow or rain or cold that I didn’t want to do, but my ability to push through and make myself better has served me in all aspects of life. Running has opened the door to an amazing future at Williams, and I feel so lucky to be able to participate in this sport. Running had brought me my teammates, both at school and in the future.

I like the unforgiving precision of running, every second counts and that has taught me to value how I use my time. Running is also a hobby for me beyond the actual workouts. I like reading about running (I love the John L. Parker’s trilogy Once a Runner), watching races old and new (The 1972 Munich Olympics 5000m is my favorite- Sorry Pre!), listening to audio narration of races (I have an audio recording of the 1500m race at the Athens Olympics won by El Guerrouj on my playlist), and seeing people run on the streets, which always makes me smile. It is a gift to be able to run and share the passion for it with others, which is the reason I had no doubt what my senior quote was going to be: “To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift.” I don’t plan on wasting the gift at college and hopefully for the rest of my life.

Awards Ceremony

The Bill Shrader, Sr. Scholarship Awards will be given on June 14th, Wednesday, at the Guilderland Public Library, Westbrook room at 7:00 p.m. All are welcome to attend and congratulate the winners.

The Library is located at 2228 Western Avenue (US Route 20), Guilderland, NY 12084. It is on the south side of Western Avenue (the right side of the road if you are traveling east, the left side if you are traveling west).

Loading Conversation

Partner Clubs

Partner clubs offer group runs and local races to the Capital Region running community

Create Account

Log In Your Account