Lewiston-Porter announced the opening of the Gary Raby Sr. Cross Country Course this week on the Creek Road campus. The course was dedicated at a Tuesday afternoon ceremony, with the Raby family present to cut the ribbon and open the 1.7-mile course. The Lew-Port cross country team, now coached by Gary’s daughter, Jenn, was joined by alumni, administrators and board members to honor Gary and his vision, and then explore the course.
Raby was a lifelong Lancer, a 1971 graduate of Lewiston-Porter, and the beloved coach of Lew-Port cross country and track teams for over a decade. He inspired countless students to be not only great runners, but to believe in themselves and be the best possible individuals. Prior to his death in early 2017, Raby had started the process of creating a cross country course at Lew-Port. Working with Athletic Director Brad Halgash, he sketched out a course.
After his passing, Halgash and Superintendent Paul Casseri were determined to take the practice course Raby envisioned and create a first-class course in his memory. With the help of many people and organizations, the cross country course is now a reality.
The course is one of only three in the Niagara Frontier League, and the only one located on a school campus (the others being at Bond Lake and Beaver Island State Park). In competition, Lew-Port modified teams will run one course length, and varsity teams will run two laps (total 3.04 miles). The scenic course winds its way through the fields and woods of the campus, with the entrance just behind the IEC/middle school.
The course is open to the community, with plans to enhance it with the addition of fitness stops in the future. The cross country course and the Raby Memorial Run will continue to unite all Lancers.
As Raby would say, with a high-five: “Believe!”