About Mr. Mark


"You can't hoot with the owls if you want to soar with the eagles."

Bill Markiewicz--Mr. Mark, or "Sluggo," to me and the hundreds of other athletes he coached in a 10-year coaching career--was one of the driving forces on the Rockland County cross country and track scene in the 1970s and '80s.  Born in Brooklyn in 1949, he graduated Albertus Magnus High School in 1967.  In 1972 he began teaching math at Clarkstown High School; he would become the coach of the North boys' and girls' cross-country teams in 1978.  Under his guidance, the Rams won the Section 9 cross-country championship in 1983 before being re-aligned into Section 1.  Mr. Mark coached many of Clarkstown North's legendary distance runners, including Mike Rogan (CN '86), Karl and Kurt Gehsmann (CN '83), and racewalking champion Dave McGovern (CN '83); as well as countless middle-of-the-packers who owe their lifelong love of running in large part to him.


I was lucky enough to know Mr. Mark well; his final season at the helm of the Rams boys' XC team was the fall of 1989, my freshman year.  By the following spring he relinquished his coaching duties to concentrate on his health, for he was battling cancer.  Over the next 18 months he witnessed a wonderful outpouring of support from the Rockland running community.  He passed away on March 13, 1991, at the age of 41.


In the fall of 1991 the Alumni Race was renamed the Rockland Alumni Cross Country/Bill Markiewicz Memorial Run in honor of Mr. Mark's impact on the sport in Rockland County.  That year also saw the birth of the Bill Markiewicz Award, which is now presented annually at the start of the race to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the local cross country community.  Mr. Mark himself was the first recipient of the award; his widow Janet now presents the award each year as the runners gather on the starting line to pay their own form of tribute.


Past winners of the Bill Markiewicz Award
1991 - Bill Markiewicz
1992 - Dick Teetsel and Tom Doherty
1993 - Jamie Kempton
1994 - Joe Biddy
1995 - Dan Doherty
1996 - Larry Beckerle
1997 - Walt Johnston
1998 - Ralph Coleman
1999 - Gene Dall
2000 - Bob Hudson
2001 - Bruce Woolley
2002 - Lou Hall
2003 - Ray Roswell
2004 - Mike Collins
2005 - Jason Friedman
2006 - Pat Chambers
2007 - Kevin Stewart
2008 - Fred Adler
2009 - Ray Sussman
2010 - Janie Howell
2011 - Ray Kondracki
2012 - Chuck Sommerlad
2013 - George Hoy
2014 - Howard Arciniegas
2015 - Jim Glover
2016 - Bill Szachewicz