Altimari Inducted Into Nash Higgins Relays Hall Of Fame


Photo I. Hanewicz

Altimari with the other inductees, along with the Leto coach.

Bailey Adams, Sports Editor

Over the weekend, Robinson cross country and track coach Mark Altimari was inducted into the Nash Higgins Relays Hall of Fame. The relays, held at Leto High School, date back to the 1970s. The induction was based on Altimari’s performance in the relays as a runner for Leto High School, his service as a career police officer and his 10 years as a coach.

In the 80s, his Leto cross country team was ranked 13th nationally, finishing as the state runner-up. As a track coach, his fondest memories include coaching his first state medal team in the 4×800, a Robinson team that his son, Matthew, ran for. He also coached Darrin Gibson to a state championship in the 800 in 2009.

As a cross country coach, a more recent memory comes to mind.

“[My proudest moment as a cross country coach was] winning both district championships last year,” said Altimari. “Our first for either sport.”

Back in the 80s, when he ran for Leto, he had the chance to meet Nash Higgins, the man that the relay is named after.

“I’m humbled that for all he accomplished, he still had time to acknowledge a 17-year-old kid,” he said. “Meeting him that day [has] always stuck with me.”

As for the induction, Altimari attributes it to his mentor and friend, Bobby Ennis.

“It was flattering that what was accomplished in high school track and cross country, and how it was accomplished, was noticed outside our own little circle,” he said. “I owe any successes I’ve had to the influence [that] Bobby Ennis had and still has on me.”