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Marcus Lewis
Inducted: 2014 - Graduated: 2004

Marcus Lewis

Track & Field

Class of 2004

Who would have thought that joining the inaugural Nanuet Summer Track program when he was in fourth grade would lead to a state championship?  Actually, anyone who saw Marcus Lewis run in the summer program year after year knew there was something special about him. He was always a blur down the track. 

Lewis started running for the school in eighth grade in cross country. Having worked with him in the summer program, Coach Sheri Dempsey already knew he would be a great sprinter and jumper. She knew if she could get him out for cross country to stay in shape for track he would be hooked. To this day many of us believe that she was able to convince him because he thought he would get to sprint, never realizing the distance he would actually have to run. Though he didn’t think it possible, there he was in his first cross country meet on a very hilly course at Nyack running neck and neck for the win with a Felix Festa runner. The father of the other runner yelled to his son that no one could sprint as fast as he could to the finish. That was all Lewis needed to hear – he took off  sprinting like he had not run a mile and a half, and ran a 100-meter dash to win the race. It just showed the things that were to come. Cross country would only last for his middle school years, but track and field would last for his entire high school career.

When he started running Lewis believed he was going to be a sprinter and only a sprinter – he soon learned that that would change. In addition to running, his hurdling and jumping career would begin in large part due to coaches Steve Pashley and Sheri Dempsey. Lewis feels that Coach Dempsey and Coach Pashley were his biggest influences on his career in addition to his Mom.   

In his freshman year, Lewis qualified for the State meet.  He was the first Nanuet boy in about 10 years, at that time, to make the State meet. This was a special memory for Lewis.    

His junior year in 2003 was a special one for Lewis – it was when all his hard work would pay off and show just how talented he was. He became indoor County champ in the long jump at 21 feet 3 inches.  Lewis culminated his junior year of indoor track by qualifying for the indoor state meet and finish seventh in states with a jump of 22-1 1/4.  

Lewis carried the success from his indoor season to the outdoor season.  He was once again the County champ in the long jump with a jump of 21-1 1/2.  He followed his success from indoors and qualified for the outdoor State championships in the long jump. Lewis became the Division II State champion in the long jump with a jump of 22-1. This is one of Lewis’s fondest memories from his career. He said, “I still remember winning the Division II long jump at the outdoor State championship in Binghamton as a junior. I gave Coach Sheri Dempsey a hug, then ran off to the car with my mom to drive about three or four hours back to Nanuet in order to make it to my girlfriend’s prom.” This is what would take him into history. 

Lewis remembers opening up his senior year indoor track season at the Bishop Loughlin Invitational. He said, “I had my best long jump ever of 22-1 1/2 and had a great hurdle race. I knew it would be a great season.”

Unfortunately he would then endure a tough senior year with a bad foot injury that would limit his hurdling and jumping both indoor and outdoor seasons. Rather than throw in the towel he learned to long jump off his right foot.  

Jumping righty, Lewis was still able to win Sectionals with a long jump of 20-9, and also won the 55-meter dash in 6.6 seconds. The injury kept him from the State meet indoors, but Lewis persevered and worked even harder to end his career at Nanuet on a high note even if it was off the opposite foot. He repeatd as County long jump champion with a jump of 21-8 1/4 and then moved on to repeat as Sectional long jump champion in 20-3.   He culminated his career by successfully qualifying for the State meet with a jump of 21-1 1/ 2. At the State meet, jumping off his right foot, he finished fifth with a leap of 21-3 1/4 – capping off an amazing career at Nanuet. 

During his years on the team he was very close with many teammates and was excited to be part of a team with Mark Lopez, Phil Manez, Joe Ingrassia and Kevin McCarthy. While Lewis was working on the field events and sprints, McCarthy was balancing the team out in the distance events.  Being that Nanuet practices and travels to meets together with the girls’ team, he was close with Chrishelle Bibbins, Maryvic DeLeon, Rachel Cooper and Tka Nembhard on the girls’ team. There was one athlete on the team who you would always see him with at practice and meets, Kaitlyn Vasquez. They competed in the same events and were each other’s biggest supporters and workout partners.   

Lewis remembers many grueling workouts in the freezing cold … cut-down quarters, anyone? He will never forget running workouts in the parking lot on snowy days or setting up long jump practices in the small gym as well as running hurdles in the hallways. There was also fun bus rides to meets, and even having to struggle putting away the annoying high jump and pole vault mats!    

Lewis is 28 years old and lives in Montreal, Canada, but often visits Nanuet where is mother Mercedes and his father Derrick live, as well as his brother Marquis. He is a web designer and developer by trade. Lewis is a self-employed co-founder/co-owner of Variety Studios based out of Syracuse, N.Y. 

When not traveling between Montreal, Syracuse and Nanuet he enjoys cycling, photography and hiking. He can often be found cramming as much information into his brain as possible about photography, coding, and fitness. As a break he loves Netflix.

Marcus Lewis joins a long line of Nanuet track athletes in the school’s Hall of Fame, legends like Darryl Brown, Paul Nowicki, Thad Wilson, Don Berich, Tony Harlin, Rick Carey, John McNulty and Bret Watzka, to name a few.

The Nanuet High School Sports Hall of Fame is privileged to enshrine Marcus Lewis in the pantheon of Nanuet sports legends.