AMHERST — One of Lockport's greatest long distance runners of all time has accepted the position of director of cross country/track and field at Daemen College.
Judy Arlington, affectionately known locally as Lockport's “Marathon Mom,” has been serving as Daemen's interim track and cross country head coach for the past seven months. She first joined the Wildcats' coaching staff in 2016. Pete Gratien, who served as a volunteer coach with the Wildcats this past spring, becomes Daemen's new cross country/track and field head coach, while Arlington transitions to her new, administrative role.
An accomplished runner in her own right, Mrs. Arlington will continue her coaching responsibilities by assisting with the program's cross country runners and focusing on the administrative side of running an intercollegiate athletics program, said Wildcats' athletics director Traci Murphy.
“She will work closely with Gratien on the often overlooked behind-the-scenes tasks like scheduling of practices and competitions, coordinating team travel, securing off campus facilities for practices, and overseeing the program budget,” Murphy said in a press release on Thursday.
"Judy's organizational skills and commitment to the program made this a logical decision for us. Her passion to coach and administrate still resonates. The network Judy has built in the local running community, along with her knowledge of the East Coast Conference and an understanding of the inner workings of our program and athletics department will put her in a prime position to be a successful director."
As a collegiate runner, Mrs. Arlington led the State University of New York at Cortland to two NCAA Division III national championships for cross country, and earned 10 All-America distinctions between cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field. She continued to excel after college and has since been inducted into the Western New York Running Hall of Fame and the State University of New York Athletic Conference Hall of Fame.
At Daemen, she has worked closely with the program's long distance runners, resulting in several all-conference performances and two NCAA national championships qualifying efforts. She's also championed and developed the Daemen Summer Track Series, a string of competitions for runners of all ages and abilities.
Prior to her arrival at Daemen, Arlington served as the head men's and women's cross country coach at Medaille College from 2011-15. While there, Arlington helped establish the Mavericks as one of the most consistent programs within the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference, and was named the AMCC Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year following the 2011 season.
In addition to her role at Daemen, Arlington works as the transition coordinator for the Lockport City School District. Judy and her husband, Dave, a long-time Lockport coach, have three children, Margaret, Hannah and David.
"This restructuring will really allow us to capitalize on a part-time staffing model, and it plays to the strengths of our staff," Murphy said. "I'm excited about the future of our cross country/track and field program with both Pete and Judy providing steady leadership in their respective roles."
After earning a degree in chemistry from Le Moyne and working as a process control laboratory manager from 2010-16, Gratien has found his calling as coach. In addition to his volunteer work on the Daemen staff where he worked primarily with the program's sprinters, Gratien has served as the head girls cross country and track and field coach at Williamsville North High School for the last several seasons. Under his tutelage, the teams have seen a steady increase in roster numbers and competitiveness. Both the cross country and outdoor track and field teams posted 4-1 league records during their respective 2018-19 seasons.
A four-year member of Le Moyne's cross country team, Gratien was the Dolphins' top finisher during regional championship meets in 2005, 2006 and 2008.
Daemen College features the only NCAA Division II athletics program in the Buffalo-Niagara region, sponsoring 17 intercollegiate teams. For the latest information on Daemen Athletics, follow the Wildcats via social media on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, or sign up to receive customizable news alerts, e-mail newsletters and weekly schedule alerts.