The Garden State Track Club is a non-profit organization that aims to serve all levels of runners in New Jersey. Our goal is to provide direction for runners of all levels and to foster the future of New Jersey running by providing support to underprivileged youth runners throughout the state. To these ends, we will develop structured training and meaningful race schedules for our members in all running venues: roads, cross-country, and track. Our fundraising efforts will enable us to provide guidance, equipment, and financial assistance to young runners in need.
In 2010, Chuck Schneekloth returned to New Jersey after ten years on the West Coast. After numerous years racing for West Valley TC (San Francisco) and Northwest AC (Portland), he looked for something smilar in NJ. Realizing most local teams were geared toward masters runners, he called his former Rutgers teammate, Chris Tafelski. They agreed the state, known for its competitive running, needed a club geared toward a younger, faster demographic. After bringing in friends Steve Bonica, Alex Fowlie, Amy Porpora, and Cathy Stutzman for help, they settled on a name (Jersey Track Club was a close second), logo (team colors were almost green and yellow), mission statement, and set the first team run to be Sunday, October 3, 2010. With only nine people on the email thread, three people showed up.
In January of 2011, two major events happened. First, superstar Metuchen HS/Seton Hall sprinter Tyrone Ross emailed the club, asking to start up a sprint group; Schneekloth, his former high school teammate, agreed to coach it. Ross also introduced the club to his former Georgia Tech teammate Bryan Swarn, the CEO of Phenetix, who has consequently designed all GSTC gear from his labs in Atlanta.
Second, the club recruited a critical mass of Rutgers students (Dan Teichmann, Mike Obsuth, Kyle Flyer, and Zach Spiegel) from the Big Chill 5k. The group began training together with New Brunswick High School students Edsel Flores and Hedolis Jaquez. A month later, the original gold uniforms were first worn at the now-defunct PCRC Winter Series in Wayne, NJ. Jaquez won the four-race series by over a minute, the club's first individual gold medal. In April, Jeff Perrella, Jaquez, Mike Anis, Tafelski, and Iuri Pinto teamed up to win the now-defunct Penn Relays Distance Classic, the club's first team crown. Perrella won the race, which started and finished at Penn's historic Franklin Field, unknowingly in a women's uniform. On June 20th, he also won the President's Cup 5k (in a men's uniform), the club's first USATF-NJ individual title, as Taylor Burmeister, Tim Morgan, Anis, and Ashwin Anantharaman joined him for the team's first USATF-NJ team title.
In 2012, they grew a lot, won a lot of stuff, and invented the infamous "Tim Morgan Award," presented in the team's weekly email for members who made bonehead decisions that week. Veteran members fear the "TMA" and do everything they can to avoid landing in the section of the weekly missive, although many admit it's the first section they read.
In the spring of 2013, the USA Track and Field designated the GSTC as one of twenty-three Elite Development Clubs in the country. On June 29th 2013, the club won its first national title at the USATF Club National Track and Field Championships at Icahn Stadium on Randall's Island, NYC.
President: Chuck Schneekloth
Chuck is an English teacher who holds master’s degrees from Rutgers (00’) and UC Berkeley (07’). The RRCA-NJ representative, the four-time All-Big East half miler for Rutgers was head coach at Seaside HS (Oregon), Castlemont HS (California), San Francisco State University (California), and New Brunswick HS (New Jersey) before co-founding he GSTC in 2010. His coaching highlights include an Oregon state championship, one Oregon COWAPA league title, one SFSU school record, and four Oakland Athletic League team crowns. As the youngest head coach in Oregon history to win a state title in track and field, Seaside HS inducted him into their Hall of Fame in September, 2013. While president of the GSTC, the club has grown both in membership and team success. Along with establishing six training enclaves that support its four hundred members, the club is now structured to support new runners, recreational runners, elite runners, and track and field athletes. This structure has worked well, as the GSTC has won five USATF-NJ team titles, one USATF East Region title, and one USATF national title in just three years.
Vice President: Ken Goglas
Ken has been competing in the sport since he was six years old. He is a graduate of Randolph HS ('99) and the University of Connecticut ('04) where he ran both track and cross country. Ken currently works for the Edison Township Board of Education analyzing assessment data and also coaches the Ramapo College cross country and track teams. As a member of the club, he competes in everything from road races to track races to cross country races including all events from the mile through the marathon. He also coaches the GSTC milers and steeplechasers.
Club Enclave Captains
North Jersey Enclave Co-Captain: Meghan DeCarlo
Meghan, a Hall-of-Fame distance runner from Garfield, has been the head coach at her alma mater since 2005. Meghan ran at Rutgers and was a varsity letter winner, Metropolitan Championships medalist, and an Academic All-Big East recipient. Meghan has led the Garfield Lady Boilermakers to numerous league, invitational, and most recently a New Balance Outdoor National Champion (GSTC member Shauntierah Douglas in the javelin - 2012) during her tenure there. Meghan has run PRs of18:47 (5k), 31:03 (5 miles), 39:33 (10k) 1:06:41 (10 miles), 1:23:04 for 20K, 1:28:45 (half marathon), and 3:13:24 (marathon).
North Jersey Enclave Co-Captain: Rob DeCarlo
See coaching bio below.
Morristown Enclave Captain: Woody Kongsamut
A 2012 Rutgers graduate with an economics degree, he started jogging in 2008 to lose weight for his fencing career. In 2012, he ran his first 5k (21:45) and half marathon with the GSTC; he has since lowered his 5k PR to 19:17. While his self-proclaimed addiction to peanut butter probably doesn't always help his running, his active lifestyle does, as he enjoys playing basketball, flag football, volleyball, tennis, soccer, and pretty much any other sport involving a ball, running, and jumping. He also swam with sharks on the Great Barrier Reef....and ran into a moving car one time while doing a stride.
Central Jersey Enclave Co-Captain: Erika Meling
Erika graduated from Rutgers University in 2012 with a BS in Exercise Science/Kinesiology. She currently resides in New Brunswick and works as an ACE Personal Trainer for RWJ Fitness Center & Rutgers Recreation. Her personal records are 5:25 for the mile, 10:56 for 3k, 18:20 for 5k, 30:53 for 5 mile, 1:24:48 for 20k, and 1:27:00 for half-marathon. Besides running, she enjoys reading novels and brushing up on her TV trivia.
Princeton Enclave Co-Captain: Mike Fonder
Mike is the director of physical education, assistant athletic director, and teacher/coach at his school. A TCNJ graduate with a BS in Health and Exercise Science, he's a fan of all things NYC/North Jersey: Giants, Yankees, Devils, Parkway exits over 100. A lover of pecan pie, skydiving and New Orleans are two of his other favorite things. After a decorated collegiate career, he has since run 2:27:32 (marathon) and 1:09:01 (half marathon), and was the fastest NJ finisher at the Boston Marathon in 2013 when he ran 2:28:24.
Princeton Enclave Co-Captain: Peter Bolgert
Peter is a 2012 graduate of Marquette University (Milwaukee, WI) where he was a member of the Cross Country and Track and Field Teams. Peter owns PR's of 3:49 (1500), 8:54 (steeplechase), 24:41 (8k XC), and 31:12 (10k XC). He is currently a grad student in Plasma Physics PhD program at Princeton University.
Princeton Enclave Co-Captain: Ashwin Anantharaman
Ashwin is a graduate of Hightstown High School. He studied Students with Disabilities and Social Studies at Kean University and was a 4 year cross country and track runner there. PRs include 16:08(5k), 25:43 (8k), 54:19 (10 mile), and 70:12 (20k). He is currently a teacher in Piscataway Public Schools.
Beach Enclave Captain: Ken Walsh
Ken is a 2011 graduate of Ramapo College of NJ where he was a member of the Cross Country and Track and Field Teams. Walsh owns PR's of 2:04 (800), 4:17(1500), 4:39 (mile), 27:30 (8k), 27:38 (5 mile), 59:06 (10 mile), 1:15:24 (20k), 1:18:57 (half marathon), and 2:48:13 (marathon).
South Jersey Enclave Co-Captain: Adin Mickle
A Temple University alum, Adin works in the movie business and has PRs of 15:07 (5000) and 33:13 (10000) for Temple. He was the #3 man in 2011 when the GSTC finished 15th at club nationals for cross country in Seattle, WA, and the #5 finisher at club nationals in Lexington, Kentucky.
South Jersey Enclave Co-Captain: Paul Matuszak
Paul is a graduate of Archbishop Ryan High School (2004) and Rider University (2008), whereas he competed in cross country and track for both schools. A resident of South Philadelphia, he defines "business" as actuarial work, running, practicing guitar and eating cereal. The club record holder for ten miles in 51:11, he has served as a drummer for several local pop punk and ska bands in Philadelphia and South Jersey. Paul enjoys math to the point others have legitimate concern he understands the definition of "enjoyable.”
Club Team Captains
Steady Striders Captain: Amy Denholtz
Amy is a Senior Research Analyst at NJ Office of Legislative Services in Trenton, a Jazzercise instructor, a New Brunswick resident, and a very active runner. Amy has worked with beginning runners for several years in a variety of capacities, including her time as a Rutgers graduate student in the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.
Open Women's Co-Captain: Cathy Stutzman
Cathy is a Rutgers grad who teaches at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington, NJ. A member of the club since its inception, she is an avid runner and loves training with people who share her enthusiasm for the sport. Cathy runs road races and cross-country, competing in anything from 5Ks to marathons.
Open Women's Co-Captain: Karen Auteri
Karen is a graduate of The College of NJ where she was a four-year member of the cross country and track and field teams. Though she was a mid-distance runner in college who focused on the 800m and 1500m races, Karen started racing longer road races and marathons post-college. Her most notable marathon to date was the 2013 Boston Marathon by posting a PR of 3:09.04 also a GSTC club record. Other PRs include 2:21(800), 4:51 (1500), 5:25 (road mile) 18:58 (5k), 23:14 (6k), 33:13 (8k), 39:59 (10k), 1:04:57 (15k), 1:22:24 (20k) and 1:31:53 (1/2 marathon).
#chasepack Co-Captain: Woody Kongsamut
#chasepack Co-Captain: Brianne Teichmann
Bri is a first grade special education teacher who holds a BA in German and a master’s degree in special education, both from Rutgers University. She started running in August of 2011 after signing up spontaneously for a half marathon in October 2011. She joined the GSTC shortly thereafter, as her brother Dan is the GSTC-Rutgers captain. She’s run two half marathons, two 10ks, and a 15k with PRs of 1:55:05 (half), 49:14 (10k), and 1:22:33 (15k).
Women's Sprint Captain: Erin LaCosta
Erin is a Rutgers sophomore double-majoring in chemical engineering and Spanish. A lover of puppies and an employee of Pier 1 Imports, she is a Somerville graduate who competed in the high jump, hurdles, and sprints for the GSTC. She qualified for nationals in the high jump, 400IH, and 100HH, and scored points in the first two. She also likes to sing.
Men's Sprint Captain: Mark Parisen
Mark is an Applied Kinesiology/Exercise Science major at Rutgers University. Along with having ACE Personal Trainer Certification, he wrote the strength/conditioning programs for the MCC track team from 2009-2010. He had run 49.8 and 1:56.8 for the 400m and 800m, respectively.
Rutgers-GSTC Captain: Dan Teichmann
Dan is a senior at Rutgers University, majoring in accounting and minoring in German. He started running later than most (cross country/junior year, track/senior year), and is a snowboarder in the winter. Voted “GSTC-Rutgers Runner of the Year” in 2011 for his strong efforts in the 10 Miler and 8k cross country race, his PRs include 16:45, 36:05, and 1:18:56.
Master Women's Captain: Prudence Jones
Prudence is a professor at Monclair State University in the Classics Department. With a Ph.D. from Harvard University, this Massachusetts native and current New Brunswick resident has competed in numerous grand prix races for the gold and black.
Men's Masters Captain: Jeff Blough
While sitting under an apple tree in August 2010, a wayward apple bounced off his head causing the peculiar notion to become a runner (something he'd never done in his life). The notion remains and he has now completed numerous races from the mile to the half marathon. His finance and philosophy degrees are currently underutilized in his present career as a bon vivuer.
Women's Elite Athlete Captain: Alyssa Douma
Alyssa scored in four events at the 2013 USATF Club National Track and Field Championships and has been a top-five finisher of the GSTC women’s cross country team in every race since joining. The current West Milford HS record holder in the 400, 800, and triple jump, she went on to a very successful career at Lock Haven University. An Academic All-American, she holds LHU's school records in the mile, 1000m, and 4x400. Her current PR's are 2:14 (800), 4:41 (1500), 5:07 (mile), 17:56 (5k), 85:25 (half),and 3:07 (marathon). She coaches at Wayne Hills HS after heading coaching her alma mater for two years.
Men's Elite Athlete Captain: Jeff Perrella
Jeff teaches social studies in the Newark Public Schools through Teach for America. A former Group IV mile champion for Westfield, he had a successful career at Yale, where he qualified for the NCAA cross country championships his senior year. Now a Saucony Hurricane, he has won numerous races with the GSTC gold uniform: Penn Relays Distance Classic, President’s Cup, USATF East Region 10k, NJ-USATF XC 5k, and the USATF Club National Championship 10k. Jeff’s PRs are 14:22, 24:44, 30:04, and 68:13.
Men's Distance Coach: Chris Tafelski
Chris began coaching cross country and track and field at Westfield High School in 2003. A Westfield alumnus, Chris was a member of two NJ Group 4 Cross-Country championship teams. A walk-on member of the Rutgers University cross country and track and field teams, he was named team captain in his junior, senior, and graduate seasons. At Rutgers, he posted personal bests of 4:18 in the mile, 8:35 in the 3000, and 15:10 in the 5000. At Westfield, the boys were Group 4 state champions in cross-country in 2009, 2010, and 2011, and finished 2nd in 2012. In 2011, the team earned a berth to Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, OR.
Women's Distance Coach: Rob DeCarlo
Rob, a former sprinter originally from Park Ridge, was the 2011 New Jersey Boys Track "Coach of the Year" and recently stepped down as head track coach at Don Bosco Prep HS where, from 2002-2013, his teams captured numerous league and Bergen County titles, two NJSIAA State Sectional titles, five NJSIAA State Non-Public "A" titles and won two Nike/NSIC National Championship relays (4x800 & SMR). In June 2011, Rob's team was selected to compete in the Nike Track Nationals, where the Ironmen finished 8th overall. Rob was also named Bergen Record North Jersey "Coach of the Decade" by Paul Schwartz for his efforts at NV/Old Tappan HS and Don Bosco Prep from 2000-2009. Rob works with the women's team to prepare for the USATF-NJ races and the USATF National Club Championships in XC and Track.
Throws Coach: James Luginsland
After success at the NCAA DIII and NJCAA DI levels, James joined the GSTC and played a critical role in helping the club win the 2013 USATF national championship. He began his coaching career in 2011 at Montclair State University where he served as throws coach. While at MSU, two of his throwers qualified for the 2012 Penn Relays and the 2012 NCAA DIII National Championship meets in the shot put and javelin. In 2013, he joined the Essex County College coaching staff, responsible for coaching the throwing events and weight room coach for all athletes. As an athlete, James was a four-year letter winner for MSU. With a BS in chemistry, he is now finishing his master’s degree in chemistry at FDU.
Jumps/Hurdles Coach: David Lado
While supporting GSTC athletes, he is the director of High Intensity Track and Field. A graduate of Rider University where he competed for the indoor/outdoor track and field team. He was 3-time MAAC Conference Champion in 400 hurdles and IC4A Qualifier in multiple events, which consisted of 400 Hurdles, 800 Meter, 4x400, 4x800. He is also the Assistant Track and Field coach at New York University, where he coaches the sprints, hurdles, and jumps.
Mile-Steeplechase Coach: Ken Goglas
Sprints/800m Coach: Chuck Schneekloth
Community Outreach Coodinator: David Fett
David is currently studying pharmacy at Rutgers University while working in a Walgreens Pharmacy and is the proud owner of a minivan. He joined GSTC in 2012 so that he could get into the shape he was in during high school. Entering the club with a 5k best of 21 minutes, he saw his times drop dramatically leading to a PR of 16:53 in his first season.
Social Media Coordinator: Sean Donohue
Sean is a 2013 graduate of Rider University with a degree in public relations and marketing. With PRs of 30:32 (10k) and 14:46 (5k), he was a four-year letter winner in both cross country and track and field for Rider. He now works for Road Runner Sports in Shrewsbury. When he isn’t putting in the miles, he’s most likely cheering for the Devils, Yankees, or Giants.
Graphic and Web Designer: Nicole Fredrickson, Yarbie Industries
Nicole is an experienced graphic designer, working on websites when she is not either at her full-time graphic design job or in the studio painting. Her company website can be viewed at www.yarbieindustries.com.