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 competitive runners of all levels, and to foster the future of New Jersey running by providing support to underprivileged young 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.
Chuck Schneekloth: President
Chuck is an English teacher and track coach from Metuchen. The New Jersey representative for the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), he has master’s degrees from Rutgers (Secondary English Education) and UC Berkeley (Education Administration). In college, he was a four-time All-Big East half miler at Rutgers. He spent the next ten years on the West Coast, head coaching at Seaside (OR), Castlemont (CA), and San Francisco State University (CA). In 2009, the USATF selected him for the "Emerging Elite Coaching Program" at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. After winning one state title (Oregon) and four city titles (Oakland), he returned to NJ and, most recently, was voted 2010 GMC and Area Cross Country Coach of the Year by The Home News and Tribune. His career coaching record is 79-7, and has PRs of 1:52.80 (800), 4:18.5 (Mile), 15:32 (5k), 32:47 (10k), and 75:46 (half-marathon). In 2012, Seaside High School voted him into their Hall of Fame, as he is still the youngest coach in Oregon state history to win a state title.
As a sprints coach, Chuck has found success in three different states. At Oregon's state meet, his boys (3rd) and girls (2nd) both medaled in the 4x400 relay in 2001, with the girls (3rd) and Monica Teeple (3rd, 200m) medaling in 2002 at historic Hayward Field. While at Castlemont, he coached Jeremy Jones (53.45) to a nation-leading 400IH time for five weeks in 2004. Jones, a national finalist in the 400m in the Indoor Scholastic National Championships, also anchored California's 2nd fastest sprint medley that year (1:33.01), a record that still stands at the San Rafael Twilight Meet. Two Castlemont relay teams, a 4x400 (2004) and sprint medley (2009), qualified and competed at the indoor national championships. At San Francisco State , he coached freshman Kavina Hall to a CCAA individual championship in the 400m, along with breaking the SFSU indoor school record in the 4x400 relay (3:56.71). In one season at South Brunswick, he coached Kotey Ashie to a 400m county title, along with breaking a 34-year old 4x400 school record with a 3:20.23 effort, NJ's 5th fastest mark at the time.
For the GSTC, he coached numerous post-collegiates to all-time PRs, including Mike Brito (48.84/52.97h), Tony Harris (1:52.69/48.70), Ricky Garcia (48.51), Duval Sewer (49.33), Marquis Cole (48.90), Alan Broussard (53.33h/14.54), and Mark Parisen (54.51).
Chris Tafelski: Head Distance Coach
Chris Tafelski is currently in his eigth year coaching Cross-Country and Track & Field and eighth year teaching science at Westfield High School. 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 & Field teams, Chris was named 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 have won the last two NJ state Group 4 championships in Cross-Country and have finished 5th and 4th in the last two NJ Meets of Champions. Chris also serves as throws coach for the boys and girls Winter Track teams.
Rob & Megan Decarlo: Half Marathon/Marathon Coaches
Rob, a former sprinter originally from Park Ridge, is the reigning New Jersey Boys Track "Coach of the Year" and has been the head track coach at Don Bosco Prep HS since 2002, during which time his teams have won 5 state titles and 2 national championships. Most recently,Rob's team was selected to compete in the Nike Track Nationals, held in conjunction with the USA Track & Field Championships in June 2011, where his Ironmen finished 8th overall. An avid runner and track & field enthusiast, Rob boasts PRs of 10.8 in the 100m, 17:36 for 5K, and 1:22:54 in the half marathon, as well 19'7 in the long jump & 34.1 in the 300m...with a few full marathons under his belt as well!
Meghan, a Hall-of-Fame distance runner from Garfield, has been the head coach at her alma mater since 2005. Her success on the track during high school led her to Rutgers University, where she earned three varsity letters as a three-season runner for the Scarlet Knights and was a Metropolitan Championships medalist and an Academic All-Big East recipient. Meghan has led her Lady Boilermakers to numerous league and invitational titles during her tenure there and is still a competitive runner and is an active member of the GSTC. Meghan has run PRs of 1:28.45 in the half marathon and 3:17:09 for the full 26.2.
Amy Denholtz: Couch to 5k Coach
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, nclr time as a Rutgers graduate student in the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.
Steve Bonica: Vice President
Steve is a high school science teacher in the Bronx. Born and raised in Metuchen, he was a member of 4 NJ Group 1 Track and Cross-Country Championship teams at Metuchen HS. While at Rutgers he raced on the RU Cycling team but quickly found his way back to running after graduation. Focusing on the marathon, Steve has established PR’s of 2:58:45 (marathon), 1:24:30 (half marathon) and 57:42 (15k) in the past few years. He has a true love of racing, but mostly just enjoys getting out on the road each day and fostering that enjoyment in other runners.
Prudence Jones: Master’s Women’s Captain
Prudence is a professor at Monclair State University in the Classics Department. With a PhD from Harvard University, this Massachusetts native and current New Brunswick resident has competed in numerous grand prix races for the gold and black.
Michael Brito: Sprints Captain
Mike brings a wealth of sprinting experience to the group, both as an athlete and coach. A 400/400IH specialist, he ran at Union High School (1997-2000) and Lock Haven University (2001-2005). After graduating from LHU, he coached Union from 2005-2008 and Kean University from 2008-2010. He is currently the club record holder in the 400IH and 4x400.
Anthony Harris: Sprints Captain; Media & Technology.
Tony is a rare hybrid who is the only GSTC member to break 50 for 400m and 16:00 for a 5k in a black and gold singlet. A graduate of East Brunswick HS and Rutgers University, he played an instrumental role in the GSTC capturing the 2011 NJ-USATF Open Men's Team Championship, as he placed 2nd overall in the NJ-USATF 8k Cross Country Championships. He is the current club record holder in the 800 and 4x400.
Alyssa Douma, Women's Elite Athlete Coordinator
Alyssa is the head coach of West Milford's girls cross country team. The current WMHS record holder in he 400, 800, and triple jump, she went on to a vey 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), 18:37 (5k), 86:22 (half),and 3:07 (marathon).
Jeff Perrella, Men's Elite Athlete Coordinator
Jeff teaches physical education for 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.
Shawnee Naughton: Team Dietitian
Shawnee is in her final year at Rutgers, majoring in nutritional science. She is an avid runner and has been involved in research with organic agriculture and whole foods nutrition for the past two years at Rutgers. Such work has spawned her interest in helping others balance their diet, exercise, and lifestyle.
Zach Speigel: Director, Essays 4 Equipment
Zach, a junior at Rutgers University, is majoring in English. A former cross country and track runner for North Brunswick HS, he helped secure the team’s first NJ-USATF team title as he was the team’s 5th man at the Grand Finale 10 Miler in 2011. He collects, inventories, and distributes all donated equipment after communicating with schools and students.
Mark Parisen: Strength & Conditioning
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.
Dan Teichmann: GSTC-Rutgers Men's Captain
Dan is a sophomore 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 1:23:15.
Norbert Kuter: GSTC-Kean Men's Captain
Norbert is an accounting major at Kean. A Metuchen graduate, he boasts PRs of 1:59, 4:32, and 18:01. He also is a members of the second fastest 4x800 team in MHS history. He competed for GSTC in the NJ-USATF xc 5k race and has raced in numerous track meets fir the gold and black.
Nicole Schneekloth - Graphic and Web Designer
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 personal website can be viewed at www.nicoleschneekloth.com
Cathy Stutzman: Board Member
Cathy is an avid runner who currently teaches at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington, NJ. There, she worked with the cross-country team as a volunteer for two years and participated in a faculty running club. She runs anything from 5Ks to marathons and enjoys training with groups of runners who share her enthusiasm for the sport.
Sarah Fairbrook- Board Member
Born and raised in Washington state, Sarah ran in both high school (Eisenhower HS/Yakima) and college (Willamette U/Salem). After teaching math and coaching track in Oakland for two years, she is now a nurisng student at UPenn. Sarah has run a few half marathons, but she now mostly focuses on the 5k. A math major in college, she supervises the books for the GSTC.
Alex Fowlie - Board Member
Alex Fowlie is currently working in Human Resources at Viking in Bridgewater. In addition, he is certified as a personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise and trains clients of all abilities in the evenings although his focus is on individuals training for half and full marathons .A Red Bank Catholic alumnus, Alex was a member of the 1996 Parochial B state championship cross country team and the 1997 Parochial B state championship track and field team. Alex continued his running career as a walk-on member of the Rutgers University Track & Field team from 1998-2001. Since college, Alex has been competing in road races of all distances (5ks through marathons) throughout the tri-state area and has PRs of 34:03 (10k), 55:35 (10mi) and 75:20(1/2 marathon).
Melissa Stoll - Consultant
Melissa Stoll is a consultant with the GSTC while serving as the head coach at Southern Connecticut State University. As an assistant coach with the Manhattan College track and field and cross country teams, Stoll worked primarily with the squad's distance runners. She came to Manhattan in 2008 after serving as an assistant coach at Iowa State, where she made immediate contributions to the Iowa State cross country and distance programs. Prior to Iowa State, Stoll was an assistant track and field and cross country coach at her alma mater, UC Riverside. The native of La Puente, Calif., was instrumental in the rapid rise of the UCR women's track program to the top of the Big West Conference and in the NCAA West Region. During her tenure at UCR, the women's cross country team earned its highest Big West Conference finish in school history.Stoll had a succe ssful competitive career at UCR, where she was a member of Highlanders' nationally ranked 4x800-meter relay and distance medley relay team. She earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from UCR in 2005 and a master's degree in teaching from National University in 2007. Stoll is a 2007 graduate of the NCAA Women's Coaches Academy and has received her USATF Level I coaching certification in 2008. Recently, the USATF selected her for the "Emerging Elite Coaching Program" at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
The elite racing team of the GSTC is a collection of the best runners in the Garden State. They are a team of athletes with centralized coaching, structured team workouts, and organized team races at the regional and national level. To become a member of GSTC Elite, please email the team with a running resume. This should include high school and college running experiences, PRs, and running goals.
GSTC General Membership
The GSTC General Membership is for runners of all abilities. Many members have some experience training, running, or racing. The goal of the GSTC is to provide training partners and a training structure to help you improve your times in all events, from the 5k to the marathon. It takes some work, but it’s fun to watch your times get better while sticking to the game plan!
GSTC Newcomer/ Couch to 5k Program
Never run a step before? That’s okay, because everyone has to start somewhere. This program is specifically designed for those who really want to try it out, but just don’t know how or where to start. The GSTC offers training plans to help you achieve your running goals while staying healthy. The hardest part is getting started- so let’s get started!