RunPro Camp 2018 Speakers

Jared Ward, a 2016 U.S. Olympian and resident of Layton, UT, ran collegiately at Brigham Young University. At the 2016 Olympic Trials in Los Angeles, he finished third in the Marathon in 2:13:00, securing a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. Later that summer, at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Ward ran a personal best time 2:11:00 in the Marathon, finishing sixth overall and second overall among American men. Ward is also the 2015 USATF running circuit title holder, with victories that year in the USA 20 km, 25 km, and Marathon Championships. He was the 2016 RRCA Road Runner of the Year.  

Jean Knaack is the Executive Director of the Road Runners Club of America where she has served in the role since 2005, bringing twenty years of nonprofit management experience to the position. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay with a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Nutrition. She earned a Master’s of Public Administration with a concentration in nonprofit management from George Mason University. She regularly counsels running club and event leaders around the country on various topics of importance to the running community. Through her work with the RRCA she is a fitness advocate promoting running as healthy exercise and a competitive sport on a national scale. She is an avid runner and has completed several marathons and countless road races and triathlons. She was a finisher at the inaugural Ironman Louisville race in 2007 and finished Ironman France in 2009 and Ironman Coeur D’Alene in 2010.

Tom Brumlik is a former assistant coach at American University and the current General Manager of the District Track Club. While at American University Tom organized and coordinated the recruiting for the men’s and women’s cross country and track programs.  Prior to joining American University, he spent five years coaching distance runners at Westerville North High School in Westerville, Ohio, helping guide 10 athletes to All-State performances in cross country and the 800m, 1600m, 3200m and 4x800m relay. In 2011 and 2013, Westerville North won the National Championship in the 4×1 Mile Relay and Distance Medley Relay at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals.  In 2015 he graduated from American with a Masters Degree in Health Promotion.  Tom believes that promoting track and health can and should be a simultaneous endeavor.  He will do his best to direct the District Track Club to be more involved with Washington  D.C. community as practical advocates of running and general wellness.

Matt Centrowitz is a former Olympian and current head track and cross country coach at American University.  As a high school athlete at Power Memorial in NYC, Matt Centrowitz set the NY State High School record in the 1500m in 3:43.3 as well as the Mile record in 4:02.7. At the University of Oregon, Centrowitz set the 1500m school record in 3:36.7 and was a member of the 1977 NCAA Cross Country Championship team.  Centrowitz is a two-time Olympian (’76 and ’80), set an American record in the 5,000m and was 4x U.S. Outdoor Track and Field champion at 5,000m. At American, he has coached 10 All-Americans. Under the tutelage of Centrowitz, American University track/cross country athletes have won numerous Academic All-American awards, All-Patriot academic awards and Patriot League sportsmanship awards. In addition to coaching collegiately, Centrowitz has coached many successful elite and professional runners including Olympians Julie Culley, David Strang, John Trautman and Jen Rhines.

Nicole DiMercurio is a native of Suwanee, GA, not far from where she went to college at the University of Georgia in Athens. During her time at Georgia DiMercurio was an All-SEC performer in both the 5,000m and 10,000m run and earned All-South Region honors in cross country her senior year. After graduating she joined Greenville Track Club Elite where her 1:14 half marathon performance at the Jacksonville Half Marathon qualified her for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials. In her 2nd year as a ZAP athlete Nicole placed 11th at the 2017 US Marathon Championship with a time of 2:36:01. The time was not only a personal best but also qualified her for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials. In March of 2018 Nicole won the Anthem Shamrock Half Marathon in a personal best and course record time of 1:13:15. Four weeks later Nicole broke through to finish 6th at the Boston Marathon.

Larry Eder has had a 44 year involvement in the sport of athletics. Larry has experienced the sport as an athlete, coach, magazine publisher and now, journalist and blogger. His first article, on Don Bowden, America's first sub 4 minute miler, was published in RW in 1983. Larry has published several magazines on athletics, from American Track & Field to the U.S. version of Spikes magazine. He currently manages the content and marketing development of the RunningNetwork, The Shoe Addicts and RunBlogRun. Of RunBlogRun, his daily pilgrimage with the sport, Larry says: "I have to admit, I love traveling to far away meets, writing about the sport I love, and the athletes I respect, for my readers at runblogrun.com, the most of anything I have ever done, except, maybe running itself."

Pat Goodwin is the President and Founder of Team USA Minnesota, a distance training center created in 2001 and based in Minneapolis/St. Paul.  She is also a public relations consultant with the Goodwin Communications Group.  She previously taught in the Master of Business Communications program at the University of St. Thomas and in the Communications Studies department at the University of Minnesota, and was Vice President of Public Relations at U.S. Bank.  Her running-related career includes a five-year stint as the running columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, President and Board member of the Twin Cities Marathon, and the long distance running chair for USATF Minnesota.  She started running in 1982, has completed 42 marathons and this year qualified again for Boston.

John Hricay is an IAAF and USATF Authorized Athlete Representative at HAWI Management.  His primary responsibilities include the day-to-day affairs of the Agency’s 20+  athlete-clients that include Olympic and World Championships medalists Meb Keflezighi, Leo Manzano, Joe Kovacs, Brenda Martinez, and Boris Berian.  John served as “Co-Chairman” of the New York Athletic Club Track and Field team for 5.5 years during which time NYAC athletes captured 54 USATF National Championships and 99 International Team Selections, including 11 who competed at the 2012 Olympic Games.  John’s prior professional experience includes an 11-year stint at JP Morgan Chase where he was a Vice President.  He has a BS from the University of Maryland, an MBA from the University of Notre Dame, and a Master’s in Sports Management from Columbia University.  

Merhawi “Hawi” Keflezighi launched HAWI Sports Management in 2005, culminating from his many years of professional and educational experience. As a student manager for the UCLA Men’s Basketball Team from 1999-2002, Hawi was critical to the team's success as a consistently top ranked NCAA team. His experience on the court merged with his studies off the court as he went on to receive a B.A in Communication Studies from UCLA and a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law. From public relations to a legal education, the expertise Hawi has derived from UCLA signifies an essential foundation for his success as a sports manager. Hawi boasts a diverse roster of athletic talent including 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist and 2014 Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi, who happens to be his brother, and 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist Leo Manzano. He is certified as a USATF, ENAF, and IAAF athlete representative for World Championships and Olympic Games.  Hawi has solicited, negotiated, and executed over $5M in sponsorship contracts, appearance fees and speaking engagements for his clients.

Chris Lundstrom is the Head Coach of Team USA Minnesota. He is responsible for recruiting, retaining, developing and managing a team of 10 to 12 male and female professional distance runners in events ranging from the 1500 meters up through the marathon – on the roads, track and in cross country. Chris is a native of Northfield, Minnesota, who competed on the NCAA Championship track and cross country teams at Stanford University in the late 1990s. During his years as a competitive runner, he finished third (2001) and then fourth (2006) in the USA Marathon Championships, was a three-time qualifier for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials (2004, 2008, 2012). As a coach, he has 18 years of experience at the high school, college and post-collegiate level including coaching seven women to the 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon. He has his Ph.D. in kinesiology (2015), with an emphasis in exercise physiology, and did his dissertation on running performance.

Christopher Mengel founded and leads Elite Runner Management LLC a sports agency representing professional track & field athletes in the planning, arranging and negotiating of their competition schedules and sponsorships. Chris is a licensed attorney with over 30 years of professional experience in negotiating contracts and representing clients. He is an Athlete Representative (certified sports agent) who is authorized by USA Track & Field and the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) in Monaco. Chris attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana and Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. He received his law degree from Michigan State University College of Law.

Greta Neimanas is a two-time U.S. Paralympian in cycling, and athlete presenter for the United States Anti-Doping Agency. Headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USADA’s professional staff is responsible for managing and coordinating the organization’s testing, science & research, education, and adjudication initiatives.

Bill Orr:  Orr is the President of Hatton Insurance Agency in Bartow, FL. For the past thirty-five years, Bill has had experience as an elite athlete coordinator with such events as the Gasparilla Distance Classic 15k (Tampa, FL), Heart of Florida Citrus Classic 10k (Winter Haven, FL), SouthTrust Running Festival 10 Mile (St. Petersburg, FL) and Quad City Times Bix 7 (Davenport, IA). Currently, Bill assists the organizers of the AJC Peachtree Road Race 10k, ING New York City Marathon and is the Elite Athlete Coordinator with the ASICS LA Marathon and Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run.

Tyler Pennel comes to ZAP Fitness-Reebok as one of the most decorated athletes in Western State’s history. Pennel was a multiple time All American while in Gunnison and won the NCAA Division II 10,000m title in 2012. In his first year as a ZAP-Reebok athlete Tyler turned in 3 top 10 performances at US Championship events. In January of 2014 Tyler qualified for his first US National Team with his breakthrough 4th place finish at the US Half Marathon Championships, where he ran what was at the time the #16 all time mark in US history of 1:01:44. In the summer of 2014, Tyler took 2nd at the historic Peachtree Road Race, doubling as the US 10k Championships. In Tyler's debut marathon he ran away from the field at the US Marathon Championships at Twin Cities to win his first national title and post a 2:13:33 mark. Following his marathon victory in the fall, Tyler turned his attention back to the track in the spring of 2015 where he rattled off personal bests of 3:58 for the mile, 13:32 for 5k, and 28:22 for 10k before capping off his spring with another runner-up finish at the Peachtree Road Race. In the fall of 2015 Tyler put together a brilliant road racing campaign with a win at the Pittsburgh 10 Miler and two runner-up finishes at the US 10 Miler Championships and US Road Racing Championships. In February of 2016 Tyler ran the US Olympic Marathon Trials where he finished 5th.

Ben Rosario was a Division II All American at tiny Truman State University, before landing a spot on the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project team in 2003. There he became the youngest qualifier for the 2004 Olympic Trials Marathon where he finished 37th. He returned to his hometown of Saint Louis in the summer of 2005 and that fall finished second at the U.S. Marathon Championships at the Twin Cities Marathon. He ended his career with personal bests of 4:03 in the mile and 2:18 in the marathon. Ben has coached everyone from third graders, to beginning adult runners to World Championship performers. His motivational skills and training knowledge have translated to success at every level. His work with the Big River Racing Team in Saint Louis produced three different Olympic Trials qualifiers; Shannon Leinert (800), Julie Lossos (Marathon) and Adam MacDowell (Marathon). He also led Canadian Stephanie Hood to top-11 finishes at the Boston (2:44:44) and Chicago (2:35:09) Marathons in 2008 as well as the Canadian Cross Country Title. In a short time with HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite (formerly Team RunFan) he has guided Jordan Chipangama to a 2:13:08 marathon (6-minute PR), Matt Llano to a 1:01:47 half marathon (90-second PR) and Amy Van Alstine to the USA Cross Country National Title.

Mike Scott is the Chair of the USA Track & Field's Long Distance Running Division and has been actively involved with USATF since 1991. From 2003-2016 he chaired USATF's Cross Country Council, which oversees the USA national championships, international teams, and national development programs in that discipline. Scott received USATF's President's Award in 2001 for his long-term contributions to cross country and distance running at the national level. Scott is a four-time USA National Team Coach. He has served as the Senior Men's Coach for the 2004 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Brussels, Belgium, the Junior Women's Coach at the 2006 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, the Junior Men's Coach at the 2000 World Cross Country Championships in Vilamoura, Portugal, and the Team Leader/Manager for the USA National Team at the 1994 Yokohama International Ekiden Relay. He also serves as the Academic Advisor/Learning Specialist for the Football and Women's Cross Country/Track & Field at the University of Rhode Island.

Phil Stewart is President of Road Race Management, Inc., a membership organization that publishes Road Race Managementnewsletter and other important publications for the organizers of running events including “Organizing Running Events: The Complete Guide to Staging a Successful Road Race, the Running Industry Resource Directory, The Guide to Greener Running Events,, and the Online Guide to Prize Money Races and Elite Athletes. In addition Stewart is the co-organizer of the annual Road Race Management Race Directors' Seminar and Trade Exhibit, an annual sport-wide industry gathering. He is the event director of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, the premier springtime running event in Washington, DC. The event is part of the Professional Road Running Organization Championship Circuit and is continually rated as one of the outstanding races in America, attracting 15,000 runners annually.

Rachel R. Tambling is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut. She received her PhD from University of Georgia and her MA from Western Michigan University. Rachel is a licensed Marital and Family Therapist and supervisor. Her clinical practice at the Bristol Hospital Multispecialty Group’s Psychiatry office is centered around assisting individuals living with anxiety/depression and difficulties stemming from trauma survivorship. Rachel is also the Director of the COAMFTE-Accredited Masters and PhD Programs in Marriage and Family Therapy, where she trains developing therapists. She has served on the board of a crisis center, staffed a suicide hotline, and consulted on college student athlete mental health. Her academic research interests are centered around understanding factors that contribute to successful outcomes in therapy. Specifically, she is interested in factors known to influence therapy initiation and persistence. She is a RRCA-certified running coach, and certified fitness professional. 

Steve Taylor is the President/Founder of the Collegiate Running Association and  Head Men's XC Coach at the University of Richmond. During Taylor's coaching career his athletes have earned nine league team titles in cross country and track & field, 33 individual champions have been crowned, 137 All-Conference performers have been decorated and 14 NCAA All-Region performers in cross country including John Ciccarelli in 2004. Taylor is a former two-time member of the United States World Cup Marathon team (1991 and 1995) which competed in London, England, and Athens, Greece. He also was a member of the 1991 United States World Track & Field Championship Team which competed in Tokyo, Japan. As a professional runner, Taylor finished sixth in the 1992 Olympic Marathon Trials held in Columbus, Ohio, and was named an alternate to the Olympic team. In 1988, he won the TAC (USA Track & Field) National Championship in the 10,000 meters and RRCA 10 Mile National Championship.

Jack Wickens is a retired executive with United Heath Group, Wickens has been involved with the USA Track & Field Foundation since 2005 and founded AthleteBiz in 2015. He also served as Vice-Chair for the USA Track & Field Board of Directors.  A Bucknell grad, Jack ran on the track and cross country teams for the Bisons.  He now enjoys golf and cycling.

Lauren Zangardi Haynes CIMA, CFP® is the founder of Spark Financial Advisors and the finance blog for young'ish professionals Words on Wealth. Lauren works with her clients clarify their values and life plans, then organize and manage their finances to help facilitate each individual's vision. With over 13 years of experience in the financial services industry, she is a passionate supporter of fiduciary advice (which means an advisor has to put the client's interests first). Lauren serves on the South Region Board for the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors

RunPro Camp thanks RRCA Program Manager Andy Smith for Coordinating the Camp

Andy Smith: Smith came to the RRCA from The Washington Post, where he served as a Community Editor, working to develop strategies and programs to improve the paper’s local internet presence. He has a strong interest in digital communications, social media, and web analytics and works hard to stay on top of the latest trends in each field.  Smith has a background in sports communications, spending four years in Media Relations for the University of Pittsburgh’s Athletic Department in his hometown, where he authored profiles on future NFL players Dorin Dickerson, LaRod Stephens-Howling and LeSean McCoy. He earned his master’s degree at Georgetown in 2009 in Communication, Culture and Technology and his undergraduate degree from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY in American Culture.  He is responsible for coordinating all activities related to RRCA programs including Championship events, Kids Run the Nation Program, Runner Friendly Community, National Awards, RUN@WORK Day, Race Director Certification, and much more. Email: programs@rrc.org