Meet The Team

Coaches + Administrators

Matt Centrowitz 

Team Director/Coach

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.

Drew Mearns

Business & Program Development Director

Drew Mearns was an accomplished high school, collegiate and international class distance runner (at Yale, NYAC-New York Athletic Club, and the Ohio Track Club). Coach Mearns recruited and coached many All-American men and women at NCAA Division I track powers University of Virginia and University of Kentucky. As an corporate attorney and then agent with the world’s premier sports agency (IMG) in the 80’s and 90’s, Coach Mearns managed dozens of Olympians, world record-holders, and many of the world’s top distance runners and triathletes (including Sebastian Coe, Alberto Salazar, Bill Rodgers, Mary Decker Slaney, Anne Audain, Craig Virgin, Mark Allen, Scott Molina and many, many others). For the past 15 years, Coach Mearns has coached and developed outstanding programs that help guide, train and support serious young distance runners, their parents and coaches.

Tom  Brumlik

General Manager + Coach

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.

Sam  Gunther

Assistant Coach + Social Media Director

Sam Gunther is a recent graduate of Bridgewater College and is currently the Explosive Performance Site Director at the Reston Sport&Health location. While at Bridgewater, Sam earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Health & Exercise Science, along with breaking multiple school and conference records on the track. Sam is USATF Level 1 certified, and now works hands-on with a wide variety of athletes and general population clients to improve speed, power, strength, mobility and to improve overall general health. With DTC, Sam works with improving runners’ durability, strength and mobility, along with running the club’s social media accounts.

Jeff Brannigan

Team Therapist

Jeff Brannigan is a movement and mobility expert who helps our athletes get back on track through a variety of musculoskeletal therapy techniques. He has worked with athletes ranging from novices, to weekend warriors, to World Championship and Olympic-level competitors.

Jeff’s enthusiasm is contagious, thanks to his own personal deep commitment to the work and the sport. A graduate of American University, he obtained a B.S. in Health Promotion and a M.S. in Health Promotion Management with an emphasis in Exercise Physiology. During college, as a successful track athlete, and beyond, as an elite runner, Jeff experienced the benefits of flexibility, strengthening, stretching, and endurance training. He is mentored by his coach, two-time Olympian Matt Centrowitz, and world-renowned musculoskeletal therapists Jim and Phil Wharton.

Jim   Hagberg

Exercise Physiologist

Jim Hagberg, PhD, is a Professor of Kinesiology at the University of Maryland, College Park and Professor of Medicine, University of Maryland Baltimore School of Medicine. He is an internationally-recognized exercise physiologist with a long history of studying the effects of exercise training on cardiovascular disease risk factors. He is a UMCP Distinguished Scholar-Teacher and in 2004 was given the American College of Sports Medicine Citation Award. He has had longstanding interests in track and field beginning as a volunteer assistant with the University of Wisconsin in 1973. In 2011-2012 he was a volunteer track and cross-country assistant coach with Andrew Valmon and Desmond Dunham at the University of Maryland. His knowledge of exercise physiology and human performance provides him unique insights into the testing, training, and development of endurance-based athletes in a number of sports including track, cross country, soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse. He also has a company, Training Optimization System, that is developing phone apps for athletes to enhance their training and performance.

Mike   Spino, Ph.D

Mental Training Specialist

Dr. Michael Spino has vast experience in coaching and teaching on the international level. He has organized coaching programs for the IOC through Olympic Solidarity, and researched mind/body topics within academic perimeters. He was a teacher and administrator of the Esalen Sport Center and directed numerous international programs at the University level at Georgia Tech, and Life University, where he coached cross-country and track teams that won 12national championships. He has coached world champion Master’s runners and Esalen founder Michael Murphy to world class distance running status. Dr. Spino directed the only US hosted UN conference for sport, development and peace at Kennesaw State University.

A Ph.D graduate of Lille2 University in Lille, France, his research on mental rehearsal with Kenyan distance runners broke new ground on specific mental focusing for various sports which is a feature of the mindset training for the Integral Athletic Training Center he is developing for Qatar with fellow SEC David Meggyesy. He is presently adjunct professor in the department of Health and Kinesiology at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He has written six books on the mental and physical aspects of sport including his bestseller, Beyond Jogging: the inner spaces of running.

 

 

Athletes

Sam Penzenstadler

1500m

  • Oshkosh, WI

  • Loyola University (Chicago)

  • 3-Time All-American

  • 1,500m - 3:39.64

  • Assistant Coach, Sidwell Friends School

Edose            Ibadin

800m

  • Glenn Dale, MD

  • Hampton University

  • 2016 Olympic Trials Semi-Finalist, 3-Time All-American

  • 800m - 1:45.91

  • Graduate Student, Towson University

Billy      Ledder

800m

  • Falls Church, VA

  • Georgetown University

  • 2-Time All-American

  • 800m - 1:47.62

  • Analyst, Sony Corporation of America

Myah     Hicks

800m

  • Alexandria, VA

  • University of Maryland

  • 800m - 2:05.55

  • Administrative Assistant, Washington DC Dermatology

Will  Crocker

1,500m

  • Belvidere, IL

  • University of Missouri

  • 3-Time All-Southeastern Conference

  • 1,500m - 3:41.89

Derek Holdsworth

800m

  • Williamsburg, VA

  • Lafayette High School (Virginia)

  • 2014 NSAF National Champion (800m)

  • 800m - 1:47.64

  • Sales Associate, Potomac River Running

Julian Parker

800m

  • Baton Rouge, LA

  • Louisiana State University

  • 2015 SEC Champion, 2015 USATF Outdoor Semi-Finalist

  • 800m - 1:46.17

  • Associate, Dick's Sporting Good Olympic Contenders Program

Merrecia  James

800m

  • Portland, Jamaica

  • University of Maryland Eastern Shore

  • 800m - 2:06.49

Ryan Mahalsky

5,000m – 10,000m

  • Hillsborough, NJ

  • Lehigh University

  • All-American

  • 5,000m - 13:56, 10,000m - 28:57

  • Assistant Coach, American University

Giovani Mowatt

800m

  • Silver Spring, Westmoreland (Jamaica)

  • Howard University

  • 2016 Jamaican Olympic Trials Champion (1,500m)

  • 800m - 1:50.08

  • Graduate Student, Howard University

Alumni

Chris Kwiatowski

5,000m – Marathon

Jesse Carlin

800m

Matt Howard

3,000m Steeplechase

James Carey

800m

Anne Twombly

1,500m

Andrew Smith

800m