Meet the Racing Team

Meet the members of the Frederick Steeplechasers Racing Team. Our Racing Team is comprised of an Elite and a Developmental Team. We all enjoy competing in a variety of distances from 200m to 100 miles. We have members that are relatively new to the club and a handful that are seasoned veterans who truly round out our team with their experience. We look forward to our 2018 season and hope this is the stepping stone for many more years of fast times.

Elite Men’s Team

Art Gregory

I started jogging in my 30’s, logging up to 3 miles per day to stay in shape generally and for playing softball. I rarely went more than 3 miles at an easy pace. I ran the Market Street Mile and a few other races with friends, but never competitively, just to run with friends. My running took a competitive turn after running a 5k to determine how “in shape” I really was. After that really slow race, I determined it was time to become competitive in my age group if nothing else. I went back and took more than 6 min off that 5k time. That year was my first year as a Steeplechaser. Since that time I have tried to become competitive in distances from 200 meters to 26.2 miles and everything in between. Any success I have had is a result of joining the Steeplechasers, and the help, training, friendship, and encouragement from my Steeps friends. My hope is to remain competitive with those in my age group well into the next decade.

Josh Henson

Josh Henson started running in 6th grade and never stopped. Most of his racing PR’s were set when he ran track and cross country at the University of Louisville, but he’s stayed active on the 5k – 10 mile race circuit and has completed 8 marathons, including two Bostons. His goals this year include having a successful racing season for the Steeps Racing Team and to complete his first ultra in the Catoctin 50k. Josh has been the co-director of the Lincoln Panthers Running Club for the past three seasons and has a great passion for coaching youth in Frederick.

Tim O’Keefe

I’m Tim O’Keefe and have been running distance for the past 43 years (39 as a Steep). I’m a past president and secretary of the club and currently a board member as well as the creator and organizer of the Summer Decathlon series. Though my fast days are behind me, I still enjoy both the competitive and social aspects of the club. I’ve gone through many running “phases”…trying to break 40 in a 10k (PR 35:49), break 20 for 5k (PR 17:11), break 3 hours for a marathon (PR 2:56.49), and 5 minutes for a mile (PR 4:46). After running Boston in 3:01, I went into my ultra phase having done two 50 milers and twelve 50k’s. I have even dabbled in the steeplechase where I was 2nd in my age group at the USATF Regional Championships (good enough to earn All American status).
I truly enjoy running and all associated with it. I coached track and cross country in middle school for 20 years. I am a Maryland State Track official and work at local track and cross country meets. I’m also a Maryland State Course Certifier and have measured and certified many of the race courses in the Tri-State area.

I’m not sure what phase I am in now…maybe just doing races that are fun and interest me. This includes the Pittsburgh Sports “Trifecta”… Pirates 10k, Steelers 5k, and Penguins 6.6k (my first place finish enabled a photo op with the Stanley Cup!). I still try and hit the trails at least once a week and enjoy training for future events. My focus has changed from intense training to making sure I can stay injury free. If I can do that, I can continue to enjoy my running and the fun the Steeplechasers club offers.

Louis Schiavone

Louis, 25, was a “late bloomer” in terms of competitive running, as he had never run on a team in high school nor in college. His interest in distance running was sparked by his first 5k, the Frederick Turkey Trot in 2012. From there, he continued running and racing in a few 5k’s here and there until he caught the “running bug” and decided to run a full marathon (Rock N Roll D.C., March 2015) before graduating from UMD. Louis got involved with the Steeplechasers in late 2016. Running with the Steeplechasers has brought Louis an immense amount of joy and growth as a runner, and he hopes to help provide that to other runners in the Frederick community and beyond. A couple of Louis’ best results so far are a 16:51 5k at the 2017 Frederick Turkey Trot and a 59:20 at the 2017 Baltimore 10 Miler. He hopes to continue to grow in 2018 as part of the Steeplechasers’ Racing Team, and he looks forward to being an active member of the Steeplechasers for years to come.

Chris VanSant

I started running back on 2012 to lose weight. I joined a gym and worked my way up to 3 miles of continuous running and a gym friend talked me into trying a 5k. Reluctantly, I signed up not knowing 1) if I’d be able to finish, or 2) if I’d come in last. Well 1) I did, and 2) I didn’t, and a competitive runner was born that day.

I started training for longer distances and held my own in my age group at local races. Along the way, I’ve met some great friends, running races near and far, short and long, marathons and relays.

My first marathon was a planned one-and-done, but coming within 20 minutes of a BQ without “real” training had me reconsider with a more dedicated training plan. Marathon #2 had me within 10 minutes of that coveted mark, so there was no stopping there. I finally qualified for Boston on marathon #4. I ran Boston in April 2017, and it was my proudest moment as a runner that I could ever imagine.

I look forward to continuing to represent the Steeplechasers Racing Team, as I still aim for PR’s every chance I get.

Elite Women’s Team

Connie Pritchard

Developmental Men’s Team

Bruce Attavian

After starting to run about 50 years ago to get in better shape for tennis, I discovered that I actually liked running as its own sport. I moved to the Frederick area from western NY State, and have been a member of the Steeps since 1993. I helped compile club race results and GP standings for several years before Lou King developed Scoretility, which now handles everything more accurately and much faster!

Although I have participated in races from the mile to the marathon, my favorite distances are the 5k through the half marathon. The years since I ran my fastest races are long gone, but I still enjoy getting out as much as possible to stay in shape. My best times are as follows: 5k – 17:44; 5 miles – 29:20; 10k – 37:18; 10 miles – 1:03:27; 13.1 miles -1:26:55.

FSRC members are a great group of people, and I’m honored to be able to represent the club thanks to the magic of age-grading!

Dustin Campion

Dustin started running after high school as a way to stay in shape but never really ran competitively. In 2015, he ran his first marathon, the BaltimoreMarathon, and his first 50 miler, the JFK 50, a month later. After that, he was hooked.

Dustin has trained hard over the last few years and accumulated 2500 miles run in 2017. He is shooting to run 3600 miles in 2018, along with competing in many ultra distance events. He is hoping to win his first ultra event this year overall – he placed as high as 2nd in 2017, but has not yet had an overall win. He also hopes to break 18 minutes in the 5k and 3 hours in the marathon this year.

Bill Duke

Mike Geisler

I have participated in many different sports throughout my life: baseball, football, basketball, softball, outdoor enthusiast, and always a “jogger.” A few community 5k’s and 10k’s were all I had on my resume until age 40. Getting to know a lot of the local runners, joining the Frederick Steeplechasers, participating in a Chi-running clinic, understanding nutrition, and genuine interest in becoming a faster, pain-free runner lit the fire in me. The people I’ve met, the milestones I’ve hit, goals surpassed, and experiences I’ve had, have been unbelievably rewarding. When I turned 40, I updated my bucket list to run a marathon. I did, and then went on to run three 50k’s as well. Lots of miles and and hard work later, I will be running in the Boston Marathon in April 2018.

Lou King

I used to play indoor soccer. I was one of those people who, when confronted with a runner, proudly would say something like, “I never run more than 40 yards at a time”. Then I tore up one knee. After ACL reconstruction, I was back to indoor soccer. I played for several more years and then tore up the other knee. At 46, the knee guy said something like, “you’re no spring chicken”, and my soccer career was over.

Anyway, in the meantime, Harriet Langlois had been trying to get me to start running for 10 years. I actually tried at one point during that time but it didn’t last more than a month or so. However, post-soccer, after a year or so of not doing much of anything, in 2005 at age 48 I decided to give running a go.

I got the marathon bug when Harriet was getting ready to run the Philadelphia Marathon. We had lunch with a bunch of “internet friends” who we had relationships with on (before it was bought by Active). The camaraderie among these wonderful people was infectious and I, too, was motivated to start marathon training.

I ran my first marathon (Frederick!) in 2006. I’ve now run 28 marathons in 24 states, the only state repeated being Massachusetts for several Boston Marathons. I consider myself a marathon runner rather than a “short” distance runner, but seem to have my best results around 1 mile or so, at least from an age-grade perspective. And I have to say, every time I get to mile 20 in a marathon, I think about how much better I like 10-milers and half marathons!

I was happy to qualify for the racing team in a 5k race, and hope to be able to requalify sufficiently often so I can remain on the team.

Matthew Rydzik

I started running in the summer of 2009 to avoid the boredom of summer in a college town. I signed up for my first race, a hilly snow-covered central Pennsylvania half-marathon, shortly after. Despite barely finishing my first race (I probably should have done a 5k first), I was hooked. Since then, running has lead me to many great friendships and has allowed me to explore numerous cities and natural wonders.

After moving between three states in four years, my wife and I settled in Frederick and fell in love with the city. Frederick offers a wide variety of running options, from roads to trails. I began to venture from the roads to trails, and was able to reconnect with a lot of the outdoor experiences I had as a child. Over the last two years, I have begun to focus on ultra-marathons and trail races to spend more time outdoors. I am attempting my first 100-mile race this spring and hoping the training for these longer distance events will lead to some new road PR’s.

I look forward to 2018 with the Steeplechasers Racing Team and pushing myself to new limits.

Developmental Women’s Team

Jenny Hallberg

Jenny started running in high school as a way to stay in shape for soccer, but she enjoyed running so much that she quit soccer altogether to spend more time running! She completed her first marathon (Frederick) at age 17, and has since run 4 more (and subsequently sworn off the distance each time). Always one to run for the sheer bliss of running (and to burn off the calories from eating Hawaiian pizza and peanut butter), Jenny had previously never run competitively, and she enjoys having the opportunity to do so on the Steeps racing team. Her favorite distance is the half marathon and although she typically prefers small, low-key races to big ones, her best-loved race is the Frederick Half Marathon. Jenny is an active volunteer on the Steeps technology and competition committees, and her goal for 2018 is to stay in shape enough to keep up with Katelin, Louis, and Evan on training runs. Oh, and a sub-1:30 half marathon would be nice, too.

Katelin Knepley

I started running in 6th grade when I was the manager for my middle school’s cross country team, and have been hooked ever since with continuing to compete throughout high school, college, and now locally in Frederick. In the past I focused on mainly shorter distances (1 mile – 5k) but am now trying to expand into 10k’s, half marathons, and…someday…marathons! I love running both competitively and socially and hope to make it something I can enjoy lifelong.

Harriet Langlois

After running for a few years in my 20’s, I took some time off to focus on a career and family. I got back to it in 1996 at age 40, and started seriously going after the marathon distance in 2005. I am averaging 2 to 3 marathons per year and have 30 marathons (23 states) as of March, 2018. I love that the Steeplechasers have pushed me to do more racing, including the track races of our Summer Decathlon series. My PR’s are likely behind me, but I am focused now on maintaining and improving age-grade results. When I’m not training or racing, I do quite a bit of volunteer work for the Steeplechasers in various roles, including club Treasurer and Race Director of the Frederick Women’s Distance Festival.

Ruth Taylor

My name is Ruth and I’m a reformed soccer player. Been running all my life as part of sports, but have only been running races since 2007. I’m a running generalist…I love all distances from our decathlon track series and 1 mile races all the way up to ultra-marathons (50k and 50 miles). I am an original member of the Frederick Steeplechasers Racing Team since its formation. Since 2012, I’ve completed over 35+ races each year. Recent racing pursuits have been completing the MD Grand Prix RRCA race series (placing 1st, 2nd, 3rd overall female, and 1st AG) in the past five years and pursuing marathons in all 50 states. I have completed 4 trail ultra-marathons with three 50k’s – including two Catoctin 50K and two Stone Mill 50 Milers. Except for my 1st marathon, all have been Boston qualifiers (12 total). To date, I’ve run 13 marathons in 10 states including a sweep of the U.S. major world marathons with time-qualifier entries at New York, Boston, and Chicago in the past year. I’m an active volunteer for the Frederick Steeplechasers including heading the social committee for 2 1/2 years and now I’m co-chairing the competition committee.

Jamie Wisz

Hi, my name is Jamie Wisz. I grew up in Frederick and it will always be my hometown even though I now live over two mountains. I was a swimmer before I was a runner. I swam on FAST at a young age. Then started running at the age of sixteen in high school. During that the same year in 2006, our girls’ XC team won states. I ran cross country and track for three years in High school, two years at HCC, and half a year of track at Hood College. In 2012, I became a student assistant coach for XC at HCC while training for my first marathon and first ultra relay race. I was involved in two running clubs at two different colleges in 2013 and 2016. I started doing triathlons in 2014. Then in 2015, I became a FSRC member.

In 2017, I started coaching track at MSD while training for and finishing my first Boston Marathon. Later that year, I competed at the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship and finished my first Olympic distance in a very hard age group. Finally in November, I PR’d in my 5K time.

I am blessed to have this opportunity to be a part of a great community by volunteering, competing, and cheering other great runners on! Go Runners!