2017 Speaker Bios

2017 Day of Distance Speakers

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 To register for our Day of Distance Clinic, click this link.

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Steve Magness

Steve Magness is the current cross country coach at the University of Houston and coaches professional runners including multiple time world indoor competitor Sara Hall, 3:56 miler Tommy Schmitz, 3:58 miler Jake Edwards, and former NCAA champion Josh McDougal. In addition, he has worked for Nike, and served as a consultant to numerous Olympic runners and triathletes. He has been a serious runner since the age of 14 and has had numerous running accomplishments ranging from holding the Texas High School mile record (4:01.02), to qualifying for NCAA nationals. His writing includes being a monthly columnist for Running Times and contributing to Competitor magazine, Runner’s World, Men’s Health and IAAF’s New Studies in Athletics. Magness has also been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Outside Magazine, and numerous other publications.  Additionally, he maintains the popular running website www.ScienceofRunning.com.


To register for our Day of Distance Clinic, click this link.

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Juli Benson

 Juli Benson, recently joined the Penn Cross Country/Track and Field staff as an assistant coach for the men’s and women’s cross country and track and field programs.
 

Benson brings a plethora of experience to the Red and Blue including previous coaching stops at the Air Force Academy, George Mason, Georgetown and James Madison. Most recently, she served as the head men’s and women’s cross country coach and the assistant track coach at Air Force from 2009 to 2014. During that time, Benson worked with the middle distance and distance specialists that captured the 2012 outdoor and 2013 indoor Mountain West Championships while being selected as the conference coach of the year during that span.

While at Georgetown, Benson coached Chris Lukezic to a USATF Junior National Championship, a fourth-place finish at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials, a runner-up finish at the 2005 USATF Outdoor Championships as well as a semifinalist spot at the 2005 World Outdoor Championships in the 1,500 meters in Helsinki, Finland. She also guided Treniere Clement to a runner-up performance at the 2004 NCAA Outdoor Championships and led more than 20 athletes to USATFCCCA All-America honors during her five years with the Hoyas. On the international stage, Benson coached U.S. distance star Jenny Barringer Simpson to a gold medal at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea as well as a 2012 berth to the London Olympic Games. She also assisted Kevin Sullivan to Canadian records in the indoor and outdoor 3,000 meters and Lukezic to a seventh-place finish at the 2006 World Indoor Championships and the seventh-fastest 1,500 of all-time in U.S. history. Additionally, Benson was selected as an assistant women’s coach for the 2007 U.S. World Championship team in Osaka, Japan and as the junior women’s coach for the 2003 U.S. Cross Country team that captured their highest finish in history at the World Cross Country Championships in Lusanne, Switzerland. She has also been elected to the United States Women’s Track and Field Coaches Association advisory board and was a representative for USATF Women’s High Performance in the middle distances.As an athlete, Benson was a preeminent talent in the middle distances and represented the U.S. in the 1,500 meters at the 1996 Olympic Games. Sponsored by Reebok International and Asics Tiger Corporation, Benson competed in over 200 national and international competitions during her time as a professional athlete. She holds a B.S. in Political Science and a M.S. in Sports Administration from James Madison University and was a 2002 inductee into the JMU Athletic Hall of Fame.


To register for our Day of Distance Clinic, click this link.

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Dr. Gregory Biren is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Rowan University. He is a certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist, NCSA Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and Corrective Exercise Specialist recognized by the National Academy for Sports Medicine. Dr. Biren teaches science oriented courses such as Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology, Exercise Prescription, and Nutrition for Fitness. He is currently collaborating with K-12 school systems providing STEAM related experiences to develop excitement for the care of the human body by incorporating Exercise Science into the curriculum. Dr. Biren received both his Master and Doctoral degrees from Temple University.  His research interests involve nutritional programming as well as achieving peak performance in the athlete.


 To register for our Day of Distance Clinic, click this link.

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Tom “Tinman” Schwartz

 Tom “Tinman” Schwartz is a USATF Level 1 coach with over 27 years of experience coaching runners and other endurance athletes on how to improve their performance. Coach Schwartz is a lifelong student as well as an educator. He earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in exercise science, a master’s degree in business administration, and is currently at work on his PhD. He added additional practical experience over years working as a Physical Education teacher at the high school level. Coach Schwartz is a frequent contributor to therunzone.com and other running blogs, where his training advise are widely sought by an enthusiastic audience of dedicated athletes. 

In founding Tinman Endurance Coaching, Coach Schwartz hopes to share insights, gained over a lifetime of training and coaching, helping avid runners, triathletes and other athletes optimize their training regimens to achieve new personal records.


To register for our Day of Distance Clinic, click this link.

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Dr. Dennis Whitesel

Dr. Dennis Whitesel graduated from West Chester University in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education, and a minor in Athletic Training. He completed his MS in Exercise Physiology at West Virginia University where he was a graduate assistant in athletic training. He continued studies at the University of Indianapolis, receiving his MS in Physical Therapy. Dr. Whitesel has worked as an athletic trainer at the high school, collegiate, and Olympic levels. He has had the good fortune of working many high profile events including: Olympic National Sports Festival, National AAU Track and Field Meets, Big Ten Track and Field Championships, National Figure Skating Championships, High School Indoor Track and Field Championships, National Wrestling Tournaments and Major College Football. He has worked as a physical therapist in the hospital, corporate, and private clinic settings as a clinician, manager, and owner.

Dr. Whitesel has conducted numerous workshops nationally relating to various orthopedic and sports physical therapy topics with particular emphasis on foot/ankle biomechanical evaluation and treatment. He has completed all course work available to physical therapists from the Michigan State School of Osteopathic Medicine, and all McKenzie course work related to treatment of spinal disorders

Competing as a runner in track and road races during high school, college, and post-college, Dr. Whitesel now enjoys cycling and mountain biking both competitively and recreationally.


To register for our Day of Distance Clinic, click this link.

marcus 

Marcus O’Sullivan is the head men’s Track and Field Coach/Cross Country Coach at Villanova University. He is three-time world indoor champion at 1500 meters and a former world record holder. He is also a four time Olympian and has run over 100 sub 4 minute miles. In Coach O’Sullivan’s first year as head coach, the women’s cross country team won both the 1998 Big East Championship and the 1998 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships. In 1998, Coach O’Sullivan received honors for the Big East Coaching Staff of the Year Award and was named United States Track Coaches Association National Coach of the Year by the U.S. Track Coaches Association. In 2014, he led the Men’s Cross-Country team to win the Big East Championship and also the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals.

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To register for our Day of Distance Clinic, click this link.