Greenville Track Club-ELITE - a post-collegiate, Olympic-development program
8 USA Olympic Trials Qualifiers
8 USA Olympic Trials Qualifiers
Running in his first race as a professional, Karl Thiessen ran 29:42 to place 11th in the 2023 Great Cow Harbor Run which was the USATF 10K Road Championships for the second consecutive year. The University of Tennessee graduate finished only one second shy of the tenth place finisher and four seconds ahead of his Greenville Track Club-ELITE teammate Jason Weitzel. Weitzel repeated his 12th place finish from the 2022 10K Championships with a time of 29:46. He had run 29:40 last year in somewhat better weather conditions. Their teammate Eddie Garcia ran his best time on this hilly and challenging course, clocking 29:57 for 15th overall.
The 46th running of his iconic Long Island race in the Village of Northport, NY was conducted under windy and wet conditions, although fortunately the predicted amount of rain did not occur. The race once again sold out its limit of 5,000 participants.
The three GTC-ELITE teammates passed the halfway point (5K) with Garcia 10th (14:51), Thiessen 11th (14:51) and Weitzel 13th ( 14:56). Karl ran perfectly even 5K splits as he covered the second half in another 14:51, while Weitzel ran 14:50 for the final 5K.
Their times now rank 2nd, 3rd and 5th on the Cow Harbor 10K course for GTC-ELITE.
Top GTC-ELITE Men's Performances @ Great Cow Harbor 10K by Finishing Time
1. Jason Weitzel - 29:40 (2022) - 12th place ** USA 10K Championships
2. Karl Thiessen - 29:42 (2023) - 11th place ** USA 10K Championships
3. Jason Weitzel - 29:46 (2023) - 12th place ** USA 10K Championships
4. Adam Freudenthal - 29:49 (2014) - 6th
5. Eddie Garcia - (29:57) (2023) - 15th ** USA 10K Championships
6. Mark Leininger - 30:16 (2016) - 6th
7. Eddie Garcia - 30:16 (2018) - 9th
8. Mark Leininger - 30:47 (2015) - 6th
9. Victor Pataky - 30:52 (2019) - 11th
10. Adam Freudenthal - 31:02 (2013) - 9th
11. Tyler Morse - 31:15 (2017) - 13th
12. Austin Steagall - 31:16 (2016) - 9th
13. Victor Pataky - 31:27 (2018) - 15th
Greenville Track Club-ELITE was established in 2012 and is in its second decade as a post-collegiate, Olympic-development program. The program produced four qualifiers for the 2016 USA Olympic Trials Marathon in Los Angeles, one qualifier/participant for the 2019 Pam American Games Marathon in. Lima, Peru, three qualifiers/two participants for the 2020 USA Olympic Trials Marathon in Atlanta, GA and one qualifier and participant in the 2021 USATF Olympic Track & Field Trials in the 3000m Steeplechase. The program's runners set four South Carolina State road race records in 2020 (5K, 15K and Half Marathon--twice) and three (15K, 10-Mile and 20K) in 2021. GTC-ELITE also produced the South Carolina Men's 2020 Long Distance Runner of the Year.
The program is sponsored and supported by the 51-year-old Greenville Track Club, ASICS, Joy Real Estate (Adopt an Athlete partner), generous individual contributors and partnerships with Performance Therapy, Carolina Spine and Rehab, Roll Recovery products, FinalSurge (on-line training log), ElliptiGO, NormaTec Recovery Boots, Cocoa Elite recovery products, UCAN energy products, Coach Bob Williams Pace Calculator, the DorsiFlex (stretching device), the MOBO board (balance & mobility), On Pace Wellness (nutrition coaching) and LEVER Movement (treadmill body weight support). The club is a proud and active member of both the Road Runners Club of America and USATF.
Greenville Track Club-ELITE's Jason Weitzel and Eddie Garcia are ranked second and third in the most recent South Carolina Road Race Rankings published by USATF State Record Keeper Bill Marable. Weitzel regained the number two ranking over his teammate Garcia by winning the Michelin Memorial 5K in August. Both Jason and Eddie crushed the previous course record of 14:42 (GTC-ELITE's Austin Steagall in 2016), with times of 14:15 and 14:20, respectively.
Eddie had victories this summer at the Sunrise 8K and the Red, White and Blue Shoes 5K and was ranked second in the previous rankings (August). Weitzel had been ranked second for 20 consecutive months before the August rankings, while Garcia had been ranked third for the previous six months.
Both athletes are ranked behind 2022's South Carolina Long Distance Runner of the Year James Quattlebaum. Quattlebaum, who represents Run In, previously won the SCLDROY honors in 2019 and 2021. Garcia, was the 2020 SCLD Runner of the Year in 2020. GTC-ELITE alums Ricky Flynn (Greenville) and Roland Hakes (now residing in Columbia) are ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.
South Carolina Road Race Rankings
1. Jason Weitzel - 14:15 (2023), 1st
2. Eduardo Garcia - 14:20 (2023). 2nd
3. Austin Steagall - 14:42 (2016), 1st
4. Adam Freudenthal - 14:43 (2014, 1st
5. Jason Weitzel - 14:44 (2022), 1st
5. Austin Steagall - 14:44 (2018), 1st
7. Eduardo Garcia - 14:48 (2018), 2nd
8. Mark Leininger - 14:54 (2015), 1st
9. Ryan Bugler - 14:57 (2019), 1st
10. Joe Niemiec - 14:59 (2019), 2nd
11. Adam Freudenthal - 15:01 (2013), T-1st
11. Chass Armstrong - 15:01 (2013), T-1st
13. Victor Pataky - 15:06 (2018), 2nd
14. Victor Pataky - 15:07 (2019), 3rd
15. Tyler Morse - 15:22 (2017), 2nd
16. Avery Martin - 15:25 (2019), 4th