Paul Lewis Smith
Owner, Director of Coaching-CEO
Since assuming the
"helm" of MAC in April of 2009 Paul and his wife Laura have lead a
top to bottom transformation of the club. The process has involved
reorganizing the training groups, adding dry land training as a
component for all age groups, adding "family" that includes
coaches, a team manager and a volunteer corps that all together
have taken the club from a little over 100 to 495 USA Swimming
athletes (and over 200 masters registered in 2012)I The past year
60 new team records, USA Swimming Level 2 Club Recognition
achieved, a final ranking of #223 in the USA Club Excellence
program (6th best in Arizona) and a VCC score of 67,446 ranking us
at #510 of the close to 3000 year around swim programs in the
country! In addition, with arguably two of the finest outdoor pools
in the country MAC has become one of the top meet hosts in the
state with events that have included Age Group, Senior and 8 and
Under Championships, USA Swimming IMX Championships a USMS Masters
Nationals and co-host of the annual Memorial Day Arizona
a B.A. in Clinical Psychology with a Coaching Minor from the
University of California, Santa Barbara and went on to obtain his
Masters Degree in the same field from Antioch University. He
was a World University Games Gold Medalist and Record Holder in
1981 and is a two time Olympic Swimming Trials
Qualifier. Paul was an NCAA Swimming All-American in
1980 and 1981 for UC Santa Barbara where he was recruited by and
played for their Division l Water Polo Team as well.
Recently, Paul has been a two time USMS Master Swimmer of the
Year recipient; is a multiple USMS World and National Record
Holder; has been a USMS All Star 5 times and is a 10 time
USMS All American. He has acquired 174 Age Group Top Tens in
USMS to date.
a USA Certified Coach and an ASCA Certified Coach who has been a
team assistant to clubs participating in both the 1988 & 1992
Olympic Trials, has hosted two National Team training camps while
residing in Colorado and in addition to directing the clubs
operations also who oversees the post-grad training group and
coaches several masters workouts each week. Paul and his wife are
Co-Directors of Mesa Aquatics Club which also encompasses Mesa
Masters, MAC Swim Shop and Mesa Water Polo.
Co-owner, Age Group & Strength Coach
Smith is an Arizona native with a life long passion for
athletics. She attended Coronado High School, where her
achievements included multiple State Records in swimming, State
Record in the 800 (Track), Varsity Letterman in Track, Swimming and
Cross Country, National Honor Society, President Spanish
National Society, and Arizona Scholar Athlete of the year 1984.
Laura turned down Academic Full Ride Scholarships to A.S.U.; U of
A; and N.A.U. and decided to attend college out of state. She
was a Division I Backstroker for University of California, Santa
Barbara where she double majored in Comparative Religions and
Exercise Science with a Coaching Minor.
Laura worked abroad
for 4 ½
in the Bahamas, West Indies,
Dominican Republic and Mexico designing and implementing sports and
fitness programs for both children and adults. Post
Graduate, Laura has acquired over 12 National Certifications
in the Health and Fitness Industry (A.C.E.; A.F.F.A.; Cooper
Institute) and was the Fitness Director / Strength and Conditioning
Coach for the Vail Athletic Club and the Arrowhead Alpine Club in
Colorado. She is a three time USMS National Champion and was
a part of the 800 Women’s Relay National Record
Laura and her husband Paul
are the Head Masters Coaches and Co-Directors of Mesa Aquatics
Club. She currently holds a Level llI ASCA Certification,
USMS Level II Certification, and works with our age groupers on
deck and all ages running MAC's dryland program.
Meg M Zajdzinski
Age Group Director
Meg Rich-Zajdzinski, better known to us all as Coach Meg, is now
making an impact on the swimming world in Arizona for a fourth decade. Her roots in
swimming, and specifically here in Mesa, began long ago as part of
a swimming family who
spent numerous hours at the pool for practices and meets as her own
competitive career was in its infant stages. She progressed
through the swimming ladder, including an extremely successful
age group experience
with the original version of Mesa Aquatics, continuing on through
her years at Westwood High School, where she was not only an
individual State Champion herself but also a leader on some
excellent teams that
vied for State Championships. Her dedication allowed her qualify
for a college scholarship, first at Arizona State and finally at Colorado State
University. For most, that list of accolades would be enough to
last a lifetime, for
her that was really just a thorough preparation for all that has
Meg reached out to some of the same coaches that had helped
build her own competitive career and sought their advice and counsel on getting started
on a new adventure, a coaching career of her own. She
has worked in
different programs throughout the valley, working side by side with
some of the longest tenured and most experienced coaches in our sport and she
has clearly benefited from those friendships, which now
pay dividends daily
in her work with our own young swimmers. Meg returned to Mesa
Aquatics Club in its newest version 5 years ago and has risen to become
our Age Group Director, responsible for the development
of several hundred
youngsters often younger that she was when her own swimming dream
began. To watch her
teach a skill as simple as drop pushes from the wall, is to
understand the depth of her knowledge and the unique style of her coaching, as she
incorporates in rhyming mnemonics, often incorporated into a
jingle, and small
movements which blend into an integrated whole that will become a
part of those tiny new swimmers base of knowledge for a lifetime.
She is also a big part, along with her husband Chris, in
building a team within a team, as they have 4 children between 12 and 16, all swimmers of
course, who you will see daily as part of our program. You will
also often see Chris
swimming with our Masters program, and when the competitive spirit
moves her, Meg also will jump back into competition as she did when we
hosted Masters Nationals here in Mesa a few years ago, and
what was her
contribution to that effort, National Championships in the 200 and
500 freestyles. They are a family that will sometimes take part in an open water
swim simply because the family that swims together at least gets
to carpool. They live
the typical lives of swimming families, up early, often just as
transportation for teenagers who have 5 am practices at different pools or to
coach one of her own practices.
Meg is an ASCA certified Level III swim coach, in addition to
also being ASCA II certified as a masters coach, but those are not the most important measures
of her value to our program. She and her family are one
of many shining
examples of our team philosophy, "Water is life, swim for life" and
each and every day she instills those same values into athletes as young as 6
or 7 years old, ensuring that the torch will be passed for
Senior Group Director
Jon Shaw grew up in Indiana where he was a
standout age group swimmer and achieved the #1 ranking in US in the
100 fly & 400IM, set state records in the 100 fly, won multiple
state age group and senior championships and is still ranked in the
top 100 in 4 events (40th all time in the 400IM as a 13-14 year
Jon was recruited by and swam for
ASU from 2000-2004 where he was a Pac 10 semi-finalist in the 200
fly and 400IM, he graduated with a BA in Elementary Education and
currently teaches 7th grade Social Studies. Jon's passion for
swimming has never died, he has coached for Sun Devil Aquatics as
well as Sun Devil Masters and joined the MAC family in September of
2009. Jon's forte is technical instruction, in addition to coaching
masters and assisting with MAC's Senior group Jon also does private
Jack joins our team with long history of coaching in
Arizona. He graduated from Saguaro High school, where he swam
for the Varsity Team. From there, he coached a summer Rec
league at South Lake Tahoe, a team of 80 kids. He came back
to the valley and spent 13 years with the City of Scottsdale
working as the summer team coach, team program coordinator and pool
manager. He graduated from Lewis and Clark College in
Portland, Oregon in 1983 with a BS in Psychology and Child
Development. He was the Assistant Coach for the Marcos de
Niza swim team for two years before moving to the Arcadia district
where he coached Arcadia High School to 9 State
Championships! Jack was the Aquatics Director at the Village
Athletic Club for three years before returning to school to obtain
his Law Degree from ASU. He has always been a fan of
swimming, a participant of swimming, and his passion and knowledge
of the sport has led to the success of his swimmers.
Glen L Coy
Age Group Coach-Skyline
Scout, Glen Coy, is a Utah transplant who moved to
Arizona for the availability of year round outdoor activities.
Glen’s full time job is teaching junior high and high school
physical education. When he isn’t teaching or coaching, he
can usually be found enjoying his boat on one of the Valley’s
many lakes, practicing for or participating in wakeboarding
Born and raised in Utah, Glen
swam for Clearfield High School Swim Team, graduating in 1984. He
still holds the school record in the 500 free. In college, he swam
for Truman State University in Missouri, where he held records in
both the 200 back and the 800 free relay.
Glen has coached at the club
level since 1993, mainly coaching the 14 and under age groups.
He holds a Level V ASCA certification. Several of his
age group swimmers, both former and present, have earned National
Age Group Recognition, hold State Records, are State Champions as
well as top 8 finishers at State Championships and Far Westerns.
Glen also has coached several age group swimmers who have
gone on to be Olympic Trial Qualifiers. One former swimmer is a
National Record Holder, as well. Swimmers who had Glen as their age
group coach have gone on to swim for many colleges around the
country, including U-Conn, Stanford, BYU, Washington, U of A,
Pepperdine, UC Irvine, and Drury.
In addition to club coaching, Glen coaches at the high school
level. He has been a high school swimming coach since 1995,
coaching at two 5A schools: Mountain Pointe boys from 95-98 and
Mountain View girls from 1999 to present. During that time,
he has earned numerous coaching recognitions, including High School
Coach of the Year in 02, 03, 05, 06 and 11. Among his high
school swimmers, are several High School State Champions, High
School State Record Holders and High School All Americans.
Glen has been wakeboarding for 14
years and has been the Masters State Champion from 2003 to 2010.
Glen is a big fan of PB and J sandwiches, cheese pizza and
chocolate chip cookies! He stays busy with teaching, coaching and
Age Group Coach-Kino
Eric Dimmery is an Army brat that moved around every three
years. He got to see and experience many places in the United
States and abroad. He moved to Arizona in high school and graduated
from the Mountain View. From there Eric went to the University
of New Mexico on a swimming scholarship. He graduated with a
degree in Education.
He moved back to Arizona in 1997 to teach and coach swimming.
He has coached all levels of swimmers and has been very
successful with each. His swimmers have had all levels of success
from achieving best times to swimming at Olympic Trials. Eric
quit coaching for a few years to further his education and get his
masters in Administration for Educators. He started coaching again
at the high school level for Apache Junction the last three
years where his team made tremendous gains in achievement. He
is happy to be joining our team as a13-14 age group
Novice, Pre-Comp Coach
Paul and Laura noticed Marissa Walz’s natural talent
for coaching young children while she was working for the City
of Mesa. She has been swimming since she was a little girl, and is
still in love with the sport today. She attended Mt.
View High School where she trained under the Legendary Glen Coy.
Currently she just finished her associates degree at Mesa
Community College and plans on returning to receive her Bachelors
this Spring! She would like to become an English professor and have
a part time job as a Fitness Trainer…but we’re
trying to convince her to stick to coaching!!! She is excited to
start spending more time around the pool deck and getting to
know all of the amazing MAC swimmers!
Age Group Coach-Skyline
Nolan Ruane was born and raised in Mesa. He swam at Dobson
High School, and excelled in the 100, 200 and 500 Freestyle.
He earned multiple State Championships and All American
Awards for individual and relay events. He also played club
water polo, where he competed in many Nationals
and International ompetitions. Nolan then went on to
swim for the Arizona State Sun Devils from 2007 – 2011,
where he became a Pac 10 Semi-Finalist in the 50, 100 and 200
Freestyle. Nolan is an excells at coaching the Senior Group, the
Strength and Conditioning Program, and Water Polo. He is
currently in the process of earning his Bachelors in
Kinesiology and Sociology.
Nolan is new to Mesa Aquatics and is also working at Lifetime
Fitness hoping to one day become a Personal Trainer.
Having grown up in Arizona, he has family from
Pittsburgh and is a huge Steelers and Penguins fan.
Anthony William Borr
• I am current attending Grand Canyon University and
getting a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science with emphasis
in Pre-Physical Therapy. I went to Westwood High School from
Working/ Coaching Career:
• I have worked for the City of Mesa for the past six
summers, and last two summers I have been an assistant swim
coach for Carson. In 2010, I coached Phoenix Christian High
School, along with another coach. In 2011, I was an
assistant coach with Westwood High School and conducted my own
dryland workouts, and work specifically with the middle
distance and distance swimmers.
• I started competitive swimming in 2003 with Mesa Parks
and Rec at Carson Pool. I swam for Westwood from 2005-2008 and
finished 7th at state in the 100 and 200 free. I also swam on
USA Swim teams throughout high school. After high school swimming I
went to swim at Grand Canyon University and swam with them for
my freshmen year. Currently, I am swimming with MAC Masters
and every now and then I swim in a Masters swim meet.
• I have lived in Mesa my whole life. I enjoying being
apart and around the sport of swimming. I try to stay active,
by staying active in swimming, participating in different
sports, hiking, and a variety of different workouts. I have
moved out in to my own apartment, providing fun and different
challenges. My family recently got 2 German shepherd puppies,
they are a little over 3 months old and their names are Nike
(she is a tank) and Leila, both girls. They are in training to
be therapy dogs, so once they are in training or certified, you may
see one or both of them on deck, so they can get different
experiences in different settings.
I really enjoy the sport of swimming, and I am happy to be
apart of the MAC family, and very excited to help these
swimmers achieve their goals and watch them succeed
in swimming and in life!
Molly Anne Elkins
Novice, Pre-Comp Coach
Coach Molly has been swimming with MAC for a few years, first on
the senior team and now the masters team. She was MVP all four
years at her high school, Seton, and holds several of the school
records there. Molly was a part of the Senior sectional team, a
part of the Senior team that won short course championships in
2012, and has a few MAC team records. Her favorite events include
everything freestyle from the 50 to the mile as well as sprint
butterfly. She taught lessons and coached for two years at Evo Swim
School then switched to MAC to help out with the Age Group
program. Some fun facts about Molly include, she is an ASU
student, she has a pet dog named PJ, and she loves coaching!
Erin Shields grew up in Northern California and swam as an age
grouper and in high school. At 15 she was hired to coach the
"Belmont Bullets"- a summer rec. team and quickly realized that she
enjoyed the administrative side of competitive swimming much more
than participating. Erin coached each summer for 4 years.
Quickly after moving to Batesville, Arkansas to attend Lyon
College word got out about Erin's aquatic experience and she was
hired to teach the swimming courses at the college. Soon
after she was hired to coach the county's year-round team and spent
one year coaching the local high school team. During Erin's
last season as coach with the "Batesville Torpedoes" the team
brought a state title to the team on her last day as a coach- which
was also her birthday!
Erin moved to Arizona in 2005 and has been working as a full
time swim team administrator since that move. She has
served multiple terms as the corporate secretary for Arizona
Swimming, Inc., and is on the USMS National Championship Committee.
Erin is passionate about the future of swimming in Arizona
and hopes to continue to be able to bring world class swimming and
competition to Mesa!
When Erin is not running a meet or hanging out at the pool she
is busy chasing 6 year old Connor who is thrilled to finally be an
Heather Haynes Solomon, joined the MAC family as a six year old.
She grew up swimming with the likes of Meg, Sheila and Eric!
She was a top finisher in breaststroke and sprint freestyle events,
and swam both at Junior National’s. After graduation,
while attending ASU (BA Communications 1991), she coached MAC age
groupers six years and concurrently coached the Mountain View
Girls, leading them to five consecutive State Runner-Up
titles. She was AIA Coach of the Year 1992. By 1994 she
had four little rambunctious boys and left the deck to raise them
and a girl born in 1998.
Heather continued to teach learn to swim, technique and adult
swimming lessons. Together with husband Warren, they’ve
enjoyed an active lifestyle: hiking, backpacking, running,
and adventure racing when they weren’t at their boys'
football games and wrestling matches. Their daughter, London,
passed away in 1995 at 7 years old from Acute Myeloid
Leukemia. To help other families in crisis situations like
the one London experienced, Heather was Executive Director of
London’s Run (6 years). Directing events and leadership
positions has schooled her in mentoring and organizational
experience. They are now proud grandparents and are thrilled
to see their family growing up.
When her youngest son joined the dive team, Heather returned to
the deck (!) to coach the Queen Creek High School swim team as both
assistant and head coach (2007 to present), and is excited to be
back in the club swimming scene both as a Masters swimmer and
coach! She loves working with all ages. Her love is seeing
swimmers “get it”, learn to love it, and experience
success in competition. With a focus on detail and technique,
she believes that swimming is a portal to learning life lessons
that will bless and enhance lives... and that swimming is fun!
her coaching career assisting her father at the Lakes Beach &
Tennis Club in Tempe. Over the past 30 years she has implemented
comprehensive learn-to-swim programs and coached swimmers of all
ages from novice to elite. She is authorized as a water safety
instructor by the American Red Cross and volunteers with this
Sheila’s coaching philosophy
— Less is More — evolved while working for U.S.A.
Swimming at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Her
initial responsibilities included the World Championship Tracking
and National Developing Elite Athlete Testing programs. She later
served as Coordinator of Sport Science Services and was responsible
for conducting biomechanical, metabolic, nutritional,
physiological, psychological, and technical analyses. She was also
the first person to experience the internationally acclaimed flume
or swimming treadmill, and conducted numerous specialized training
and research studies using the flume.
The years spent studying the
science of swimming and art of coaching affirmed that
individualization is essential and quality matters most.
Consequently, Sheila’s programs emphasize building endurance
through technique and skill development as well as kinesthetic
awareness, efficiency, specificity, recovery, relaxation, balance,
speed, flexibility, variety, and most importantly —
In addition to being a coach,
scientist, and educator, Sheila is also a swimmer. She began
swimming competitively at the age of 5 and is a former Arizona
age-group state champion and record holder. She earned most
valuable honors throughout high school and college. Sheila
graduated from Occidental College (NCAA Division III) with records
infour individual and four relay events and was selected as a
member of the All-America Collegiate Swimming Team in thirteen
events over four years.
Sheila joined masters swimming in
the early 1990s. In 1994 she won the 50- and 100-yard breaststrokes
as well as the 100-yard individual medley at the U.S. Masters
Swimming Nationals held at Arizona State University. In 2003 she
achieved the honor of “All American Masters Swimmer” by
recording the fastest times in the 50- and 100-yard breaststrokes
for women ages 35-39. She also swam to three individual and three
relay top-ten finishes at the 2006 FINA World Masters Championships
held at Stanford University.
Sheila met her husband, Dave
Faulkner, at the Olympic Training Center where he was a resident
athlete and member of the U.S.A. National Judo Team. Dave continues
to enjoy and coach judo at a local club. Married nearly 20 years,
the couple has two daughters — Darian and Devyn (yes, they
swim and play a little judo too). Sheila earned a BA from
Occidental College, a MS in exercise science from the University of
Colorado, and a PhD in higher education from the University of
Denver. She has worked at Colorado College, Colorado State
University, the University of Colorado, the University of Denver,
Education Commission of the States, and WestEd.
Age Group Coach- Kino
Nichol's started swimming at the age of 5 and swam at Kino with the
original Mesa Aquatics Club alongside her coaching colleagues,
Coach Meg and Coach Eric. She was a 4 year scholar athlete at
Westwood High School and a Junior National qualifier in the
200 and 400 IM and 200 fly. She was top 4 in numerous
events for four years in AZ state meets, including the IM, fly, and
distance free events.
She swam on scholarship at Brigham Young University where she
continued competing in distance free, fly and IM events. She was
part of a dedicated team that won the WAC 3 of her 4 years.
In 1991 was a Cougar Club Scholar/ Athlete. She was 1991/92
WAC scholar athlete. She was a final at the WAC championships
in the mile and 400 IM. Nichol was co-captain her senior year at
While competing at BYU she met and married her husband,
a sprinter on the BYU men's team. They have been
married for 21 years and have 4 children.
Nichol coached for Scottsdale Aquatics in 1997, then went on to
teach first grade for a few years at the Franklin schools.
She was a stay at home mom for several years and has spent
the last 6 years as a reading specialist with Kyrene Schools.
Three of her kids swam for Sun Devils, so when the merge of
teams happened, she was blessed to be able to step back on deck
with her old teammates. In addition to coaching, Nichol is a
youth leader at her church for 40 young women. Besides teenagers,
she also enjoys reading, hiking, the movies and a good