Heather Coulson Haddock
Heather Coulson Haddock has spent the majority of her life in and around the pool. She attended the University of Tennessee on a full swimming scholarship. Heather was a nationally-ranked, All-American swimmer for the Volunteers and competed in the 1988 Olympic Trials in the 400 Individual Medley and was also World ranked. The 2014/2015 season represents her eighteenth year as the Owner and Head Coach of Mako.
In the past, Heather also served as the Head Swim and Dive Coach of the Robinson High School for five seasons - leading the team to a 90% winning dual-meet record and three consecutive Patriot District Championships titles in 1996, 1997, and 1998. Heather is currently also serving as an assistant coach for the Chantilly High School Swim Team
Heather also coached the Commonwealth summer league team for two seasons, including one undefeated season in Division 5 in 1996 and 1997. Heather founded the Mako team in 1996 with a handful of swimmers from both Robinson High School and Commonwealth swim teams. Her philosophy is built on her own collective swimming experiences. In 1998, Makos joined Potomac Valley Swimming as a USA Competitive swim team. Today, the team is comprised of over 500 swimmers, a staff of excellent coaches, and trains exclusively in the finest swimming facility in the Northern Virginia region, the George Mason Aquatics and Fitness Center in Fairfax.
Heather takes great pride in the team’s unwavering commitment to developing outstanding athletes in a positive, fun and family-oriented environment. Heather holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood development from the University of Tennessee and a master’s degree in special education from the College of William and Mary. For many years after founding the Makos, Heather continued to swimming competitively for the Patriot Master’s Swim Team, where she held several individual and relay records. She was also Master’s National Champion in the 50 Meter Backstroke in Hawaii in 2002.
Heather is married to Chris Haddock, has two children, Logan (18) and Ryan (15), and resides in Chantilly.
HEAD COACH - SENIOR/NATIONAL GROUPS
Peter Ward is the Senior Coach leading the Makos' National and
Senior programs. Peter has also served as the Head Coach of the GMU
collegiate team for the past eight seasons, where he has lead the
Patriots to four straight Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)
league titles, received CAA "Coach of the Year" honors four times,
produced ten Olympic Trial qualifiers, 22 All-America athletes, and
42 CAA champions and 18 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference
A world-class swimmer, Ward was a member of the Canadian National
Swimming Team from 1979-88. He placed seventh in the 200 butterfly
at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, and was a silver
medalist at the 1987 Pan American Games. He held the Canadian
national record in the 200-meter butterfly from 1981-84, and was
the Canadian champion in that event in 1981, 1984 and 1986.
Ward, who is a member of both the American Swimming Coaches
Association and the College Swimming Coaches Association of
America, has also been involved with Special Olympics, and also
assisted with the Washington D.C.-area bid for the 2012 Summer
He and his wife, Cheryl, who was also an All-American swimmer at
Arkansas, an international medal winner and an Olympic finalist,
have two daughters, Rebecca (19) and Rachel (16). The Wards reside
HEAD COACH - SR PREP & JUNIOR GROUPS
Mike Cook is a native Northern Virginian having grown up in
Falls Church. Mike has 20+ years of USS and summer league coaching
experience. He has been involved with the NVSL having swum at
Woodley for 12 years, moving up to coach the team for 3 years and
then moving onto Lee Graham, where he has been coaching for over 20
Mike has coached all ages but has concentrated his expertise in
age group development. His coaching philosophy focuses on the
development of a well rounded swimmer, a swimmer who is proficient
in all 4 strokes. His goal is to help each swimmer develop a love
of the sport and to challenge them to realize their own swimming
potential. Mike is an active member of the American Swim Coaches
Association, and continues to educate himself on new training
methods and techniques that he incorporates in his practices.
Mike leads the Junior Blue and Junior Gold programs and the
Senior Prep group.
Mike’s formal education includes a Bachelor of Science
degree in Public Recreation from Virginia Commonwealth University.
He is a former college and club rugby player and continues to train
for local triathlons, and a graduate of Falls Church High School
where he helped start the school swim team.
Coach Mike's Mako Blog
HEAD COACH - MINI MAKO GROUPS
Beth Bedell enters her eigth year as an age group coach with the
Mason Makos. Before Makos, she spent 30+ summers teaching younger
children to swim.
Beth enjoys the challenge of working with age group swimmers (10
and under) and helping them develop their strokes. She continues to
update her techniques and training skills by attending
seminars that provide the most updated information on age group
swimming, strokes, nutrition and psychology. She is certified by
American Swim Coaches Association as a level II coach, and she has
her Water Safety Instructor certification as well. She spent over
15 years swimming in California competing for age group, high
school and college teams.
Beth has a bachelor’s degree from Cal State Long Beach in
Health Science with a specialty in Radiation Therapy.
HS Group Coach
Brian is entering his fifth year as a Makos’ coach.
Brian will be workng with our High School group this season.
Brian has also finished his sixth season as head coach of the
Fairfax Frogs. He is also coaching for Woodson High School
and previously coached for TC Williams High School. Before
moving to VA Brian coached for many years in the MCSL (Montgomery
County Swim League).
Growing up, Brian swam in the MCSL as well as for Rockville
Montgomery Swim Club and for Winston Churchill HS.
Brian teaches 5th Grade for FCPS.
Age Group & High School Prep
Michael is rejoining Makos this year after recently graduating from Virginia Tech and will be working with the High School Prep and Age Group practices.
Michael grew up locally in Fairfax, VA and started swimming at age 9. As a kid, he swam in the NVSL with the Villa Aquatic Gorillas and year-round with the Mason Makos, both until age 18. In high school, Michael was a regional and state qualifier at Fairfax High School where he served as captain his senior year.
As a coach, Michael has spent the past three summers as the head coach of the Villa Aquatic Gorillas after serving as an assistant the previous two summers. He also served as a Mini Makos coach during the 2009-2010 season.
Shannon Ice joined the Mako Coaching staff in 2011. Shannon will be working with the Junior Blue and Mini Mako Gold swimmers during the 2013-14 season.
Growing up in and around pools, Shannon began swimming competitively for York Swim Club at age 5 and began diving for the same team the following year. She continued her swimming and diving in the NVSL at Lee Graham Pool and at O'Connell High School, and Shannon went on to college-level diving at University of Maryland then George Mason University. Shannon continues to enjoy swimming competitively through training for and participating in many nearby triathlons.
Shannon began teaching swim lessons almost 20 years ago and has worked with young swimmers at several area pools including Lee Graham, Poplar Heights, and Lincolnia Park. She recognizes the importance of building and reinforcing fundamental swimming skills in order to give each swimmer the tools to succeed. She enjoys working with children and sharing her love for swimming.
Shannon holds a Bachelor's degree in Biology from the George Mason University and lives in Falls Church with her husband and three children.
Alyson Madsen is joining the Mako coaching staff this year, and
Alyson will be working with the Age Group practices on Tuesdays and
Alyson Madsen grew up in Denver, Colorado and started swimming
at a young age. She had a passion for swimming from the start.
Along with loving to swim herself she loved to teach others,
especially age group swimmers and was an assistant coach on her
She coaches an NVSL summer team Pee Wee program along with
teaching private lessons. She also coaches a Saturday swim clinic
focusing on the four strokes and proper technique. She feels
strongly that proper technique is the foundation for fast and safe
swimming. Making it fun and new, getting the kids involved in the
process and praising them for their efforts is a key combination
for their success and love of the sport.
Alyson currently trains with a Masters swim program in the
mornings and is currently training for Masters meets. Another one
of her passions is running. She trains for half and full marathons
with her favorite being trail marathons.
Her passion for training herself flows into her teaching. She is
constantly reading, studying and watching training videos to
increase her understanding of the latest techniques and focuses in
swimming. She is also very focused on nutrition and the effects it
has on performance. She is a member of the America Swim Coaches
Association and US Masters Swim Association.
Alyson and her husband Scott have four children, three boys and a
girl age 6-13.
She is very excited to work with the 12 and under age group in
building a foundation of efficient technique and a passion for the
sport of swimming.
Mini Mako Blue
Elaina grew up in Northern Virginia, swimming for Victor Swim Club for ten years. She earned a scholarship to row at Syracuse University, eventually graduating from George Washington University. After college, she joined US Masters Swimming (USMS) with the University of San Francisco team for five years, then moved back to NOVA and joined Patriot Masters in 1999. Elaina is a Level II certified coach and continues to train and compete with USMS. She enjoys working with kids to develop a lifelong commitment to sports and competition.
Elaina works as a tax preparer and lives in Fairfax with her husband and three children two of who swim with the Makos.
Age Group & Junior Blue
Kristi Niklason is joining the Mako Coaching staff for the 2013-2014 season and will be working with Age Group and Junior Blue swimmers.
Kristi swam for the Poplar Heights Crush for thirteen years. She started coaching for the Crush at the age of twelve with their winter swim and mini-swim programs. She became a junior coach at the age of 15 and continued on to coach through High School. This past summer Kristi worked as an assistant coach for the Lee Graham Dolphins.
Kristi is a graduate from Trinity School at Meadow View and attended Franciscan University last year.
Throughout her coaching career, Krist has worked to instill swimming technique and inspire the swimmers to reach their goals through hard work and motivation.
Senior Prep and Junior Gold AM
Emma is coming to Mako’s with from Greensboro, NC where she has been coaching for two years at the club and collegiate level. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Sports Leadership from Duquesne University.
Her swimming career began at age 4 when she began summer swim league and continued when she started club at age 9. She went on to swim at Greensboro College at the Division III level. Throughout her career as a Pride swimmer she was twice-named conference swimmer of the year, 5-time conference champion, and one-time conference record holder.
Emma is originally from Durham, NC and is relocating to Northern Virginia to join the Mason and Mako's staff.
Emma will be coaching the AM Senior Prep and Junior Gold groups.
Age Group & Junior Blue
Courtney Scherber joins the Mako staff this year coaching the Age Group and Junior Blue swimmers.
Courtney grew up in Phillipsburg, NJ where she began swimming summer league at the age of six. From age 11-18 she swam year round on her USS club team, and then continued her swimming through college. Courtney received a 5 year swimming scholarship to the University of Maryland, where she swam for four years and coached her fifth year.
The highlights of Courtney's swimming career were; NJ state champion in the 100 Freestyle, National qualifier, and Academic All-American. She specialized in the 400/200 IM, 100/200 Free, back, and breast.
While at the University of Maryland, Courtney gave swim lessons for 4 years and was a student assistant coach for the UMD swim team for one year.
Courtney sees coaching as a great way to give back to a sport to which she dedicated many years as an athlete. She has a passion for helping swimmers develop strong stroke techniques and encouraging them to work hard, swim smart both mentally and technically, and love their sport!
Courtney is married with 3 children ages 5-11, two of which are MAKOS swimmers.
High School and High School Prep
Sandy Veatch has been involved in swimming for most of her
life. She began at the age of 9 at a local NVSL pool,
Lakeview Swim Club. When she moved to Fort Knox in the 7th
grade she chose it as her main sport and joined a "year round"
program when she got her first high school letter in the 8th
grade. She continued swimming once she moved back to Virginia
with a group called Starlit and swam for all 4 years on her high
Sandy has coached youth swimming for a total of 14 years in the
NVSL and Colonial leagues and has been coaching Masters for 17
years now. She also can be found at South Run Rec Center
where she has been teaching both PeeWee and Adult classes for the
last several years. Sandy is ASCA Level I and II certified, a
WSI, holds her Red Cross Lifeguard and CPR Instructor Trainer
Certificate and she believes in attending seminars taught by a
variety of coaches to hear about the latest information available
on swimming and training.
She is also big on technique-stroke first and speed will
follow. And you really have to love it!
Mini Mako Blue & Mini Mako Gold
Wendy Wilson is joining the Makos coaching staff this year, partnering with Coach Beth to work with the Mini Makos.
Wendy began swimming at the age of 5 for the NVSL’s (Northern Virginia Swim League) Dunn Loring Dolphins and swam in her first All Star’s when she was 8. Because of her love for summer swimming, she started with the year round competitive age group program at Solotar Swim Club, focusing on distance freestyle and backstroke. At the age of 11, Wendy moved from the Dolphins to Oakton Swim and Racquet Club where she finished out her summer career both swimming and coaching for the Otters. In addition to swimming and coaching throughout high school and college, Wendy played soccer and continues to stay involved in the sport, as well as swimming for a local Masters team. She has been coaching for over 25 years and enjoys cultivating young talent both in and out of the pool.
Wendy is excited to work with the younger Makos with the goal of fostering the love of the sport while teaching the fundamentals of swimming.
Hannah M Warnick
Mini Mako Developmental
Hannah Warnick is a junior at Chantilly High School. She has been swimming since she was six and swam in the Makos High School group. She also swims for Chantilly High School. Hannah has been coaching for over four years with Swim with Beth. Hannah also coaches for her summer team, the Poplar Tree Pirates, in both the winter and summer and has given private lessons for three years.
This is Hannah's first year coaching for the Makos, and she is looking forward to working with the 8&Under swimmers and helping them improve their strokes while having fun. Hannah has a passion for coaching and strives to create the best experience for all the swimmers she works with.
Cathy Summers runs the Mason Makos data and web operations, and
she is also frequently seen on deck at swim meets taking photos of
the Mako swimmers.