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Meet our Coaches

The Vitras Swim Club is dedicated to it's most important assets, our swimmers.

If you have any questions related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, dues, safety, or policy issues please contact Sarah Byers at 630-728-9104 or email at coach@swimvitras.com

Coaching Staff

Sarah Byers

Head Coach

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2015 Arizona Age Group Coach of the Year 

I have been with the Vitras as the Head Coach since January 2013 and during my time as head coach the club has more than quadrupled in size and talent. We have had multiple athletes qualify for the Regional and State Meet every season as well as having mutiple athletes make State Finals and Far Western, Zone, Sectional and Futures time standards.  I was extremely honored to be named 2015 Arizona Swimming Age Group Coach of the Year for my work with VSC. 

I have over 12 years of competitive swimming experience. During my swimming career I was an All-American, State Champion and Record Holder, Junior National Qualifier, Empire State Games Gold Medalist and Division I Scholarship Athlete at Miami University. My favorite events are the 100 back, 200 back and the 50 and 100 free! 

My experience working with young adults is expansive as well. While a student-athlete in college I taught swim lessons, and after college I had the opportunity to be the Assistant Coach for the Middlebury College USA Swim Team and the Assistant Coach at the Vermont Area Swim Team. I coached at these clubs while earning my Master's degree at the University of Vermont. After earning my Master's Degree I relocated to Arizona and began my teaching career where I taught Middle School Science for seven years at Verrado Middle School. During my teaching career I was awarded the West Side Impact Teacher of the Year in 2012. 

I am very passionate for the sport of swimming and what it can do for young athletes.  I encourage and promote a healthy lifestyle for all our swimmers. My coaching credentials include being a USA certified coach, a Level III American Swim Coaches Association Coach, and a World Swim Coaches Association Coach. I live right down the street from the pool in Verrado and you will see me around town walking my two dogs, hiking, biking, running, and of course swimming! 

 

Katie Gunther

Assistant Coach

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VSC Coach since: 2014

Coach Katie has been a club swimmer since second grade. She grew up in Avondale, Arizona and trained with AFOX and the Hall of Fame and Olympic Coach, Bob Gillett. After high school Katie earned a full swim scholarship to attend the University of Connecticut where she specialized in the 200 and 100 fly as well as the 500 free. At UConn Coach Katie held the school record in the 200 fly as well as earned several awards including "Outstanding Freshman Award”, the “Outstanding Senior Scholar Athlete Award” and the “Leadership and Service Award."

After earning her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education she spent the summer coaching for the Westside Silver Fins.  Then Coach Katie went back to the school to earn a Master’s in Education while assistant coaching for the University of Connecticut.  After graduating with a Masters Degree she returned to Arizona and began teaching Middle School Science and coaching swimming in the summers at Punahou School in Hawaii. Coach Katie retired from teaching and now runs her own Art Studio. She is a ASCA Level II Coach. Coach Katie likes to workout and occasionally you will see her in the pool working out with the older swimmers! 

Carolyn E. Choitz

Assistant Coach

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VSC Coach since 2014

 

Coach Carolyn grew up in a swimming family and has been in the pool her whole life! Coach Carolyn has been swimming since she was 4 years old including swimming in high school all four years and begin named the Captian her Senior Year.  Coach Carolyn has been coaching and giving swim lessons since she was in high school, including coaching the Buckeye Bullfrogs and Goodyear Sharks summer teams. Coach Carolyn was also the Coach of the Oddessy High School swim team last year as an Assistant Coach and this year is the Yonker High School Head Coach. Coach Carolyn tries to make practice fun for her swimmers as well as make sure they learn something at practice everyday. Coach Carolyn is currently enrolled at ECC majoring in Elementary Education. She lives in Buckeye and loves super-heros and going to the movies! 

 

Sue Lange

Assistant Coach

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VSC Coach since 2013 

Coach Sue has an extensive background in swimming and working with young adults. Coach Sue was a High School and Club swimmer growing up in New York. Her favorite events where the 200 IM and the 500 Free.  Coach Sue was a teacher for over 25 years in both New York and Arizona teaching Middle School History. She has also coached Cheerleading and Track during her time as a teacher. Coach Sue is a ASCA Level III Coach and enjoys watching her swimmers grow an improve. Coach Sue is a big believer in proper technique for her swimmers. Coach Sue loves dogs and is an active member of several local dog resuces as well as a foster mom to dogs. Coach Sue lives right down the street from the pool and you can see her walking her dogs often in Verrado! 

 

 

 

Joe Buquicchio

Assistant Coach

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VSC Coach since 2017 

 Coach Joe has been  coaching in the MarWest Summer league for the Buckeye Bullfrogs. He loves teaching kids new skills and having them love the water just like he does! Coach Joe swam on the Buckeye Hawks high school team, his favorite stroke is freestyle! Coach Joe is currently attending ECC majoring in accounting. Coach Joe is a USA ceritifed coach.

 

Colin Gustus

Assistant Coach

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VSC Coach since 2013

I started competitively swimming and training since the age of 4 and ever since, swimming has been something I am extremely passionate about. I learned how to swim before I could walk! I was a 4 year High School Sate quailifer in the 50 free, 100 free and 100 back, I was also a  4 year Varsity Basketball player and 4 year VarsityTennis player.

I began coaching swimmers at the age of 14 and have loved every second of it. I was the head assistant swim coach at a local YMCA for two years, the head swim coach at Luke Air Fore Base for two years, and the Vitras Summer Swim coach for four years adn Club coach for the past three years. I graduated from NAU in 2016 where I went to school on a tennis scholarship. I majored in Biology and Human Physiology.  I live close to Verrado High School so you will most likely see me biking around town or in the gym.

Kelley Conrad

Assistant Coach

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Coach Kelley has been a coach since April of 2014, after leaving a job working with Microsoft to pursue coaching. 
Kelley is a native of Lake Stevens, Washington where she swam for her High School. She attended the New Mexico State University on a full athletic Scholarship earning a Bachelors Degree while also being a student athlete for all four years of College. Kelley excelled at NMSU, where she held school records in 200 Free, 100 Free, 200 & 400 Free relay, 200 & 400 MR. She was also a Conference Finalist all 4 years and in her senior year she was the Team Captain. For all of her efforts in the pool she was awarded the Coach's award twice and Outstanding Student-Athlete - Senior year.

Coach Kelley has been a long time servant of the sport, in her home town of Lake Stevens, WA she coached summer league from 2005-2007 and in her 5th year at NMSU. Kelley has also been the Head Coach at  Xavier College Preparatory swimming and diving.

Coach Kelley is currently training for the 2020 Olympic Trials and working as the Arizona Rep for the Jolyn Swim Suit Brand.