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Coaches & Directors
Coaching Staff

Alexis D Keto

CEO/Head Coach

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4th year at New Trier Aquatics
24th year coaching
CEO/Head Coach
Lead Coach: Senior High Performance, Masters, Semi-Pro Elite
B.A. Northwestern University
M.A. North Carolina State University

 
Coach Alexis Keto is the current CEO & Head Coach of New Trier Aquatics in Winnetka, IL. She believes in the well-rounded, socially-aware athlete and infuses this philosophy into each workout, competition & team endeavor. Each swimmer has the potential to be successful, and she feels that coaches should help swimmers discover their pathways to success and to their goals on a personal and individualized level.
 
Over her 20-plus years of coaching, Alexis has had the good fortune of coaching at every level of the sport - summer league, high school, club and college. In her twelve years at Colorado, the team grew from 4 state qualifiers to 75 state qualifiers, 40+ Sectional qualifiers, Multiple State Record Holders, Junior National (USA/NCSA/ISCA) Qualifiers and  National/Olympic Trial athletes. This tradition of excellence continues at NTA with World Championship Trials and Senior National finalists.  Perhaps her greatest pride, however, is her ability to use her college coaching/recruiting experience at NC State & Northwestern to help athletes find the perfect college - whether at Division 1 schools or NAIA schools. Over 50 athletes have continued their swimming career at the collegiate level with an impressive number becoming team captains during their college tenure. 
 
Every swimmer has something to give to the team and has something to gain from the sport and Coach Alexis is eager to develop all facets of the athlete. She is also actively involved in the development of the sport of swimming at state and national level, currently serving on national committees, formerly very active in the development of the Western Senior Zone Championships and she has held several positions in the Colorado LSC. Her involvement is not just in governance, as she has coached and managed several local, zone and national camps & teams - most recently as part of the task force for the inaugural 2018 Leadership Summit and as head coach of the 2018 Eastern Zone Select Camp.

Matt T Zachan

Head Age Group Coach

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7th year at New Trier Aquatics
10th year coaching

Head Age Group Coach/Director of Sports Performance
Lead Coach: Junior Performance,
Assistant Coach: Senior/Age Group Programming

B.S. California State University, Chico
M.A.T. National Louis University
 

Matt began his coaching career in Atlanta with Dynamo Swim Club, a perennial USA Swimming gold medal award winning club. While at Dynamo Matt was fortunate enough to work alongside some of USA Swimming's best coaches and coach some of the top athletes in the country. In his time at Dynamo he coached swimmers who achieved first place finishes at Age Group State, multiple top 10 finishes at Age Group State, multiple top 10 Power Point scores in the Georgia LSC, multiple Senior State qualifiers and was selected as a Georgia Zone coach in 2011.

Matt came to New Trier Aquatics in the fall of 2013. In his time at New Trier, Matt has coached athletes who have achieved USA Swimming Summer National and Junior National time standards, top 20 all time USA Swimming times, NCSA Junior National top 3 finishes, Illinois Swimming records, NCSA Junior National time standards, first place finishes at Age Group State, multiple Illinois Swimming top 10 times, team records, Summer and Spring Sectional times, and Senior State times.

Matt is a firm believer in creatively approaching swimming. He consistently strives to keep swimming interesting by inventing new drills and writing innovative workouts. His creativity can be seen on the Drill of the Week along with other videos that showcase the things he does in practice everyday.

Matt grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and now lives in Park Ridge with his wife, son, and two dogs.  

Laszlo Hruza

Director of Water Polo

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3rd Season at NTA
15th year of coaching
B.A. Arizona State University -Tempe

Laszlo comes to New Trier Aquatics with a wide range of coaching experience throughout all ages and skill levels. The Hungarian native built a well-known reputation of developing players and programs both domestically and internationally. He coached on four different continents and his players continuously compete and won in the NCAA, University Games, World Championships and some even made Olympic teams for various Nations.

Currently, he is a FINA lecturer, conducting coaches’ clinics around the world in his free time. In addition, recently he worked with the International Olympic Committee’s Solidarity program to reestablish a sustainable water polo program in Barbados and this fall in Ghana.

In Illinois, he worked tirelessly with numerous programs and athletes to try to grow and elevate the prestige of Illinois Water Polo. He has worked with several high school and club programs and helped many athletes to get to the collegiate level. He even started an “elite” water polo training session where he invites the top players from around the State for some high-performance training.

On the colleigate level, he worked with Arizona State University and Michigan State University - the latter to back to back Big Ten Championship (2008, 2009) and to the National Championship (2008). He also, earned the prestigious Big Ten Coach of the Year Award in 2009.

“I am very excited to get this opportunity with New Trier Aquatics. The club’s vision for water polo is unparalleled in the State of Illinois or even in the Nation, and I’m so honored to lead it. As a director of Water Polo, I can promise you that I will work tirelessly to help every single athlete to reach their full potential, not just as an athlete, but as a successful member of our community.”

Gregory L Hartman

Senior Program Coordinator

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9th Season at New Trier Aquatics
 23rd Year Coaching

Head Senior Assistant Coach
Lead Coach: Senior Performance
B.S. University of Illinois at Chicago

Throughout his career he has proudly guided swimmers to multiple Club Team Records, ISI Regional, ISI State, Central Zone, Speedo Sectional, NCSA National, USA Junior National, USA Senior National, and Olympic Trial Levels. Many of his former athletes have moved on to compete and excel at the collegiate level. Greg believes in a “Think, Swim, Fast, Win” philosophy. This philosophy lends the various aspects of commitment and hard work developed through the sport of competitive swimming to overall development of an individual. This belief provides the competitive athlete an experience that will extend well beyond the pool.  

Greg most recently was with the Patriot Aquatic Club and Stevenson High School from 2006-2015. Greg served as the Head Age Group coach from 2006-2011 and the Senior Advanced Coach 2011-2015. He had helped coach the program to multiple ISI Age Group Top Ten Finishes and ISI Senior State Championships. He had crowned multiple ISI Regional and ISI Age Group State Champions. Greg also served as the Head Boys Swimming and Diving Coach at Stevenson High School and had lead the program 2008-2015. During his tenure the program flourished posting a 39-6 Dual Meet Record, 3 Lake County Championships, 6 North Suburban Conference Championships, 3 IHSA Sectional Championships, an IHSA Top Ten Finish, and multiple NISCA All Americans. In 2012 he was named by Pioneer Press Lake Shore Coach of the Year and in 2014 was named IHSA Sectional Coach of the Year. This past summer Greg was inducted into the Evanston Township High School Hall of Fame along with the 2005 State Champion Boys Swimming and Diving program.

Greg currently holds an ASCA Level IV coaching level. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2002 with a B.S. in Kinesiology. Greg currently resides in Norwood Park with his wife, 2 daughters, and his dog.

Amanda Shomgard

Assistant Coach & Tryouts

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1st Year at NTA
14th Year Coaching
B.S. Towson University - Exercise Science
Lead Coach: A8 and A9
Scheduling & Tryout Coordinator

Coach Amanda started coaching for New Trier Aquatics in the spring of 2019.  Coach Amanda was previously the head coach of Big Blue Aquatics for over two years before the two teams merged.  She works primarily with A8 and A9 as well as assisting with all other groups on the team.

Coach Amanda began her coaching career in Pennsylvania where she grew up helping her coach build a brand new team. She decided to follow her passion of coaching throughout her college career and coached for six years for Merritt Athletic Swimming in Baltimore, Maryland creating a full-time position in aquatics.  Coach Amanda then moved to New York City to coach full-time for Asphalt Green Unified Aquatics, a USA Swimming National Club Excellence Gold Medal Club, and then moved back to be closer and help her family in Pennsylvania as full-time Head Age Group Coach for Blue Eagle Swim Team. Throughout the years, she was able to work in all areas of aquatics including teaching lessons for the Michael Phelps Swim School, Head Coach of two summer swim teams, competitive swimming clinics, lessons, and camps, and masters swimming.  

She believes that swimming is a very rewarding sport that helps athletes develop many important skills that benefit them throughout their life. She believes in strong communication with parents and athletes, a technique-first approach with training, and to create a unified team where swimmers feel motivated, respected, and supported by their teammates, parents, and coaches in a fun, educational environment.  She is committed to helping all athletes set goals and help them through the steps needed to achieve them. Coach Amanda is eager to be part of New Trier Aquatics and apply everything she learned throughout the years!

Brendan C Hulseman

Lead Coach

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2nd Year at New Trier Aquatics
2nd Year Coaching
Lead Coach; Junior Advanced, SHP Assistant
B.S. St. Louis University

Brendan is joining the NTA Staff as our Lead Coach for both the Senior and Junior Advanced level. He swam for NTSC (2007-2016) under the direction of Bob Kizer, Kyle Bubolz, and Andrew Hodgson. He Graduated from Loyola Academy in 2012 where he was a multi sport athlete excelling in swimming and water polo. In 2011 and 2012 he was an All American on the all of the Relays for Loyola Academy. Brendan attended St. Louis University where he continuted to excell in pool as varisty member from 2012-2016. He was school record holder on all the SLU Relays as well as 200 Freestyle and 100 Butterfly.  Brendan earned his degree in B.S. Buisness Administration with a concentration in Sports Buisness.  After graduating from SLU Brendan served as the general manager for Cyclebar in Evanston. He also currently serves as an assistant coach for the boys water polo coach at Loyola Academy. Brendan currently resides in Lincoln Square and when he is not on the pool deck you may find him on a bicycle, as he is an avid rider.

 

Marie Antoinette Flores

Lead Coach

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3rd year at New Trier Aquatics
11th year in Aquatics Instruction

B.A. - Roosevelt University
Lead Coach; Novice; Assistant Coach; Age Group

 

Marie Antoinette Flores hails from the Texas border city of El Paso. Marie started swimming at the early age of 4 years old and was in competition by the age of 6. Joining a top private international team, El Paso Aqua Posse, Marie swam competitively for all of her childhood, high school and one season at UT Austin. Marie was a four time Texas Age Group Swimming champion from 1988-1992, and was a long time Southwest region record holder for girls 10 & under 200 meter IM and 100 meter Butterfly.

Marie chose to follow the performing arts upon entering her second year of college and moved from Austin to Chicago to pursue a Bachelors in Vocal Performance and Theater from Roosevelt University. Ms. Flores has performed in many Chicago theatre/opera productions and can be heard in various voice over spots in local and national commercials.  

Marie Antoinette loves being a part of the New Trier Aquatics Coaching team and is delighted to be working in an inclusive, nurturing and dynamic swimming community.

 

Keith Yavitt

14 U Water Polo Coach

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3rd Year at NTA
10+ Years Polo Coaching experience 

14U Lead Coach
 

James R Helm

Lead Coach

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2nd Year at New Trier Aquatics
8th Year Coaching

Lead Coach A10 
Assistant Coach; Age Group

B.S. University of Findlay

James Helm will be entering his second season and first full year at New Trier Aquatics. He restarted his coaching career working long course seasons with the Lincolnwood Lightning 8 years ago. He has spent the last 6 seasons with the Iguanas Swim Club (Chicago) where he was an extremely successful lead age group coach.

 

Coach James has proven track record of developing proper stroke technique had the unique opportunity to work with and successfully develop swimmers of multiple skill levels. He is extremely excited to bring his energy, passion and love of swimming to New Trier Aquatics. Helm has been privileged to work with multiple Club Team Record Holders, ISI Regional, ISI State, Central Zone and Speedo Sectional Levels qualifiers and Champions.

 

James is a native of the south side and attended Mount Carmel High School (Chicago) where he swam and played water polo all four years. Helm continued his swimming career at the University of Findlay (Ohio), excelling in short distance sprints. He was an individual record holder, National Qualifier and member of four school record setting All-American relays.

 

In his spare time when not coaching swimming, basketball or baseball, Coach James enjoys spending time with his family and walking his disobedient dog, Daisy.

Christopher L Kearney

Assistant Coach

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Robert Stafford

Assistant Coach

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Rob is excited to begin his first season as Lead Coach of D5 at NTA, after spending 2 years at Big Blue Aquatics . He began his swimming career at the age of 8 for Willow Knolls Country Club in Peoria, Illinois. Shortly after, he began swimming year round for Brian Points of Docs Swimming and continued every year in high school. After high school, he found his passion for teaching swim lessons while at the University of Iowa. While teaching swim lessons, he worked individually with swimmers to improve their skills and successfully achieve goals of swimming competitively.  In addition, he has previously worked with adults with special needs and specialized in developing adapted swim programs for non verbal adults and children with autism. Rob believes swimming is an inclusive sport that teaches lifelong motivational skills and patience. As a coach, he views being safe while having fun, is the first priority and is constantly looking for new and creative ways of teaching technique. He also believes strong communication between parents, athletes and coaches is key to success.

Rob resides in Lakeview and in his spare time he can be found playing pickup basketball, and bass fishing in one of the many surrounding Forest Preserves.

Josh Runkle

NTHS Boys Head Coach

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3rd Year with NTA
20th Year Coaching
BS - Western Illinois University, 1995
M.Ed - National Louis University, 2002

Coach Runkle is currently the Head Coach of the New Trier Boys Swimming & Diving team and serves as the Aquatic Director and teacher in the Kinetic Wellness Department at NT.   Prior to coming to New Trier, Coach Runkle was the Head Coach of the Boys Swimming team at Glenbrook North for 11 years.  During his tenure, he coached 11 HS All Americans and his was named Sectional Coach of the Year 3 times.  While at GBN, he also served as an assistant with Glenbrook Aquatics as well as coaching football and water polo.  His first head coaching job came at Highland Park High School, where he was in charge of both high school programs and worked with the COHO Swim club. 

Coach Runkle lives in Highland Park with his wife, Amy, and daughter, Ellie.  

Kristen Tanakatsubo

NTA Business Manager

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4th year at New Trier Aquatics
First year as Business Manager
15+ years of coaching and Yoga Instruction

Kristen comes to us as an active teacher at North Branch Yoga and figure skating coach. She uses her background in independent athletics as well as body balance awareness and mental training and coaching for athletes. 
We are excited to bring Kristen in as our Business Manager after a long spell as part of our support staff. 

Robert Miner

Strength and Conditioning

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3rd Year at New Trier Aquatics
6th Year Coaching

B.S. - University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
M.S. - Concordia College

Lead Coach- Strength and Conditioning

Coach Rob comes to New Trier with a diverse coaching background. Growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, he started his career in athletics teaching lessons at the age of fourteen. Since then he has progressed and enhanced his passion for teaching, motivating, and learning. Rob has served as a Head Coach as well as various other positions within organizations and clubs throughout the Midwest. During his career, he has experience through the full spectrum of talent, from novice beginners to athletes competing at the national level. No matter the ability, Rob takes great pride in getting young athletes excited about the sport that he loves. He brings a fresh, new approach to swimming and all it has to offer. 

Rob graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay where he was a 4 year Division 1 athlete, serving as team captain his senior year. Rob finished his athletic career with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, Minor in Human Development. He has recently expanded his education by pursuing a Master's Degree in Kinesiology. For additional hands-on experience, outside of the pool, Rob also completed two Sports Performance Internships, one with the University of Minnesota and one with Northwestern University. Rob has a unique way of combining all he has learned both as an athlete as well as with his academic and fieldwork. He applies this experience and knowledge with the goal to make each swimmer faster, stronger, healthier, and better athletes as a whole.

Along with his work with NTA, Rob also works as a Strength Coach for New Trier High School. Outside of work, Rob enjoys playing a variety of sports with friends and family as well as travel. 

Josh Queyquep

Strength & Yoga

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2nd Year at NTA
10+ Years of Coaching and Instruction Experience