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Coaching Staff & Directors

PIRANHAS SWIM CLUB'S COACHING STAFF
 

Coaching Staff

Lucas A Baarlaer

Head Coach/Director

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Lucas has been with the Piranhas since July, 2014.  Since 2014 the Piranhas have seen significant team growth and athletic success in the pool.  Lucas has experience working with almost every level.  He began his coaching career during his undergraduate days as an assistant coach for a summer league team, coaching 8-12 year olds, in his hometown of Boulder, Co.  After completing his Undergraduate Degree in Exercise Science and competing collegiately at the University of North Dakota, he spent four years as an assistant coach at UND while working towards his Master's degree in Kinesiology.  After moving to Minnesota in 2012, Lucas volunteered at the University of Minnesota and was a part-time assistant coach at Edina Swim Club.  

Although Lucas directly coaches the Senior level swimmers on a daily basis he enjoys working with the younger swimmers on a weekly basis and ensures that he gets to know every swimmer on the team.  

He is certified as a Level 4 coach through the American Swim Coaches Association.  He currently serves as the Senior Vice Chair for MN Swimming.  During his free time he enjoys being outdoors and staying active.  

Chris Schmitz

Junior Lead Coach

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Chris has been a competitive swimmer since he was 8 years old. After a successful high school career, he competed collegially for St. Cloud State and the University Wisconsin- Eau Claire. He competed mainly as a sprinter and backstroker. During his swimming career, he earned 10 All of American Awards, 5 school records, a conference record, 13 WIAC conference titles, and team MVP. He was a member 2 top-10 finishing teams at the Division III national meet. As a coach, Chris has coached age group, high school, college and masters levels for the past 13 years. His favorite coaching moment was as an assistant coach for the Albert Lea boys high school team. There he implemented a strength and sprinting program. The team went on to win the Big 9 conference meet by winning 8 of 10 swimming events and setting a conference record in the 400 free relay.

Maddie Blumenfeld

Age Group 2 - Lead Coach

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Maddie began swimming competitively at the age of 11 and was a Piranha for 7 years before competing for the University of Vermont for 4  years. In her competitive career she swam distance freestyle and IM and placed top-8 in the mile in the America East Conference and East Coast Athletic Conference meets in 2015. After graduating from UVM she returned to the Twin Cities and is now a researcher in biomedical engineering at the University of Minnesota. She’s excited to be back at Piranhas Swim Club as a coach, and is looking forward to helping swimmers develop their skills and learn to love the sport.

Brandon Hatanaka

Age Group 1 Lead Coach

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Brandon is originally from Loveland, Colorado where he first learned to swim. After taking swimming lessons at age four, he joined the local club team, Loveland Swim Club, where he had great success competing at all levels. Brandon’s favorite swimming memories were times spent  with his teammates during practices, during meets, and at other team functions.

Following his age group swimming career, Brandon swam at the University of Minnesota. He was primarily an IMer, butterflier, and distance freestyler. He had a great experience as a Gopher and continues to stay involved with Gopher Athletics. He also met Head Coach Lucas at Minnesota.

Brandon has previous experience coaching all levels and abilities and is excited to join the Piranhas. He always strives to make practice fun and enjoyable while improving technique and speed. Outside of coaching, Brandon likes to spend time doing outdoor activities such as biking, water skiing, and snow skiing.

Maureen Ann Mook

Master's Coach / Novice Coach

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Maureen came to swimming at age nine and quickly fell in love with the sport.  An accomplished YMCA, USS club, high school and Division I Collegiate swimmer, Maureen achieved several awards over the years. She found masters swimming in her twenties. Her coaching background includes Masters Swim Coach for the Minneapolis Uptown YWCA, Assistant girls’ coach for Bloomington Kennedy, Minnetonka and Rosemount teams.  Head Middle School Coach for Simley and Richfield Swim Club Novice coach.

 

Maureen has taught Parent/Child through adults as well as children with special needs for the Park Board, YWCA and the YMCA. She is currently a certified YMCA swim instructor for the Burnsville Y and has worked with triathletes and fitness swimmers to improve their swimming.

Maureen has a B.A. from the University of Northern Iowa and M.A.s in Teaching and Business Communications from the University of St. Thomas. She a communications consultant and a teacher. Her daughter Charlotte swims for the Piranhas Swim Club. When Maureen is not coaching she is an active parent volunteer. 

Kathryn Berg

Novice Coach

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Kathryn swam competitively for 15 years, starting at age 7 and completing her career as a collegiate athlete at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. She was born and raised in Fargo, ND, and swam for the FMY Gators throughout her career. She was a breaststroker from Day 1, but sometimes swam IM and butterfly. After college, she returned home to Fargo where she worked in human resources as her day job, and coached the Gators for 4 years. She recently moved to the Twin Cities to pursue a Master's degree in HR at the U of M. She is excited for the opportunity to continue to coach and connect with a new group of swimmers. Her favorite things about coaching are teaching legal breaststroke kick and helping facilitate the lifelong friendships and memories kids create in swimming.

Kenzie Pillsbury

Assistant Coach

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Kenzie is excited to be back coaching and involved with the sport.  She began competitive swimming at age 7 with the St Cloud Swim club, continued on to swim for St. Cloud State University.  Throughout her career, Kenzie competed as a breaststroker, IM’er, distance swimmer, and sprinter.  She was a school record holder at St. Cloud Tech High school, and a 4 time all state award winner.  She was voted most improved 2 times with St. Cloud State, and conference finalist and national team member.  She has coached both at the club level, with Granite City Aquatics and St. Cloud Swim Club, as well as the high school level with Cathedral High School.  Kenzie enjoys watching swimmers learn to love the sport, and progress in technique and time throughout the season.

Michelle Olmsted

Assistant Coach

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I am Michelle Hamren Olmsted.  I grew up in Richfield, and swam on the Richfield Swim Club and also the Richfield High School team.  I went to University of Minnesota and swam there for 4 years.   After graduating, I coached the novice group of the Piranhas and was also the assistant coach for the Richfield girls and boys high school teams for many years.  I have taught second grade and now teach Kindergarten at Centennial Elementary.  I am married and have 2 daughters, Olivia and Nora.  Olivia currently swims on the novice team.  I love to work with kids of all ages, do art, clean, hang out outside, and travel.  I am very excited to be back on the deck coaching for the Piranhas!  It feels like home :) 

Jack Chase Bowers

Assistant Coach

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