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We are here to support your needs. If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs, please contact one of the coaches. For all questions related to administrative, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please contact one of the board members.

Coaching Staff

Thomas C Gaither

Head Coach (Train 2 / Track 1)

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The 2020 season marks Coach Carter’s 3rd year with the CAC program. He has a true passion for coaching and has been on the pool deck for over 30 years! Locally, Coach Carter had an extended stint with M.E. Lyons YMCA / Anderson Barracudas where his primary focus was the 11-12 age group. Coach Carter swam at the University of Kentucky and Boston University.

Carter brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our pool deck and has one objective each season: getting the swimmers to believe in themselves. “When that happens, I know a great foundation for growth (in and out of the pool) is built.” 

Coach Carter was drawn to work with CAC because the entire coaching staff is as dedicated to the swimmers’ personal growth as much as their development in swimming. “Because of this dedication to the person, our swimmers are in a better position to succeed.”

In addition to work and swimming, he loves to travel with his wife, Stephanie, and daughter, Annie. He also likes to play golf and tennis.

Kevin S Rachal

Associate Head Coach (Train 1)

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Coach Kevin is now in his 19th year with the CAC Seahawks as the associate Head Coach.  For the 2016-2017 season he will continue his focus on the T2 and T1 training groups.  

Kevin, a native of Centerville, Ohio, started swimming competitively when he was five years old. In 2002, Kevin received outstanding recognition as Ohio’s Age Group Coach of the Year.

Coach Kevin has successfully coached in every level of the CAC program!  He has coach two Olympic medalist (Nick Thoman & David Plummer), multiple top 16 swimmers & state champions! Kevin works to inspire athletes to be their best while working within the "TEAM FIRST" philosophy! 

A graduate of UC, with a degree in Information Systems – Marketing – Management, he has returned to swimming with the Ohio Masters Program. Away form the pool, Kevin likes to participate in all types of sporting activities.  Kevin and his wife Cristi have two sons, Jackson (12) & Thomson (8) who both compete for the Seahawks!!!  Contact Coach Kevin at [email protected]

Ken Dunlap

Train 2

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Ken has been with CAC for nearly two decades.  Ken currently helps coach our Train 2 group of senior level athletes.  His area of expertise is technique.  Ken loves to give individual feedback to swimmers and fine tune their mechanics.    He was named Ohio Swimming’s Age Group Coach of the Year in July 2006.  
Ken’s swimming career includes 10 years with Foxcatcher Swim Club and 4 years with Germantown Academy under the legendary coach Dick Shoulberg. After gaining All- American honors, Ken then swam 4 years for the University of Virginia where he earned his Masters in Teaching. In 1992 Ken was ranked 23rd in the World Rankings in the 200 Meter Butterfly and finished 2nd at the US Nationals. He was an Olympic Trials Qualifier in both the 200 Meter Butterfly and the 400 Meter Freestyle.

Ken’s coaching/teaching experience includes 5 years as the Head Coach of the Mariemont Aquatic Club, 5 years as the Head Coach of the Turpin Hills Swim Club and 4 years as the Head Coach of the Mariemont Junior High School. Ken teaches math at Indian Hill Middle School. He and wife Amy have two daughters, Kiley and Mackenzie.

 

Ben Clark

Transition 1 & 2 - Lead Coach

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Coach Ben was a Seahawk swimmer for 10 years and has been coaching with the CAC program since 2004. That's almost a quarter-century of red and black pride! Ben was a Junior Olympic-level swimmer as an age-grouper, and finalist in multiple events at Ohio Senior Championships during his high school career. At 14, he was a member of the 1994 CNCA National Championship team. 

He has coached at every level in the CAC program and is entering his 5th year leading the A3 training group. Coach Ben enjoys coming up with new and creative ways of teaching technique, skills, and habits. He challenges and motivates all A3 swimmers in different ways to reach their potential as they build a strong foundation for a long swimming career. Coach Ben is passionate about developing young swimmers into great people and enjoys watching our athletes succeed at each stage of the program.

Clark has coached dozens of swimmers to their first Junior Olympic or Zone qualifying times, and the A3 group has continued to be a key component to CAC Age Group Championship teams under his leadership. His groups have produced several Ohio JO top-8 finishers, as well as relay depth in the 10 & under age groups.  The success of the group over the last year led to Coach Ben being nominated for the Ohio Age Group Coach of the Year award in 2016.

Ben and his wife Megan, also a former Seahawk swimmer, have two children and live in Loveland. Maren will turn 3 this season, Maxwell is 9 months, and both keep Coach Ben busy outside the pool. In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Clark enjoys creating CAC team apparel, current events, and is a huge college football fan.

He is a graduate of Saint Xavier High School, Ohio University, and Xavier University.

Cynthia Donovan

Train 2 & Train 1 - Assistant

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Coach Cynthia has had a tremendous impact on Cincinnati Aquatic Club as an assistant of the Train 1 and Train 2 groups since joining the coaching staff in 2016. Coach Cynthia is an innovative and detail-oriented coach who focuses on fine-tuning the swimmers’ technique and race strategies to achieve their athletic goals while enthusiastically supporting their personal development!

Cynthia began swimming competitively with CAC at the age of 5. During Cynthia’s Seahawk career, she was a proud member of two Ohio Junior Olympic Runner-Up teams and a multiple Ohio Junior Olympic Individual and Relay Champion. She also set numerous team records - some of which still stand today!

While training with CAC, Cynthia represented Ursuline Academy for four years at the Ohio High School D1 Championship with the team finishing as the State Runner-Up twice. She was also an Ohio High School 200 Freestyle Relay Champion and named an All-American. Cynthia continued her academic and athletic career at Miami University double majoring in Nutrition and Kinesiology. As a sprint freestyler, she competed in four Mid-American Conference Championships with the team triumphing one year as the MAC Champions. She was also a member of the 200 Freestyle Relay that set Miami University’s current record. After graduating, Cynthia returned to CAC and trained for an ongoing goal. Her perseverance and continued passion for the sport of swimming exemplifies a true Seahawk!

Coach Cynthia acknowledges that swimming for CAC is a large part of who she is today. Her goal-oriented drive, team-first mentality, lifelong friendships, and of course her love of swimming can all be traced back to CAC. “Cincinnati Aquatic Club had such a profound impact on my life - I wanted to be a part of the CAC Family to inspire the next generation of Seahawks!”

Emily A Thomas

DRYLAND & STRENGTH COACH

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This marks Emily's fourth year with the Hawks program as the Strength and Conditioning Coach.

Emily is a former UC Bearcat swimmer where she was a record holder as well as team captain. She focused on breaststroke and sprint freestyle. She received her college degree in Communications. She was previously a North Canton Hoover Viking, where she gained All-American honors and was state runner-up.

Coach Emily enjoys working with all ages and thrives on challenging yet encouraging the competitive spirit of all her athletes. 

Contact  [email protected]

Sheridan Ave

Lead Coach - Track 2

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Sheridan grew up surrounded by swimming having both her parents coaching and began swimming at 9 at LTPY. She swam for LTPY until her senior year when she swam for GCSTO. She also swam for her high school, Village Academy, and placed 2nd at the state meet her senior year in 100 butterfly and 8th in 100 free.

She began coaching in 2018. She started as an assistant coach on a summer league team, Pickerington Tiger Sharks, for a year and then moved to the head coach position for the last 2 years. She coached last winter season (2019-2020) with GCSTO. She is excited for her first season with CAC!

Sheridan graduated from Village Academy in 2017. She attended Ohio State University for 3 years and recently transferred to University of Cincinnati with a major in Art Education.

Jack Mantkowski

Transition 1 & 2 Asst

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Coach Jack is in his first year of coaching with CAC. He grew up as a member of the team, starting in Hawk 2 when he was 6. He was on the team for 12 years and represented CAC at Regionals, JO’s, Zones, and Sectionals. He continued his swimming career at Ohio State with the club swim team, where he swam for four years and won two national championships. Jack works as an assistant coach for the Track 2 and Transition 1 groups, while occasionally helping out elsewhere. He enjoys working closely with the team members to develop their skills and see them progress as athletes and people. He also enjoys working with the other coaches; Benson, Kevin, Ken, and Ben taught him most of what he knows about the sport.

Outside of coaching, Jack is an associate accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Cincinnati. He recently completed his CPA exams and graduated with a Masters in Accounting.

Ryan Hammer

Assistant

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Ryan has been coaching in the Cincinnati area since 1997, with the Sycamore Flying Fish from 1997-2005 & 2009-2012 and the Cincinnati Marlins from 2012-2019.  In 2019, Ryan left coaching and began working at Speedo and currently covers Ohio/Indiana/Michigan...so he's our rep!

Ryan has been responsible for swimmers and programs that have developed Junior Olympic champions, developmental swimmers and everywhere in between, and got the chance to assist with National-level athletes competing at Olympic Trials and Junior Nationals.

Ryan's philosophy is every athlete deserves attention, whether it's video feedback on stroke technique or individual conversations about goal-setting, etc.

Away from the pool, he enjoys traveling (hopefully back to Europe soon) and competing with Coach Kevin in fantasy baseball.