The LTPY Penguins Swim Team was established in 2002 and is a year-round YMCA/USA competitive program offering quality coaching and instruction for swimmers of all ages and abilities. Our swim team’s philosophy and operating guidelines are centered upon the YMCA of Central Ohio’s character development values of Caring, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility. We strive to maintain a positive experience, for both swimmers and parents, in order to encourage increased self-esteem, self-motivation, and pride in accomplishments from competing as both an individual and as a team member.
One PB at a Time!
Chris Promenschenkel, Senior Head Coach
Coach Chris is entering her 18th season as the Penguins Head Coach. She started swimming competitively when she was 12 years old and swam through high school for the Alliance YMCA Flyers, her hometown in northeastern Ohio. After helping out with the team during a college break from Kent State University, she caught the coaching bug. The next season, she was named co-coach and the following year she became the head coach of the Y-Flyers. She coached the team for ten years before moving to Columbus in 1995. In September 2002, she married George and several weeks later was encouraged out of retirement (not by George) to become the head coach of the Liberty Township Powell YMCA Penguins during their inaugural season. Chris is an American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) Level 2 certified coach and is a member of Ohio Swimming, USA Swimming, ASCA and the World Swimming Coaches Association (WSCA). Chris is an enthusiastic and dedicated coach who has coached more than 1,000 swimmers over the years including numerous YMCA National Qualifiers, USA and YMCA Top 16 swimmers, and even her sister, a niece and a nephew. Several of her swimmers from the earlier decades are now coaching YMCA, USA, summer, high school and college teams. Chris is a Client Relations Coordinator for Cass Information Systems and in her spare time enjoys spending time with her husband, golfing, gardening and reading. Contact Coach Chris at [email protected]
John Bently, Junior Head Coach
Coach John grew up in Mansfield, Ohio where he started swimming as an eight year old on the Woodland Club summer swim team. He continued to swim in the winter program at Friendly House, which was very similar to a YMCA program, competing in AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) meets all over Ohio . The Malabar Falcons High School swim team is where John spent his high school swimming career, qualifying for the Ohio High School State swimming championships three times and serving as the first two-time captain of the team. John spent one year swimming for the Miami University (OH) swim team, before hanging up his goggles in 1984. John’s coaching career began as a summer assistant coach and then head coach at the Woodland Club, the same pool where his swimming career began. Since his time spent swimming and coaching were such a positive experience, John hoped to one day get back into the sport. That opportunity presented itself in 2004 when Coach Chris needed some coaching assistance to help cover the need for the quickly growing Penguin team. John has coached the Penguins on the winter and summer teams since the 2004. John works at CAS in the Facilities Department, and enjoys spending his free time with his wife, Anne and their four children. Johnny currently swims for the Penguins, and Liz, Grace (current Penguin coach) and Tom are retired Penguin swimmers. John and Anne enjoy looking for new places to go hiking together.
Margo Amrine, Assistant Coach
Coach Margo grew up in Wauwatosa, a suburb of Milwaukee, WI. She remembers fondly spending many hours in the local Y pool there learning how to swim. She started swimming competitively in middle school and swam throughout high school and 2 years at York College in Pennsylania before transferring to Virginia Tech to concentrate on her degree in Civil Engineering. After college she moved to Columbus OH and worked in the Civil Engineering field until she switched professions to be a veterinary technician. In 2009 she started competing in triathlons which helped her realize her love for open water swimming, and she continues to compete in open water events. She started teaching swimming lessons at LTPY 2012 and quickly discovered how rewarding it was sharing her love of the water with others! She has 2 daughters currently on the Penguins team and enjoys spending time with her family playing games, hanging out with her 3 dogs, and training for events. Coach Margo joined the Penguins coaching staff in the winter of 2018.
Grace (Bently) Vest, Assistant Coach
Coach Grace grew up in Powell and started swimming during the Penguins' first season in 2002. Her family has been heavily involved with the team since then, with all of her siblings having been on the team at some point and her dad John coaching from early on. Grace swam year-round for the Penguins through high school, also lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons at the Powell YMCA. She continued working for the Y when she started college in the fall of 2013. In the fall of 2014, Grace left the Y to be a part-time nanny, but discovered that she missed both the Y and the swim team. She finished her English degree at Ohio State in May 2016 and joined the Penguins coaching staff that summer. In addition to coaching, Grace works for an online marketing agency located in Dublin and enjoys hiking and cooking with her husband, Luke.
Erin Dougherty, Assistant Coach
Coach Erin is originally a from Findlay, OH, where she found her love for swimming. Erin was an active member of her neighborhood pool swim team (Canterbury Swim and Tennis Club) for many years before getting involved with the Findlay Area Swim Team (FAST) and her HS team. Throughout HS (and college) Erin worked as a lifeguard and head swim coach at her neighborhood summer pool, spending 9 years there as an employee. After HS, Erin decided to hang up her goggles as she moved to Toledo to pursue a Bachelors Degree from the University of Toledo in Recreational Therapy. Throughout her time in Toledo, Erin was an assistant and head coach for the Toledo YMCA Penguins. After earning her Bachelor's degree, Erin moved to Mansfield, OH where she worked as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) at OhioHealth in Physical Rehab and Behavioral Health. While in Mansfield, Erin found herself on the pool deck as an assistant coach for the Mansfield Waves and Mansfield Christian High School. Erin has recently moved to Columbus, where she works as a CTRS at OSU Wexner Medical Center, Harding Hospital. Erin is looking forward to sharing her love with swimming with her new YMCA Penguin team! She joined the Penguins coaching staff in September 2019.
Hannah Hearn, Assistant Coach
Coach Hannah moved to Ohio when she was a year old, and she has lived in Powell ever since. She began taking swim lessons at three and always enjoyed being in the pool. When she was eight years old she started doing pre-competition so she could get ready for competitive swim. In the spring of 2010, Hannah finally joined the LTPY Penguins. She continued to swim for the Penguins until she graduated in winter of 2017. Her favorite events became the 100 and 200 breaststroke. She taught pre-competition when she was 16 years old and is excited to coach this summer. After high school, Hannah retired from competitive swimming, but she still swims on her own and enjoys doing breaststroke sets. She still loves swimming and hopes to instill in others the love to swim as well. Hannah is currently attending Ohio Wesleyan University where she is a sophomore majoring in chemistry. She joined the Penguin coaching staff in the summer of 2018.
Nicole Kenny, Assistant Coach
Coach Nicole is from Powell, OH and has been swimming on the Penguin team since she was nine years old. This is her first season as a Penguin coach and her tenth season swimming for the Penguins. Nicole graduated from Olentangy Liberty High School in 2016, and is contininuing her education and swimming career at Malone University in Canton, OH. She is pursuing a degree in Chemistry. She has a twin sister, Justine, who swam for the Penguins until 2016 as did her youngest sister Allie who graduated in 2018. Nicole qualified for YMCA Zones several seasons and swam on the 800 Meter Free Relay that currently holds the team record. Nicole is excited to still be part of the Penguin team even after graduating. She joined the Penguins coaching staff in May 2017.
Tim McCullough, Assistant Coach
Coach Tim is originally a proud native of Cincinnati, OH, where he learned all the basic skills in swimming. In 1999, he and his family moved up to Toledo, OH, where he swam for the Toledo Penguins for 6 years and continued to develop his competitive swimming skillset. Tim then moved to Delaware, OH and swam for the LTPY Penguins until he hung up the goggles after his senior year of high school. Following his retirement from swimming, Tim returned to the Queen City in 2011 to work on attaining his undergraduate degree at the University of Cincinnati (Go Bearcats!). Tim coached the Penguins in the summer of 2012 through 2015. After completing his Bachelor's degree, Tim decided he wanted to pursue a graduate degree in physical therapy. In August 2018, Tim earned his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Dayton. Now, he has returned to Delaware, OH and is working at a skilled nursing facility in Dublin. Tim is also an active volunteer for programs such as Adaptive Sports Connection and (soon) Special Olympics. Tim has experience in the coaching and rehabilitation of young athletes. He is excited to return to the LTPY Penguins and contribute to the team's incredible success!
Michaela Neal, Assistant Coach
Coach Michaela is from Powell Ohio and is currently a senior at Olentangy Liberty High School. She swam year-round on the Penguins swim team from 2006-2018. She competed at YMCA Zones for 8 years and the Junior Olympics for 5 years. She also swims for the Olentangy Liberty High School team and has qualified for Districts three years in a row. She competed as a synchronized swimmer and qualified for the USA National Team and trained at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. During the summers, Michaela volunteers at the YMCA’s Camp Can Do (a camp dedicated to children with disabilities) helping the campers with skills, activities and swimming, and she works as a lifeguard at the Powell Pool. Michaela is going to attend the University of Kentucky in the fall of 2019, majoring in Human Health Sciences to become a Pediatric Occupational Therapist. Michaela started coaching the Penguins in 2018.
Caroline Racke, Assistant Coach
Coach Caroline started her swimming career in 2005 at the Town North YMCA in Dallas, TX. One year later, she moved to Powell, OH where she joined the Penguins in the summer of 2006. During high school, in addition to swimming for the Penguins, Caroline also swam for Olentangy Liberty High School and was a member of the track and cross country teams. Caroline enjoys swimming sprint freestyle and butterfly events. In the fall of 2015, Caroline started school at The George Washington University in Washington, DC, where she is a member of the swimming and diving program. Caroline is studying Chemistry and plans to go to med school after graduation. Swimming has always been an integral part of Caroline's life and she is excited to share her love for swimming with her fellow penguins. Caroline still has one younger sibling on the Penguins, sister Nina. Caroline started coaching the Penguins in the Summer of 2016.
Carolyn Ziliak, Assistant Coach
Coach Carolyn started swimming with the Upper Arlington Swim Club at the age of 7. At a young age, she had a passion for the sport and a strong desire to compete. She earned her varsity letter all four years at Upper Arlington High School, was a three times state qualifier in the 500 freestyle, swam backstroke on the State Medley relay, and had the opportunity to swim on two relay teams at Nationals.
Carolyn joined the Penguin coaching staff in the fall of 2007 and continued to coach swimming until 2012. She then began coaching dryland for the Penguins, which she loved, and continued through the winter 2015-2016 season. In the summer of 2015, Carolyn took a coaching position with the Tangy Tornadoes where she has been the head swim coach for the past 5 years. She does plan to continue coaching the Tangy Tornadoes this summer.
Carolyn and her husband Don live in Powell and have five kids ages 11 to 21 years old. She currently has two girls in college (Florida Southern College and the University of Notre Dame) and three boys at home. Two of her boys (Sam, 13 and Jacob, 11) currently swim with the Penguins. Carolyn and her husband own the Italian places in the North Market (Pastaria, Pastaria Seconda and Sarefino’s) and Due Amici downtown. Carolyn is the catering director for the business. If you are wondering what she does in her spare time, she enjoys working out and watching her 3 boys play soccer, hockey and baseball.