Partners
Elsmore+Swim+Shop
I+Swim+Masters
Speedo
Foss+Logo
American+College+Connections
Aquajets+Swim+Team
Coaches

AQUAJETS' COACHING STAFF

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

 

Kate Lundsten
Head Coach & Head Senior/National Groups Coach
Junior 3, Senior group, National Team
Email

Kate joined the Aquajets Swim Team as Head Coach in 2004. In her current role, she is also
the Board Chair of Newjets, Inc., the non-profit parent organization of the Aquajets. Coach 
Kate swam competitively for 10 years and has been a USA Swimming coach for over 20 years. On multiple occasions, she has been selected as an assistant coach for the USA National and USA Junior National Teams. In fact, most recently, Coach Kate was named Head Women's Coach for Team USA at the 2017 FINA World Junior Championships.

Prior to her position at Aquajets, Kate was a 10-year head coach for the Eden Prairie High School Girls’ Swim Team—winning four state titles! Kate has been the recipient of numerous coaching awards including State High School Coach of the Year while at Eden Prairie high school. She is widely recognized as a superior stroke technician and encourages and promotes strong technique in practice. Her work has been featured by USA Swimming (click here). Swimmers under Kate's watch have achieved significant success—including state and national records, to Olympic Trial qualifiers and even an Olympic Gold medalist.

Kate swam in high school for Minnetonka where she was team captain,winner of multiple state championships and a Junior National qualifier. She attended college at Hamline University, where she earned a B.A. in Art. She was the captain of the Hamline Swim Team and a 24-time All-American, a Division III national champion and national record holder in the 200 backstroke. She also was the Division III national champion in the 100 backstroke and multiple relay teams. While in college, Kate was awarded the
 Hamline Top Athlete Senior Award.


Leah Foreman-Keiser
Assistant Head Coach

Junior 1, Junior 2, Senior group
Email

Coach Leah joined the Aquajets’ coaching staff in September, 2010, as a developmental coach and co-head dryland coach while coaching high school swimming and working full-time in the corporate world. In September, 2016, she left the corporate grind and moved from the dryland gym to the pool deck full-time. She currently leads the Junior 2 and Senior 2 groups, in addition to serving as the team’s primary communications, events and marketing contact.

Leah swam competitively for 15 years—going way, way back to the mid-80s; she even swam for Coach Kate on the now-defunct Mach III Flyers. Leah was a club and high school state champion, and a Junior and Senior National qualifier in the breaststroke events. She earned Academic All-Big Ten honors as a member of the Penn State Women’s Swimming and Diving Team and graduated with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in Kinesiology.

When she’s not coaching, Leah is likely in the weight room, obsessively following Nittany Lions sports, or spending time with her husband, Jeff, their goofy boxer, Dash, and elderly cat, Scooby.


Megan Hughes
Assistant Coach
GoldSharks, GoldJets, BlueThunder
Email

Megan joined Aquajets as a coach in 2014. She explains that her path to coaching was almost inevitable…she was born into a swimming family, was in the pool by three months of age, and says she spent most of her time growing up in or near a body of water—from Minnesota to California. In fact, she jokes she could very well be an amphibian! “I absolutely love coaching kids and count it as one my greatest joys to watch kids grow as humans, as well as swimmers,” she explains.

In her early years, Megan swam for the Edina Swim Club and competed for Edina High School, where she co-captained the girls’ team. She was also an accomplished synchronized swimmer for Edina (note to swimmers: “sculling matters”!). True to form, she says she spent more time trying to make others laugh than actually listening to her coaches and the sets they were leading (again note to swimmers: don’t follow this lead!).

While majoring in English at the University of Kansas, Megan said she spent a good deal of time “fostering friendships” (she had a lot of luck on that front!) and “trying to be noticed by the swim coaches” (sadly, not much luck on this front!). But all ends well—she can claim a stint of collegiate swimming on her résumé thanks to a semester abroad—swimming for the University of Stirling, in Scotland (Did you know? The Scots take hot tubs after they swim). During her college years and through most of her 20s, Megan worked for Young Life and other Youth Ministries with her husband, Eric.
 
She has been a U.S. Masters (iSwim) swimmer since 2009 and says “I love swimming just as much today as I did at three months of age. In fact, my family still competes in Masters meets as a way to stay connected with each other—it’s a total joy!”

With the help of her dad, Megan taught her husband Eric to swim when he was 25 years old. She quips that her biggest success as a coach to date is teaching Eric to swim butterfly forward, not backwards. Megan and Eric have three kids and a deaf cat—who, by the way, absolutely LOVES to swim. No surprise there, eh?! 

 


Chris Mayer
Assistant Coach
Lead Coach, Blue Groups
Email
More to follow on Coach Chris...stay tuned!
 

David Hawker
Assistant Coach
Junior 3, Senior, National
Email

David started coaching for Aquajets in 2015. A Wisconsin native, he began his swim career 
at the young age of 10 and graduated from Wausau East High School in 2007. David, an accomplished distance swimmer, capped off his senior year as Wisconsin state champion in
the 500 Free—racking up both All-State and All-American designations along the way. Swimming runs deep in the Hawker family; his mom, Holli (also an Aquajets’ coach!), swam for Hamline University and his sister, Michal, swam for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 
David chose to head west to Minnesota for college, swimming four years in the Big Ten for the UMN Golden Gophers—and, not surprisingly, was voted “hardest worker” by his teammates 

At Aquajets, David spends the bulk of his time on deck coaching Senior and National swimmers, and (quite appropriately) leads the team’s distance-training group. When he’s not coaching poolside, David enjoys anything out-of-doors and, of course, all Gopher sports.

A fun fact: Coach David’s known as the team’s resident water bottle-flipping guru!



Tiffany Shermak
Assistant Coach
Competitive Prep, Junior 1, Senior group
Email

Tiffany is in her fourth year of coaching with Aquajets and says she “loves connecting with the swimmers, meeting them where they're at and providing opportunity for progress.” She has coached competitive teams in both Arizona and Montana (where she grew up!), and prior to Aquajets, she had a 13-year tenure at Foss Swim School, working with a variety of ages. 

Like many, Tiffany began her swimming career as an age-group swimmer. She was also a versatile and accomplished high school athlete—competing in track as an All-State sprinter, and playing volleyball. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy. When she’s not coaching poolside, Tiffany is a local CPA at a public accounting firm and lives in Bloomington with her husband and three kids. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her family, running, playing volleyball and, of course, doing anything in and around water (including swimming, boating, tubing, and scuba diving, to name just a few)!


 

Holli J. Hawker
Assistant Coach
Junior 1, Senior group 
Email

Holli joined the Aquajets in the fall of 2013, with years of experience to share. She swam competitively in Illinois and Montana for 11 years before joining fellow teammate, and now colleague, Kate Lundsten, at Hamline University. With a BA in psychology and an excellent
swim program, Holli obtained numerous awards including Academic All-American, 17
All-America certificates, Team Captain, and Outstanding Senior Athlete.

Holli started coaching in 1985 in Minnesota before moving to Wisconsin in 1996, where she was instrumental in the development of a year-round USA swimming program that produced many State, Zones, National and Olympic Trials athletes.

Holli has six kids, five of whom swim/swam competitively. When she’s not on the pool deck, Holli enjoys spending time with her family, running, reading, and playing outside, especially with her not-at-all tiny Newfoundland! She’s thrilled to be a part of a very special team.


Chris Aarseth
Assistant Coach
Blue Groups, Junior 2, Senior group

Email

Chris Aarseth has been coaching for over 20 years and is extremely excited to bring his love
for swimming to Aquajets. In addition to his coaching duties at Aquajets, he is currently the head coach for the Boys and Girls swim team at Minneapolis Southwest High School. During
his tenure at Southwest, the team has won two section championships and has been named runners-up six times. He is an eight-time Section “Coach of the Year” and was awarded
MSHSL Class AA Girl’s “Coach of the Year” in 2016. Chris says he feels incredibly lucky to be surrounded by so many great families who have fantastic kids who happen to enjoy the sport of swimming almost as much as he does. He and his wife Shelby have two girls who swim for Aquajets, Caitlin and Olivia. Chris says he enjoys teaching kids how to become “better, faster swimmers through the influence of purpose, persistence and passion.” Go Aquajets!!!

Megan Hawker
Assistant Coach
Junior 3, Senior group, National
Email

Coach Megan began swimming at the young age of five and has lived in Minnesota her entire life. She graduated from Edina High School in 2007 and was a 10-time High School State Champion and former All-Time State record holder in the 200 Free. She continued her
swimming career at the collegiate level (at the University of Minnesota) from 2007-2011, and
it is here that she met her husband, David. At the U, Megan was a 3-time NCAA Qualifier, Big Ten Champion (200 Fly), 5-time All-American, school record holder (100/200 Fly), and recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award (Whew!). As an undergrad, she studied Child Psychology, and then went on to attend graduate school at the U—earning a Master's of Education in Applied Kinesiology.
 
In addition to her current coaching duties at Aquajets (alongside her husband David and mother-in-law Holli), Coach Megan was also the Head Coach of Chaska/Chanhassen High School Swim/
Dive teams, and has previously spent summers coaching at Edina Country Club. She also teaches Health/Sports Exercise Science at Patrick Henry High School in North Minneapolis. 

In her spare time, Coach Megan says she loves traveling and exploring new places—especially National Parks!

 

Bob Garnaas
Assistant Coach
BlueThunder, Competitive Prep, Junior 1 
Email

Coach Bob swam both club and High School at Hopkins for the iconic Bob Johnson (MN Swimming Hall of Famer!). He was a 5-time State High School Champion, held three State records (the 200 and 400 free—yep, that’s not a typo—the 400 free!), and two Team State Titles. He swam for the University of Minnesota, served as Captain, and graduated with a BA in
Communications. He’s been a Masters swimmer for 15 years, and currently swims with iSwim
at the Aquajets’ pool where he has learned in swimming to "love the journey and let the destination take care of itself!”

Bob has had numerous coaching stints (assistant through head coach) across the Twin Cities—including: the Hopkins Swim Club, University of Minnesota (Assistant Coach to Bud Ericksen), Head Coach at both Bloomington Aquatic Club, and Edina Swim Club and Southwest High School (as the “assistant-to-the-assistant,” working for, he says, "the amazing Chris Aarseth").

Coach Bob has been married to his wife Janet for 38 years; they have three kids and have had three Golden Retrievers. And, they have lived in Eden Prairie for nearly three decades. Coach Bob says he loves "Gopher football and basketball, fly fishing, hiking, cooking and reading!" 

 

Jeremy Solt
Assistant Coach
BlueJets, BlueLightning, Junior 2
Email

Coach Jeremy comes to Aquajets from South Metro Storm where he most recently coached 5 to 11-year old swimmers. Jeremy's own swimming career started when he was seven years old at a summer community program in the state of Virginia and continued through high school. After 12 years of swimming year-round, he says the only evidence is 15 ribbons, a patch from 1985, about 10 pictures, and some certificates of top 16 performances from high school. If you ask him he'll humbly say he was a “decent” swimmer and might tell you what his mother told him: “We wouldn't have kept doing it if you weren't good."

Jeremy attended Winona State University where he studied computer science. He explains he selected Winona because of an amazing sunrise he saw driving on the bluffs around the school on his visit there. He's currently applying his degree writing software just down the road from Aquajets in Eden Prairie.

Jeremy and his wonderful wife Amanda have four children—who you'll see around the pool deck most days, as they are all AQJ swimmers! In his spare time, he enjoys laughing with his wife and playing with his kids. Between coaching, work and family, Coach Jeremy is one busy guy—therefore, he says he has "learned to appreciate a good nap and a long night of sleep!"

A little swimming trivia from Coach Jeremy… 
In his entire swimming career, Jeremy says he was awarded one trophy (in 1985), which his mother lost the very same day. She replaced it 30 years later on Christmas!

 

Amanda Solt
Assistant Coach
Gold Groups
Email

The Gold groups’ newest assistant coach, Amanda Solt, is married to Coach Jeremy—together, they have four children who all swim for Aquajets! Amanda is a former swim instructor for Foss Swim School and has been a USA Swimming Stroke & Turn Official since 2016.

In her spare time, Amanda swims Masters and loves to walk, read mystery novels and cross stitch.


Dan Bielski

Assistant Coach
BlueThunder, BlueJets, BlueLightning, Senior
Email

Coach Dan comes to Aquajets after nearly half a decade coaching with the Minnetonka Swim Club. He grew up locally, as an age-group and high school swimmer for Minnetonka. He then swam collegiately for UW-Whitewater (Division III), where he specialized in the 100 and 200 back, and is the Whitewater record holder in the 100 fly. Dan graduated with a degree in
Human Health & Performance and has utilized his degree to promote athletic improvement and
health in athletes; he currently works at TRIA as a Clinical Rehabilitation Assistant. 

From his long career in and around the sport of swimming, he says he finds his true passion in coaching. Outside of the pool, Dan enjoys time with family and friends. He is an avid movie-goer, plays guitar and shoots photos.


Zoe Avestruz

Assistant Coach
BlueThunder, Competitive Prep, Senior
Email

Coach Zoe began swimming at the age of 13 and has been a member of the Aquajets Team since 2011—once as a swimmer and now a coach! She graduated from Chanhassen High
School. Throughout her swimming career, she was a 10-time High School State Champion,
All-Time State record holder (100 free), and a multiple Junior National/National champion and performer. Zoe attended and swam for the University of Minnesota where she was a four-time letter-winner,
two-time Academic All Big Ten honor recipient, multiple-time Top 8 Big Ten finalist, Big Ten Champion (200 Medley Relay), and a four-time NCAA All-American…whew! 
  
In addition to her coaching, Zoe works at St. Joseph's Hospital (St. Paul) and as a Research Assistant at the University of Minnesota's Department of Psychology. 

Coach Zoe's hobbies include reading, learning, watching movies, traveling, and hiking.

Jenna Schultz
Assistant Coach
Gold Groups
Email

Coach Jenna graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science; she went on to earn her Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law. While in Law School, she helped coach the Eden Prairie High School Boys and Girls swim teams and it was here that she realized that she had a passion for coaching. Jenna began her own swimming career at the age of six with the Foxjets Swim Team and swam for Eden Prairie High School where she was a co-captain her senior year (Fun fact: Coach Jenna was coached, at the time, by Coach Kate!). 

Today, Coach Jenna lives in Minnetonka with her husband and two kids. When she is not at the pool, you can find her on the tennis court where she plays competitive doubles tennis. She also enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, being at the lake and spending time with her family.

One of the things Coach Jenna says she loves most about swimming are the life lessons that are learned in the pool and the friendships that are made. She believes swimmers are self-motivators and loves seeing their excitement when they hit new milestones and overcome challenges in the pool.


Brian Kirkvold

Assistant Coach

Competitive Prep & Dryland
Email

Coach Brian began coaching Dryland for the Aquajets Blue groups and recently made the leap “across the hall” to coach the Competitive Prep group in the pool as well!  

Competitive swimming has always played a big role in Coach Brian’s life. He says he’s been fortunate to have had some fantastic coaches throughout his swimming career…including at Foxjets and on the collegiate level at Kenyon College. Brian explains that his coaches, and sport of swimming itself, taught him “…more than just how to swim fast in the pool, I learned how to be a good person. I hope to pass that along to the kids that I coach at Aquajets”—including his two amazing daughters on the team!

In addition to his various coaching duties, swimming remains a big part of Coach Brian’s life. Each year, he tackles an open-water swim across Lake Minnetonka, as well as the Lake Superior “Point to La Pointe”—the ambitious 2.1-mile event from Bayfield to Madeline Island in Wisconsin. 

What’s next? “Who knows,” he says. “Maybe I'll swim The Channel one day!”


Lisa Mathieu Warshaw
Head Dryland Coach (Admin)

Email

Lisa joined Aquajets in 2015 and works both on deck and in the dryland room with the Blue, Junior, Senior, and National groups. She has been swimming since before she can remember and has done everything in the swimming industry from lifeguarding to coaching. She is a big proponent of beginning the habits of well-rounded fitness and nutrition at a young age and bans the word "can't" from those who work in the gym or pool with her. Many kids know about the natural-sugar diet she follows and her "rawsome" treats. She readily shares her creative recipes with any kids and families who are looking for deliciously healthy, sweet alternatives to the sugar-laden foods of our culture.
 
Since middle school, Lisa has been a competitor in some sport, including track, swimming, dance, biking, downhill skiing, marathons, and triathlons. Prior to starting a family, she earned a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Minnesota and an M.S. in International Affairs from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She worked as a writer, translator, and communications director for the medical and software industries but continued coaching and training on the side in some capacity. She currently runs her own personal training business and works as an alpine race coach and ski patroller in the winter, all of which allow her to spend lots of time swimming, skiing, rock climbing, traveling, and playing in the great outdoors with her two kids (and former Aquajets), Mathieu and Caitlin, hubby Lane, and pooch, Marlowe.



Chris Blum

Assistant Dryland Coach
Email

Coach Chris is a former youth director, has a Masters degree in Education, and taught Physical Education for well over a decade. Working with a “multitude” of high school athletes over those years, he notes that his focus has always been to “not only prepare young athletes to be as strong and fast as possible, but to prevent injuries as well." Outside of Aquajets, Chris is a certified Strength and Conditioning Coach—successfully running outdoor Fitness Bootcamp 
classes and serving as a personal trainer for clients throughout the Metro area.
 


Fred Isbell

Assistant Dryland Coach
Email

Aquajets’ newest Dryland Coach, Fred Isbell, brings a wealth of athletic and youth coaching experience to the team! 

An Indiana native, Coach Fred was a high school athlete—competing in both football and wrestling and working as a lifeguard during his short Indiana summers. Today, he is a certified personal trainer and has been personal training since 2004. From 2006 to 2015, he had an extensive career in grappling (FYI: grappling, a martial arts term—is the act of gripping or seizing the opponent, as in wrestling). Most recently, Coach Fred has been serving as a youth coach for both wrestling and flag football. Outside of his love for coaching and all-things athletic, Fred holds an AA degree in culinary arts and a BS in hospitality management. He currently owns a food manufacturing business…making gourmet sauces distributed to local grocers. His hobbies outside of work include video games, working out, cooking and spending time with family.

A Coach Fred fun fact: 
In 2005, Coach Fred played Minor League (semi-pro) football for the Minnesota Valley Warriors!

Philip Nielsen
Assistant Coach
Senior group, National
Email

Coach Philip joined the Aquajets in 2004 after spending four years as the assistant head
coach for a Minneapolis-based swim club. Philip swam competitively for 15 years achieving success at all levels. He was a Junior National qualifier; Top 16 qualifier; multi-year state champion in the breaststroke, butterfly and individual medley events; and an NCAA qualifier in both the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. Philip refined his swimming and coaching skills under the direction of several Olympic coaches and he has applied these skills, helping multiple swimmers achieve top national rankings in the breaststroke and butterfly.

Phillip attended the acclaimed college preparatory school, the Bolles School (Jacksonville, Florida) and graduating from St. John’s University where he earned a B.A in Peace Studies. Coach Phillip brings a high level of energy to the team.

Courtney Carry
Assistant Coach
Junior 1, Junior 2
Email

Coach Courtney has been a member of the Aquajets’ coaching staff since 2006 (with just a
brief absence in the middle). She grew up swimming in Minnesota and says, “I even began my swimming career with Coach Kate!” Courtney swam through high school and college, and says that’s where she learned that her “true passion for the sport lies in coaching.” Her favorite part
of the job, she says, is seeing a swimmer master a concept. You’ll find Coach Courtney on deck on Saturday mornings
!