WAUNAKEE WAVE COACHING STAFF
Head Coach Greg Lake brings over 20 years of USA/YMCA coaching experience to Waunakee WAVE. He comes to us directly from Roanoke, Virginia, where he was the Head Coach of Carter Center Aquatics Marlins for the past 7 years.
His background includes leading athletes to the USA Olympic Trials; USA Junior and Senior National Championships; USA Junior National Team; NCSA Junior Nationals; Eastern Zone and State Level Championships, YMCA National Championships; as well as an average of five USA Scholastic All-Americans per year; 140 Age Group National Reportable Times; and 450 new team records, over the course of his career. Under his coaching at the CCA Marlins, 30 graduating athletes went on to swim competitively at the collegiate level, Division I to III.
Prior to the Marlins, Coach Greg was Head Coach/Aquatic Director of the Virginia Gators, Roanoke, Virginia; Head Coach/Aquatics Director of the Greater Elgin YMCA, Elgin, Illinois; and Assistant Senior Coach/Head Age Group Coach of the Huntington YMCA/Charleston Aquatics; Charleston, West Virginia. He also coached internationally as an assistant coach for the 2011 NCSA Junior National All-Star Team in Osaka, Japan.
He has served multiple LSCs in both chairman and committee roles, and has coached several USA-swimming elite age group camps.
A native of Springfield, Illinois, Coach Greg also has a background of 15 years in competitive swimming, reaching the USA Junior National Level. He follows an IM-based training philosophy to develop the 'complete swimmer' and is firmly dedicated to the training process, while inspiring a love of the sport and educating and invigorating athletes on the knowledge and joy of swimming, its history and its future.
Head Age Group Coach
Coach Sandy Kuecker has been around swimming in multiple capacities for the past 25 years. Since the age of 6, she has held a passion for swimming and being in or around the water. At age 15, she began coaching for the Sun Prairie summer swim team as the youngest coach, while still competing as a team member. She went on to be an assistant coach for 7 years. A natural in the water, Sandy swam competitively at various Madison club teams for 11 years, qualifying for the state meet every year from age 7 and setting records that still stand today. She was co-captain of the Sun Prairie High School team both junior and senior years, was a 4 time letter winner, and yearly state qualifier. Sandy was recruited to swim at UW-Whitewater and graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and a Minor in Coaching.
Coach Sandy still has a passion for learning, and attends and participates in numerous coaches clinics and workshops throughout the year. She had the pleasure of shadowing the UW Badgers swim coaching staff for the majority of their 2013-2014 season, and credits the coaching staff at that time for renewing her love for coaching.
Sandy has been chosen as a member of the Team WI Central Zone Coaching staff for the 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2021 Zone Meets, and is excited to represent Team WI!
Coach Jessi Soholt has been involved with the sport of swimming since she was 5 years old. As a competitive athlete, Jessi swam locally for the Sun Prairie Piranhas and Madison Aquatic Club for a combined thirteen years. She competed on her high school swim team, where she was a two-time letter winner and WIAA State qualifier.
Following her passion for the pool, Jessi worked as an Aquatics Program and Facilities Manager for a national health and fitness company in Georgia, Texas and Wisconsin, where she lead life guard certification and training; managed facilities budget and scheduling; and oversaw lessons, swim team and Masters program enrollment.
Since returning to Wisconsin, Jessi has continued to teach swimming lessons, both privately and for the American Red Cross. She also swims several mornings a week with a local Masters swim team. Jessi graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2007 with degree in Child Psychology and also works during the day as a Customer Relationship Specialist at Health Grades in Madison. She is eager to share her passion with a new generation of swimmers, and encourage them to develop and grow in this amazing sport.
Coach Christina Opheim found a love of the water at eight years old and never looked back. She swam competitively for over ten years with Madison-area clubs such as YMCA Dane County and Sun Prairie Piranhas, as well as Monona’s All-City and High School swim teams. She has coached for over fourteen years, developing skills in athletes of all ages. She began as a volunteer with YMCA Dane County, moving into a coaching position and also serving as swim instructor and lifeguard. After that, she worked as an assistant coach for Waunakee Wave for two years prior to relocating to Oklahoma City to pursue a job in education.
Christina graduated from Edgewood College with a degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education with a minor in Special Education. She has been a teacher for seven years, working with students in four-year-old kindergarten, second and fifth grades. She currently works during the day teaching 4K for the Madison School District. In addition to her jobs in the classroom, she also regularly serves on team leadership committees; organizes and writes education grants; develops science enrichment programming; and coaches a wide range of student activities from soccer to robotics.
She is very excited to be back at the pool, and looks forward to working with swimmers on their journey with Waunakee WAVE.