Garrett McCarthy – Head Coach

Garrett has been the Head Coach for the Boulder Swim Team since 2015, he is is USA Swimming Certified, ASCA Level 4 Certified, and the 2019 CSI Colorado Age Group Coach of the Year!  While an age grouper he was ranked Top 10 nationally in the 1000 & 1650 freestyle, 200 breaststroke and 400IM. His senior year at Rockhurst Jesuit High School, Garrett placed 13th at Open Nationals in the 1000 freestyle (9:15.8), earning a swim scholarship to the University of Southern California. He graduated with a B.S. in Business Management and Marketing, also receiving the Scholar Athlete Award.  

He has been fortunate to be coached by 3 USA Swimming Hall-of-Fame Coaches:  The legendary Peter Daland (USC); John Urbanckeck (USA Olympic Training Center); and Pete Malone (Kansas City Blazers).

As a professional triathlete for 13 years, Garrett won a World Championship Gold Medal (1989) with Team USA in Avignon, France, a dozen World Cup Top 3 podium finishes & 2 World Cup victories in Beijing, China (1991) & Moscow, Russia (1992). In addition to 37 triathlon victories and competing for Team Ireland (1990-2000), Garrett has coached swimming and triathlon in France, Ireland and Japan.

His extensive coaching experience includes:  Head Coach of Boulder Swim Team (2015-current), Assistant Coach of Fairview High School Girls and Boys Swim Teams (2013-2015), Boulder Aquatic Masters swim programs (2013-2015), YMCA summer swim programs (2014-2015), National and International swimming & triathlon clinics and camps, and private swim and stroke lessons (1986-2015).

Garrett brings a high level of competitive swimming experience and unparalleled technical expertise to the pool deck. His hands-on approach to coaching, enthusiasm and love for the sport make him an asset to the team.  Garrett and his wife Alice live in Erie, CO with their 3 children (Liam, Aidan & Claire).


Asa Peterson – Assistant Coach

Asa grew up in Golden, Colorado and began swimming at the age of 6 for Rolling Hills CC, before competed on JEFFCO swim team.  Asa was voted Varsity Captain all 4 years by her teammates at Golden High School, and also managed the boys High School swim team.  Swimming has always been her passion, during her swimming career Asa swam backstroke and mid-distance freestyle.

Coaching has given Asa the opportunity to instill that passion in our swimmers and has been a valuable part of the BLDR coaching staff since 2019.  She has really developed as a coach, taking charge and directing practices like a pro!  Asa loves watching the kids grow up, helping them focus and directing them to achieve their goals. 

Besides swimming, Asa is in her last year at University of Colorado Boulder, majoring in Management and minoring in Journalism. She is also a member of Gamma Phi Beta and sits on the executive board as the Alumni Chairwoman


Jessa VanValkenburg – Assistant Coach

Jessa’s has amazing energy and passion for swimming.  She swam for 10 years with FAST & VORTEX swim teams, focusing on 100/200 breaststroke and 100 butterfly.  She also made varsity all 4 years at Rocky Mountain High School.

She has been coaching competitive swimming for over 4 years, including 2 years of summer league swim team and 2 years for the girl’s swim team at Ralston Valley High School.

Jessa is a 5th year senior at CU Denver finishing her degree in psychology, with an emphasis on sports. She hopes to utilize these tools and bring a new mindset for competitive swimming to help our athletes flourish.  Jessa is studying to be a mental health advocate, familiar with anxiety, depression and mood disorders.  She is also well versed in learning/behavioral disabilities and autism spectrum disorder, and has been a great addition to our coaching staff this past year.

She enjoys traffic (yes, really😊), cheerios, sang choir from 1st grade to college, is gluten free and prefers sunrises over sunsets.


Jenni Uplinger - Assistant Coach

Jenni Uplinger, born and raised in a small town called Windsor, NY, is now a resident of Boulder, CO and moved here to pursue a career in Media, as well as coaching in the Summer of 2022. Swimming since she was 5 years old with the Southern Tier Athletic  Club, and competing since the age of 8. After partaking in Grade school teams, Upliinger chose to further her swimming career at Cazenovia College, A Division lll school within the North-Eastern Athletic Conference. While at Cazenovia, Uplinger excelled greatly throughout her four years of competition.

By her Sophomore year she earned three individual top 6 finishes, Junior year earning a school record in the 200- yard butterfly, as well as a school and NEAC record in the 800-Freestyle Relay. By senior year, Uplinger was a top swimmer in the conference, earning swimmer of the week nominations. Within the 2018-2019 senior season, Uplinger dominated at NEAC championships earning four school, college, and all-time NEAC Championship records in the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 1000 and the 1650 freestyle. Along with her teammates, she also earned three first-place finishes in the 200 and 400 Medley relays, 200 and 400 Freestyle relays, and a second place finish in the 800 freestyle relay. Uplinger was a part of a 4 out of 5-year championship winning team, as well as topping off her career with NEAC Women’s Swimmer of the Year.

Following graduation, she chose to further her involvement by volunteering with her former high school swimming and diving teams for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Most recently, she was selected to be a part of the coaching staff for the summer 2022 Nike Swim Camp at University of Colorado Boulder, working under coach Kelly McClanahan, former University of Northern Colorado Coach, along with Baylor, Southern Cal, and University of Louisville Swimmer. After falling in love with the area, she chose to stay and further her coaching career, as well as obtain a job in sports photography/media later.