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 swimmer's lead coach. For all questions related to administration, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please email [email protected].

 

KATE LUNDSTEN
Head Coach & Head Senior/National Groups Coach

Junior 3, Senior Elite, National Team

 

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. Most recently, Coach Kate was named Head Women's Coach for Team USA at the 2017 FINA World Junior Championships, and has served on Team USA coaching staffs for the 2018 Junior Pan Pacs Championships and the 2019 Pan Am Games.

 

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, Olympic Trials 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 2, Senior Elite

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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 Elite 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 90s; 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 crazy cat, Huey.

MEGAN HUGHES
Assistant Coach

Gold Groups
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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 backward. 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 - Bluejets, Bluelightning
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Chris first started coaching with Aquajets back in 2012 with the Gold Groups.  He started swimming when he was only five-years-old for what was then the Edina Southdale YMCA Beavers swim team.  He started his lifetime coaching career in 1994 and has been loving it ever since. “Working with kids is an absolute privilege for me,” Chris said.
 
Chris has been an Elementary Art Teacher in Wayzata since 2000. He has two children, Erik and Emma, three cats and loves anything outdoors. Aquajets is a second family for him and he feels lucky to have the opportunity to be part of such a great organization.
TIFFANY SHERMAK
Assistant Coach

BlueSharks, Junior 2, Senior Elite
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Tiffany starting coaching with Aquajets in 2013 and says she “loves connecting with the swimmers, meeting them where they're at and providing an 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!

BRIAN KIRKVOLD
Assistant Coach

Dryland

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

CHRIS AARSETH
Assistant Coach

Junior 3, Senior Elite

 

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.” 

HOLLI J. HAWKER
Assistant Coach

Senior Elite, National

 
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 Newfoundlands! She’s thrilled to be a part of a very special team.

DAVID HAWKER
Assistant Coach

Senior Elite, National

 

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 older sister, Michal, swam for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and younger sister, Maddie, swims for the University of Illinois-Chicago. David chose to head west to Minnesota for college, swimming four years in the Big Ten for the 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 outdoors and, of course, all Gopher sports. David and his wife, Megan - also an Aquajets coach! - have a daughter, Berit, who will surely be swimming before she is out of diapers.

 

A fun fact: Coach David is also considered the team’s resident water bottle-flipping guru!

MEGAN HAWKER
Assistant Coach

Junior 3, National

 

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 there that she met her husband, David.

 

At the U, Megan was a 3-time NCAA Qualifier, Big Ten Champion (200 Fly), five-time All-American, school record holder (100/200 Fly), and recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. (Awesome!). 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 - and spending time with her daughter, Berit.

AMANDA SOLT
Assistant Coach

BlueSharks and Safe Sport

 
Amanda is a former swim instructor for Foss Swim School and was a USA Swimming Stroke & Turn Official from 2016-2020, before fully switching over to coaching.
 
Some of the things Coach Amanda loves most about swimming are making new friends, watching swimmers master new skills, and cheering on the team. 
 
Coach Amanda lives in Prior Lake with her husband, Coach Jeremy, and their four kids. When she is not at the pool, she writes software documentation. She also enjoys volunteering at school, reading mystery novels, and spending time with her family. She is also Aquajets' Safe Sport liaison for USA Swimming and Minnesota Swimming Safe Sport initiatives. 
 
In her spare time, Amanda swims Masters and loves to walk, read mystery novels, and cross-stitch.
 

JENNA SCHULTZ
Assistant Coach

Gold and Blue Groups

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 is 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.

ERIN HAWKER
Assistant Coach

Junior 1, Blue Groups, Senior Elite
 
Erin first joined Aquajets as a swimmer in 2012, when her family moved to Minnesota from across the border in Wisconsin. She began her swimming career with the Wausau Tide Swim Club and swam on the Aquajets National Team from 2012-2015 under Coach Kate and Coach Philip. Erin swam for the University of Wisconsin/Whitewater where she accumulated six NCAA cuts and earned First Team All-WIAC honors eight times. She was voted Team Captain and was also WIAC Swimmer of the Year. Erin graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work.
 
At Aquajets, Erin spends most of her time coaching the Junior groups and Blue groups. She enjoys spending time with the kids and getting to know them. Erin’s family has a big presence at Aquajets, as her mom, brother, and sister-in-law are also coaches, and her younger sister, Maddie, still swims for Aquajets when she is home from college.
 
Away from the pool, Erin enjoys being with her family, reading, and walking the family’s two adorably fluffy Newfoundlands.

 

JORDYN WENTZEL
Assistant Coach

Gold Groups
 
Coach Jordyn began swimming competitively when she was 9 years old and joined Aquajets Swim Team as an age group swimmer. She swam for Delano High School, where she was a three-time state champion. In addition, she has achieved Olympic Trials qualifying times in the 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke and has competed at multiple Junior/National level swim meets. Currently, Jordyn attends school at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. She graduated in the Spring of 2022 with a BS in Exercise Science and Nutrition with a minor in coaching. She is back at school getting her Master’s in Business Administration. Jordyn holds eight individual school records and multiple relay records. She is a 20-time MIAC Champion, 3-time MIAC Women's Swimmer of the Year, NCAA Champion (in the 200 breaststroke), and 16-time NCAA All-American. Jordyn is also the NCAA Division III record holder in the 200 breaststroke.
 
Coach Jordyn’s hobbies outside the pool include reading, traveling, playing games, watching tv, and spending time with family and friends.

BROOKE EVENSEN
Assistant Coach

Bluelightning

Brooke joined the Aquajets coaching staff in the spring of 2020, however, she has been a part of the team since she was just 10 years old. Brooke swam with Aquajets through high school, graduating from Robbinsdale Armstrong, before heading off to swim at Iowa State University where she earned her Bachelor’s in Kinesiology. She received her Master’s from Washington University in St. Louis in Occupational Therapy. When she is not coaching on deck, she is working as an OT.
 
Brooke loves the opportunity to connect with swimmers and encourage their love for the sport. After being a swimmer for so many years, she enjoys the flip side of being the empowering and motivating coach! In her free time, Brooke loves to bake, read, exercise, and spend time with family and friends. 
 
NATALIE TRUONG
Assistant Coach
Gold groups
 
Natalie Truong joins the Aquajets team with a love for teaching stroke foundation and technique. She has spent over 10 years working with all age groups with experience in instruction and overseeing thousands of swimmers through learn-to-swim programs. Natalie has previously worked as an Age Group Head Coach and strives to help equip swimmers with the skills, stamina, and confidence to compete. 
 
Her love for water has been life-long and started when she thought she was a mermaid at age three. Natalie participated in all types of swim sports and was the captain of her high school swim team. Swimming has always been a part of her life and she is passionate about teaching how swimming can be enjoyed for a lifetime.  
 
In addition to coaching, Natalie also works as Lamaze Certified Birth Educator and Doula. Her days are kept busy with her three kids and husband, who also love water! 
TYLER ADAMS
Assistant Coach
Junior 2, Junior 3
 
Tyler joined the Aquajets coaching staff in the spring of 2021, after moving to Minnesota a few months earlier to start his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Augsburg University.
 
Tyler was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, and started his swimming career when he was 10 years old at Marlins of Raleigh swim club. After high school, he moved to Pennsylvania to attend West Chester University, where he swam mostly distance freestyle and IM and received his undergraduate degree in Kinesiology. Tyler was the Head Coach of a country club swim team for four years, worked as a personal trainer, and gained his master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in 2020; he transitioned to Minnesota shortly after. 
 
Tyler loves to share his passion and enthusiasm for connecting with others which he has shown through pursuing his graduate degree and his past coaching history. He has an interest in mindfulness, meditation, strength training, photography, hiking, kayaking, and board games when he is not busily working at school! 
KATIE HAYCRAFT
Assistant Coach
Junior 3, Senior Elite
 
Katie started coaching with Aquajets in 2022 and has over 20 years of coaching experience. She enjoys working with swimmers and helping them build a love for the sport that has been a part of her life since she was young.
 
Katie swam for Foxjet Swim Club her entire age-group swimming career and was a member of Foxjet’s National Team. She was also a three-time State Champion in the 500 free while swimming for Shakopee High School. After high school, Katie swam Division I at Northern Illinois University, competing primarily in distance free and IM.
 
Katie feels lucky to have been coached by some of the “best of the best” coaches in her career, including Coach Kate and Coach Chris. She learned a lot of valuable life lessons from them both in and out of the pool.
 
Swimming is a huge part of Katie’s family life as well. She met her husband, Justin, while coaching and they been coaching together ever since. She has three children, all of whom are swimmers at Aquajets. In addition to coaching Aquajets, Katie is the Head Coach for the Prior Lake High School Girls’ Swimming and Diving Team, and she works at the middle school in the Prior Lake school district.
 
When not at the pool, Katie enjoys spending time with her family (including their two dogs) and friends, sitting by the fire table on the deck, or just relaxing at home.
JUSTIN HAYCRAFT
Assistant Coach
Junior 1, Junior 2
 
Justin began his coaching career while still in college and has over 20 years of coaching experience. Justin swam for Prior Lake Swim Club and Prior Lake High School as an age-grouper. While looking at colleges, he ensured that his top choices had not only a connection to a law school, but also a swim team, so he chose Hamline University, where he focused on the mile, 400 IM, and 200 backstroke.
 
Justin’s passion for swimming stems from the athletes. He loves to help athletes become aware of how to efficiently move through water. This started when he began seeing huge improvements in the swimming lesson students and the developmental athletes he worked with early in his coaching career. He transitioned to working with high school athletes at his alma mater, Prior Lake High School. Many of his life experiences have been around competitive swimming - he even met his wife, Katie, on the pool deck while coaching against her.
 
Justin attributes his knowledge in coaching to his college coaches Marty Knight and Paul Lundsten as well as the guidance from coaches he has worked with over the years.
 
Along with coaching, Justin is a math teacher at Prior Lake High School and assists with both the boys’ and girls’ teams in Prior Lake.  He currently serves on many committees in swimming including the MNSI Board as Age Group Vice Chair. 
 
When not in the pool, Justin enjoys reading, watching movies with his family, cooking, and spending time with his family including his wife, three kids, and two pugs. 
 
Justin is excited to be a part of the Aquajets family and hopes to share his love of swimming with even more athletes. 
KIRA GUTIERREZ
Assistant Coach
Junior 1, Junior 2, Junior 3
 
Kira began swimming when she was five years old and joined Aquajets soon after when she turned seven. She was a member of the Aquajets National Team throughout high school and swam for Eden Prairie High School, where she was a two-time State Champion in the 500. After high school, Kira swam for the University of Missouri, where she met Coach Gio. She left Mizzou as the school record holder in the 500, 1000, 1650 and was a member of the school-record-holding 800 Free Relay. During her collegiate career, Kira was an NCAA All-American and team captain.
 
Outside of coaching, Kira works full-time as an Occupational Therapist at Fraser during the week and at St. Joseph’s Hospital on the weekends.
 
Kira enjoys swimming, running with her dog, Rio, and spending time with friends and family.
GIO GUTIERREZ
Assistant Coach
Junior 1, Junior 2, Junior 3
 
Coach Gio was born and raised in Peru, where he swam and played multiple sports while growing up before focusing on swimming. Coach Gio swam collegiately at the University of Missouri, where he was an All-American, team captain, and recorded multiple program top 10 times in distance freestyle, butterfly, and the 400 IM. During college, he also represented Peru in multiple international competitions including the Pan American Games and World Championships, and Open Water World Championships.
 
While at Missouri, he met Coach Kira and they married after both graduated. Outside of coaching, Gio works full time as a Management Trainee at Cintas Corp, and during his free time, Gio likes to swim and read books. His favorite food from the US is a quesadilla burger with lots of ranch. 
CHRIS GUERRERA
Assistant Coach
Senior Elite, National
 
Coach Chris brings a wealth of swimming knowledge and training expertise to Aquajets, thanks to decades of coaching both high school and club swimmers. Chris takes particular interest in working with swimmers to teach them the best and most efficient ways to propel themselves through the water, challenging them to think differently and more purposefully in training.
 
Chris was a Junior National qualifier for Mach III Flyers and All-State selection for Minnetonka High School, before swimming collegiately at the University of Illinois. After college, in addition to coaching club swimming, he was the Head Coach of the Minnetonka boys’ team for seven years, and the girls’ head coach for one season.
 
Chris coached at Aquajets from 2012 to 2015 and rejoined the staff in the spring of 2021. Chris and his wife, Nora, have two daughters, both of whom swim for Aquajets, and a dog named Polly.    
BRETT HAKES
Lead Dryland Coach
 
Brett joined the Aquajets' coaching staff in April 2022 as Lead Dryland Coach. He is a NASM Licensed Personal Trainer and AED/CPR certification holder. Prior to joining the team, Brett was a freelancing personal trainer, swim lesson instructor, and assistant swim coach for GMMO Country Club and Edina Swim Club.
 
Brett kicked off his 14-year swimming career way back at the start of Aquajets in 2002. He also competed for Minnetonka Swim Club and High School and Gustavus Adolphus College, acting as captain on both teams.
 
Outside of coaching, you can find him pursuing his Journeyman Electrician License, spending too much time in the weight room, and helping others achieve sustained healthy and active lifestyles.
OLIVIA ANDERSON
Assistant Coach
Bluesharks, Junior 2, Junior 3
 
Coach Olivia has been a member of the Aquajets Team since 2005. As an age group swimmer, Olivia was a multiple-time State and National age group record holder. She was also a three-time member of the U.S. National Junior Team and competed in the 2013 FINA Junior World Championships. Olivia qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials at the age of 14 and was a semi-finalist in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes at the 2016 and 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials. She was a multiple-time Minnesota High School State Champion and record holder, graduating from Edina High School in 2015. She then went on to compete at the University of Texas where she was an NCAA qualifier and two-time Big 12 champion. She graduated from UT in 2019 with a degree in Communication & Leadership.
 
Prior to coming back to coach at Aquajets, Olivia coached at the University of California at San Diego for a year.
 
When Olivia is not coaching, she enjoys being active, playing golf, being at the lake, spending time with family and friends, and watching sports (especially the Vikings and Longhorns!)