Coaching Staff

Kenneth Spencer Head Coach

With over 30 years of coaching experience, Ken has opportunity to coach at all levels on both coasts at teams both large and small.  In the last 9 Seattle Metropolitan Aquatics has grown from a small team based in the Central Area of Seattle to Nationally recognized, premier swim club in the Pacific Northwest.  Ken is committed to making SMAC a model club in the country by making swimming accessible to all in our local communities, while at the same time providing our athletes a coaching staff and operational structure that encourages athletes to take their swimming career as far as they are willing to go.   

His swimmers that have gone on to compete at all levels of national competition, collegiate swimming and Olympic Trials.  Ken’s previous coaching experience includes extended periods with Columbia Aquatics Association and King Aquatics. 

Ken, and his wife Melissa, have lived in the Seattle Area since 2004 and have 3 children who all swim with the team.

 

  • 50+  Junior/National Qualifiers
  • 3x PNS AG coach of the year
  • 4 National AG record holders
  • 20+ Athletes selected to USA swimming select Camps (Zone, Diversity, etc.)
  • 100+ top 16/100 time on USA swimming all-time list

 

Ken also serves at the Senior Vice Chair on the PNS board and the president of the Greater Seattle Swim Association.

LeAnne McClaskey Head Site Coach - Mt. Rainier

As a Seattle native, LeAnne grew up in the Rainier Beach area and attended Seattle Preparatory School. She swam locally with Chinook Aquatic Club before making the move to Salmon Bay Aquatics where she became a National level swimmer. 

After her collegiate career, LeAnne coached for the UCLA masters swim team before moving back to the PNW where she began her coaching career with Lakeridge Swim Club and Chinook Aquatic Club, as well as a career in Real Estate. LeAnne believes that her commitment and discipline to the sport has translated to her success outside of the pool. With years of swimming under her belt, she hopes to make an impact with her athletes.

Swimming Career Highlights

  • UCLA Scholarship Athlete
  • 1997 Junior National West 200 Backstroke Champion and Record Holder
  • Senior National Qualifier in the 200 backstroke, 100 backstroke and 50 freestyle
  • 2000 Olympic Trials Qualifier in the 100 backstroke
  • NCAA Qualifier & All-American
  • UCLA’s Women’s Pac-10 Championship Team, 2001 & 2003

Coaching Background

  • 2018 PNS All-Star Coaching Staff
  • Chinook Aquatic Club 2004-2012
  • UCLA Masters 2004
  • Lakeridge Swim and Tennis Club 2003
Derek Young Head Site Coach - View Ridge

Derek’s involvement with swimming started in the Northern Virginia Swim League (NVSL), one of the oldest and largest summer swim leagues in the country, where he was carried to early success on relays. In spite of a year of pitching machine baseball where he hit dingers like it was a job it turns out he was incapable of hitting live pitching, so Derek turned to year-round swimming to chase sports glory individual glory. After 10 years of club swimming and 4 years on the varsity swim team at the University of Maryland, Derek officially became a swammer and entered the shark infested waters of Capitol Hill.

Following two years in the high paced, higher stakes world of agricultural lobbying Derek returned to swimming; this time as a coach. After initially coaching in the high school and summer league ranks, he began full time coaching the same place he started year-round swimming, the Arlington Aquatic Club. At AAC he coached a wetsuit wearing Torri Huske (who he has never mentioned since). After three years with AAC, Derek made coaching stops with NCAP and the Sandhills Sandsharks before relocating to the Pacific Northwest and starting with SMAC.

Since arriving in Seattle, Derek has worked with swimmers of all ages and ability levels, served as the head coach of the PNS Zone team, been an assistant coach for USA Swimming’s National Select Camp, lived in four different neighborhoods, and never finished last in the coaches’ fantasy football league.

Truly it has been a career.

Derek currently resides in West Seattle with his wife, Jessie, daughter, Fred, dog, Kiya, and his sauna.

Josh MacLurg Head Site Coach - Fife

Josh has been involved in competitive swimming for more than fifteen years. He started when he was 6 years old with the Twin Lakes Swim Team. He went on to swim with King Aquatic Club for 7 years, and at Stadium High School for 2 years. During his swimming career, Josh was able to win 2 High School State Championships and break 2 National Age Group Records. After high school, he went on to swim and serve as club president with Central Washington University’s Swim Club. Josh started coaching in 2017 at Marine Hills Swim and Tennis Club, where he coached all ages for 3 seasons.

Outside of swimming, Josh enjoys hiking and running, though he still tries to swim as much as he can. He is currently working on his degree in engineering at the University of Washington.

Tommy Cunningham National - Central/MIBC

Tommy Cunningham has been involved in Pacific Northwest Swimming since he was 10 years old. As an athlete he was a National level qualifier that went on to swim for the University of Washington. 

In 2010, he began coaching for King Aquatic Club as an assistant coach. Since then he’s been able to coach every group on the club leading him to being the National/Senior coach at the North site. The athletes have quickly excelled under his tutelage as evidenced by his swimmers having broken more than 100 team records, over 70 PNS records, and have set 10 National Age Group records. His athletes have set over 80 national top-ten rankings and have posted more than 50 national all-time top 100 times. In the 2017-2018 short course season all 50 of the athletes in his group qualified for either Senior Sectionals or Age Group Regionals.

Tommy’s coaching style puts a large emphasis on teaching elite technique in addition to providing every athlete with the opportunity to be great.

  • 2017 & 2018 American Swim Coaches Association National Age Group Coach of the Year Finalist
  • 2017 Pacific Northwest Swimming Age Group Coach of the Year
  • 2014 & 2016 PNS Zones Team Head Coach
  • 2016 PNS All Star Team Head Coach
Adam Martinez National & SP - Kent/KCAC
Kelli Warwood Head Development Coach, Senior - South
Keith Ure Age Group & AGP - Kent/KCAC

Keith Ure has over 30 years of coaching experience beginning in 1987 with the Kent Area Dolphins. Keith was heavily involved with the formation of King Aquatic Club, bringing the Kent Area Dolphins and Highline Swim Club together in 1996. In addition to over 30 years of club coaching experience, Keith also has 6 years Head Coach/Assistant Coach experience with Summer League Clubs (KSTC/Arbor Heights), and 9 Years as a Head High School Coach (Evergreen/Hazen).

Keith has been involved at the Pacific Northwest Swimming level serving as Head Coach of All-Star Teams and Assistant Coach of All-Star Teams on a number of occasions. Keith has also been apart of several Zone Team staffs as well.  

Keith has been recognized with a number of honors including:

  • American Swimming Coaches Association Coach of the Year (PNS) – 1998, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2012 & 2015
  • American Swimming Coaches Association National Age Group Coach of the Year Top Ten Finalist – 2015

Keith has a track record of producing results with athletes credited for:

  • 14 National Age Group Records
  • Multiple Swimmers on the USA Swimming All-Time Top 100 List
  • Over 200 National Top 16/National Top 10 Rankings

Keith currently works at Boeing as an Engineering Manager on a Defense Program. 

Kieran Schaefer Age Group Performance - Central

Kieran came to SMAC after a 4 year career as a varsity swimmer at Seattle U. He runs our Senior group at the Central/MIBC site as well as the SMAC Masters program. Kieran was a competitive swimmer for 13 years, which includes his time swimming for Seattle University. He grew up club swimming in Oregon, and was a 50, 100, 200, and 500 yard freestyler.

Justin Leary-Bignayan Senior - Central
John Skroch Senior - MIBC
Kate Shuhart Age Group & Senior - View Ridge
Ameena Bouzerktoune Stroke D & Age Group - Central/MIBC
Adam Hendren Catfish, Stroke D & Age Group - EVG

Adam's love for competitive swimming began in 1995 in Tacoma and that has led him to a wonderful career in teaching that sport. He began teaching swim lessons at the Lakewood YMCA in 2004, then summer league at Tacoma Country and Golf Club in 2005 and Marine Hills Swim and Tennis Club in 2015, and finally year-round club swimming with King Aquatic Club in 2012.

He began coaching the beginner 14 & under swimmers, immediately knowing that this was his favorite role because of the great potential for long-term skill development - if we can teach them to love the sport while we’re at it, then their overall potential sky-rockets! In the pool they learn to be a champion every day for their team, and then out of the pool they learn to be a great member of their family and community.

Adam thoroughly enjoys the swim life, and he is grateful to continue growing and improving with the Seattle Metropolitan Aquatic Club community.

Laura Petrini Catfish, Stroke D & Age Group - MSC

Laura has been actively involved in swimming most of her life. She grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and swam competitively for the JCC Sailfish through high school. She also swam as an undergrad for Penn State. Laura has a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Pittsburgh. Ever since she was old enough to join, Laura has been active in masters swimming and she frequently can be found swimming in the pool at Mercerwood Shore Club, in Lake Washington, or in the Puget Sound at Alki beach. She is the mom of 3, all of whom swam collegiality. Laura lives in Bellevue with her husband Andy, 2 dogs, a cat and whichever of her kids who happens to be home.

Since moving to the Northwest, Laura has participated in swimming as a lifeguard, swim instructor and coach. She has taught lessons for King Aquatic Club, coached at OCA for 10 years and spent the past 2 years coaching with Columbia Athletic Club at Pine Lake. Her focus has been with novice and developmental swimmers. Laura’s philosophy is steady improvements are made through improving technical skills, correct body positioning and developing confidence all while having fun in the process!

Catherine Peter Catfish & Stroke D - Kent/KCAC

Catherine Peter started her swimming journey in White Center on The Salvation Army Swim Team before transferring to Husky Swim Club. She continued swimming at Highline High School and Central Washington University. After suffering her third shoulder injury during college, Catherine decided to remain on the pool deck in a new role as coach. Today she has over 20 years of coaching experience up and down the Puget Sound. Although her practices concentrate on skill building and efficiency in the water, her main focus is helping young people be better humans. Having watched previous swimmers progress to the Olympic Trials while others decided swim team just wasn’t their thing, Catherine believes this sport is much more about learning how to manage life than swimming fast times. Those are just bonuses.

Catherine spends her school days as a Language Arts teacher at Auburn School District’s alternative high school. She also acts as a chauffeur getting her two children to their increasingly more demanding activities. She’s been known to run for the exercise, not for the enjoyment, and to get in the water for a workout, as long as it involves more sun than yardage.

Laurae Briggs Office

Laurae got involved with competitive swimming through her three children. Warren, Olivia, and Eleanor started swimming with a summer league team and that quickly grew into club swimming. Two of her children are college athletes - Warren is at Indiana University and Olivia at Whitman College. Her youngest Eleanor plans to participate in high school and summer league swim. In her free time Laurae enjoys spending time with her family, camping, hiking, and walking on the beach at the family cabin. Oh and hanging out with her dogs - Winnie and Penny!

Daniel Chang Assistant Coach - Central/MIBC

Daniel grew up swimming in Tennessee when he was 10 years old and since then, he has kept swimming as a core part of his life. He swam at Harvard from 2016-2020, setting a team record in the 200 Medley Relay and being part of a Top 8 NCAA team finish at the 2019 NCAAs. After graduating and moving out to Seattle, he finished his career on a high note with SMAC competing at the 2021 Olympic Trials. After training with such an incredible team of swimmers, he moved into the other side of practices as a coach. 

Daniel works with the senior and national group and loves to help the next generation of swimmers meet their goals. Through college, he coached weekly swim clinic for children in the Boston area to teach anywhere from basic swimming survival skills to race strategy and technique. When he’s not coaching or working his day job as an environmental engineer, he loves to cook and explore new restaurants in Seattle.
Zachary Einhorn Assistant Coach - View Ridge