UTAH VALLEY 

AQUATICS

 

Coaches

Shari Clark Skabelund  -  Head Coach  

Shari Clark Skabelund loves teaching, and her primary students happen to be swimmers. Shari has been teaching swimmers for more than five decades, beginning with lessons in the 1970s and continuing with the Springville Seals, Springville High, Brigham Young University, Utah Valley Aquatics, and her four children: Analyn, Andrew, Natalya, and Joshua, all of whom have also taught young swimmers. In April 2021, Shari was named head coach of BYU men and women's swimming and diving. Her husband, Grant, enjoys supporting Shari's efforts.

Christine McElderry  -  Associate Head Coach--Athlete Development  

Christine has a passion for building swimmers by cultivating lifelong skills that apply both in the pool and out. After swimming competitively for eight years and teaching hundreds of swim lessons, Christine joined the UVRays coaching staff in 2008. Christine has filled a variety of roles for the team, including coaching every group from Swim School to Nationals. True to her passion, Christine earned her degree from BYU in Recreation Management and Youth Leadership (2013) and continues to study how best to serve swimmers. Her love of swimming and teaching youth has led to her coaching for Spanish Fork’s County Team (2008-9), head coach for Springville Seals (2011-12), and assisting with BYU’s meets (2011-19). It’s hard to get away from water when you love it so much, but when Christine manages, she enjoys backpacking and canyoneering with her husband and two boys.

 

 

Missy Bahr - Assistant Coach

Missy has coached competitive swimming for more than 20 years. Before joining Utah Valley Aquatics in 2020, she was the head age group coach for eight years for the Alamo Area Aquatics Association in San Antonio. Before her Texas stint, Missy was the head coach for Mountain View High School and started the Timpanogos High School team. She also coached with the Orem Timpanogos Aquatics Club. Missy enjoys seeing her swimmers succeed and helping them reach their goals, both in and out of the water. She received a bachelor’s in recreation management from BYU and later completed a master’s in sports management from Texas A&M.

Missy and her husband Tyler have five children: Kaylee, Lucas, Sydney, Wesley, and Addyson. In her free time, she enjoys boating with her family, watching movies, watching football, and going to the gym.

Maren Christensen - Assistant Coach

Relationships and people have always been the focus of Maren Christensen’s life. Her relationships with her coaches and diverse swimming connections led her into coaching with Utah Valley Aquatics in 2016. As she prepares to become a marriage and family therapist (she’s a BYU student), Maren uses the principles she’s learning to help swimmers succeed and harness the power of both their body and mind to excel inside and out of the pool.

Shanon Dowling - Assistant Coach

Shanon has been swimming with this team since she was seven-years old. Shanon started coaching for UVRays right after graduating high school (2017). Swimming is her passion. She enjoys nothing more than to help shape our young swimmers’ lives, mentally and physically. Seeing our athletes grow and improve in swimming and in their personal lives is what keeps Shanon returning to the deck each and every day!

Jennifer (Jen) George  -  Assistant Coach 

Jen has coached for Utah Valley Aquatics since 2015; she previously coached for the Provo Aquatics Club (2002-4). Jen swam competitively with clubs in California (9 years), Germany (2), and Sweden (2); she recently started competing in open-water marathon swimming. She has degrees in Exercise Science (BS, BYU 2004) and Marriage, Family, and Human Development (MS, BYU 2007), with an interest in the interdependence of physiology and psychology. As a coach, she emphasizes building a foundation of excellent technique and the psychology behind swimming performance. She loves fostering opportunities for swimmers to be proud of themselves for accomplishing hard things.

Nathanael Gunson - Assistant Coach

Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, Nathanael Gunson swam competitively for 14 years. He also coached for his club and summer league teams, and assisted his high school swim team after graduating high school. He loves competitive swimming and is grateful to have the opportunity to coach with UVRays.

Levi Jensen - Assistant Coach 

Levi is the youngest of nine and grew up in Casper, Wyoming. Levi has been swimming since he was six. Levi has swum at zones, sectionals, junior nationals, nationals, BYU, and Olympic Trials. Levi enjoys swimming all the strokes and working hard.

Shawn King - Assistant Coach

Shawn came to UVRays with extensive coaching experience and has worked to build a culture of swimming excellence wherever he goes. He has coached in Texas, Idaho, Utah, Illinois, and Florida. Shawn has coached all levels of kids from developmental to the national level of USA Swimming. Most importantly, Shawn cares about his athletes as people and drives them to be successful and accountable in all areas of their lives. During his time with SUSA in southern Utah, Shawn coached national qualifiers, dozens of Utah club state champions, and individual and relay Utah Swimming state record holders.

Shawn currently serves as an assistant coach with the BYU Men’s and Women’s swimming teams. He came to BYU after serving as the Assistant Coach for the Dixie State University Women's Swimming team. Shawn also served as the head coach for Desert Hills, Pine View, and Crimson Cliffs (2016-20). In four seasons, he led his teams to five 4A State titles and was named Coach of the Year three times. Shawn is certified as an ASCA Level 3 coach for high school and USA Senior swimming. He also has extensive experience working with masters-level swimmers.

Shawn graduated from Dixie State University with a degree in psychology. His favorite part of coaching is going through the process of setting goals with his swimmers and helping them achieve those goals. Shawn is happily married to Heather; they have 4 amazing boys.

KC Lemon - Assistant Coach 

KC has coached for Utah Valley Aquatics for the last 10 years. Her passion is teaching technique; her favorite group is the 10-and-unders. She loves giving young athletes a strong foundation in the fundamentals and watching their progression throughout the season. These swimmers are UVRays’ future and KC is honored to interact with them.

Originally from Tacoma, Washington, KC swam for Hall of Fame coach Dick Hannula of the Tacoma Swim Club. She competed collegiately for BYU, earning 5 NCAA honors, 11 all-conference honors, and WAC Swimmer of the Year (1991), while breaking BYU backstroke records 22 times. KC placed 12th in the 100 back at the 1988 Olympic Trials, placed at US Nationals, and was twice selected Pacific Northwest Swimmer of the Year.

After competing for BYU, she began coaching the Springville Seals with Coach Shari. KC was an assistant Springville High coach (1991-92), an assistant BYU coach (1995-96), Timpview High’s head coach (1996-99), and BYU Women’s Strength Coach (1999-2001).

 

Zach Miller - Assistant Coach

Zach swam for Coach Shari for eight years with the Springville Seals and then the newly created Utah Valley Aquatics. Zach started coaching at the club level in 2016 as an assistant coach for Orem Timpanogos Aquatics Club (OTAC). He became OTAC’s head coach in 2018. In late-summer 2021, he joined UVRays as an assistant coach working with the National group. Zach loves teaching swimming, but he also loves learning. He has spent his coaching career learning and understanding the coaching styles of coaches like Shari. Zach’s coaching style is personal to each swimmer. One of the things he loved most about OTAC was the smaller team/group dynamic that allowed for individual coaching. He is implementing this same technique with UVRays. Zach is extremely excited to be a part of such a great team and culture, and he looks forward to playing a small part in its success going forward.

Jared Shaw - Assistant Coach

Swimming is Jared Shaw’s passion. Jared swam for BYU as a sprinter, competing in the 50 free and 100 frees and the 100 fly. While racing for BYU he won the 2020 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation title in the 50 free and qualified for NCAAs with a 19.29. He was named an All-American and qualified for the 2020 USA Olympic Trials (held in 2021). During his career as an athlete, Jared’s number one concern was improving his swimming technique, and he believes that mindset provides him with a strong coaching foundation. Jared started coaching during summer 2021, joining the UVRays in August 2021. He is currently pursuing a career as an EMT with hopes of going to PA school.

 
 

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

President  - Trent Weight

Vice President  - Christie Poulson

Treasurer - Grant Skabelund (admin)

Secretary - Mike Jones

Meet Director - Heather Riding

Team Unity Director - Ashley Shumway

Safe Sport Director - Pierre Guzman

Diversity Director - Tina Honey