Location: 
9001 Leesville Road
Mailing Address:13200 Strickland Rd. Suite 114-103
Raleigh. NC 27613
Phone:(919)848-6681

 

 

Meet the Coaches


(left to right- Mariana, Lauren, Thomas, Marina, Addie and Katie)

Thomas Gerek, Head Coach (Lead Coach- 13 and ups)

Coach Thomas grew up in Onaga, Kansas and started swimming at the age of eight for the Topeka Swim Association (TSA). After 10 years with TSA, he went on to Henderson State University and competed as a scholarship swimmer in the 100 and 200 free and back events. After several years away from the sport, Coach Thomas started coaching with the Spring Swim Team as well as the Windrose Swim Team in Houston, TX and the Aquakids in Conway, Arkansas.

Two years’ ago, Coach Thomas moved to Raleigh where he has been coaching with the Marlin of Raleigh. This is his second summer coaching for the Aquabears.

Lauren King, Assistant Head Coach (Lead Coach- 6 and unders and 7-8s)

Coach Lauren started her swimming career as an Aquabear at the age of 10. In the years’ since, she swam for the Aquabear for eight years, YOTA for two years and on the Leesville Road HS swim team for one year. She has also taught swimming lessons at the YMCA for several years and is a certified lifeguard. Lauren started her Aquabear coaching career in 2015 as a coaching intern. Since then she was the recipient of the Double D Award in 2016 and moved up to become the lead coach for different age groups.

Coach Lauren will be a sophomore at UNC-Charlotte this fall, studying pre-nursing. This is her fifth-year coaching for the Aquabears.

Mariana Herrera, Assistant Coach (Lead Coach- 11-12s)

Coach Mariana has been swimming competitively for 10 years with the Marlins of Raleigh (MOR). In the 10 years she has been swimming, she progressed to their top level, Senior Elite, which has allowed her to compete at a very high level. She also swam on the Leesville Road HS swim team. Coach Mariana has been coaching younger age groups with MOR for several years. She has a passion for swimming that she loves to develop in other swimmers.

Coach Mariana will graduate from Leesville Road HSin June and will be studying at UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall. This is her first-year coaching for the Aquabears.

Marina Himes, Assistant Coach (Lead Coach- 9-10s)

Coach Marina moved to Raleigh last October from Colorado; she had been coaching swim team for four years with her summer team. In 2018, she was promoted to an assistant coach, which was an honor with her swim team. This role enabled her to mentor and coach junior coaches. During this time as an assistant coach, she also taught swim lessons to the younger swimmers and also became certified as a lifeguard. Coach Marina loves building confidence in her swimmers and watch them grow as people and athletes.

Coach Marina will be a senior at Leesville Road HS this fall. This is her first-year coaching for the Aquabears.

Katie Rhoades, Coaching Assistant (Assistant Coach- 7-8s)

Coach Katie has been an Aquabear for nine years and will be swimming with the team for her tenth season this summer. She has also swam with several of the year round swim programs in the area. Last season, Coach Katie was a volunteer and assisted with the 7-8s and 6 and unders. This experience gave her the opportunity to learn different ways to teach different strokes to younger children. She also just received her lifeguarding certification.

Coach Katie will be a junior at LRHS this fall. This is her first-year coaching for the Aquabears.

Addie Hileman, Coaching Assistant (Assistant Coach- 6 and unders)

Coach Addie has been an Aquabear for nine years and will be swimming with the team for her tenth season this summer. She has also been swimming year-round on YOTA swim team for six years and for the Leesville Road HS swim team for one year. Coach Addie is a top swimmer in the YOTA senior group and has swam at several state and national meets. She has also participated in Big Fish Little Fish programs (where older swimmers work with younger swimmers on stroke and turn technique). She has volunteered with the six and unders Aquabears for two seasons.

Coach Addie will be a sophomore at Leesville Road HS this fall. This is her first-year coaching for the Aquabears.



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