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MEET OUR TEAM

Mike Smiechowski

Director of aquatic curriculum

Smiechowski is excited to get going as the start of the season is right around the corner. "I am humbled to join the Alfred State family. Through my interview process I was impressed with the professionalism of the staff and the overall enthusiasm for the swimming and diving program. The people of this community have shown me so much warmth and kindness its hard not to be excited."

Oleksii Savenko is pleased to have Smiechowski on board. "Mike has an outstanding swimming & diving background both as a student-athlete and coach. He has worked in different capacities within the swimming & diving profession and is well-prepared to lead our program. Mike's passion and desire to recruit outstanding student-athletes and elevate our program to new heights was apparent during the interview process. He is a goal oriented coach who will undoubtedly be successful in achieving those objectives in the future."

Smiechowski comes to Swim Lesson Hawaii after most recently serving as the head swim coach of the Sint Maarten-Saint Martin National Swim Team. During the 2018-19 season he trained the first Sint Maarten athlete to participate in the World Championship. As the director of operations of the Carib Swim Club (the largest swim club on the island) he had athletes break 25 club records.

Previously he coached the Hickam Hurrricanes (Honolulu, HI) and the Coral Springs Club (Coral Springs, FL) teams.

After a successful swimming career at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, where he a team captain and a member of the Colonial Athletic Association Championship team from 2009-2012, Smiechowski started his coaching career at Villanova University as an assistant coach and men's recruiting coordinator. At Villanova, he was part of the coaching staff that led the women's team to the 2014 Big East Championship. He spent the next season (2014-15) at Towson University as an assistant coach and men's recruiting coordinator.

"The team has had a lot of success in its first year as a full member of Division III," Smiechowski noted. "Now its time to continue to build on that momentum as we look to compete for conference titles and national relevancy in the future. There is a lot to be excited about for our current team and prospective student-athletes."

Smiechowski has a bachelor's degree in criminology from UNC Wilmington and a master's degree in higher education from Iowa State University.

Anastasia

Water Program Manager

Professional category: Instructor category "Expert"

Division: Pool

Experience: since 2013

Sports qualification: Master of sports in synchronized swimming and CCM in swimming.

Specialization: Training and improvement of swimming techniques. Aqua aerobics, baby swimming, work with pregnant women in water, rehabilitation, weight correction.

Education: Moscow Academy of Physical Education. Specialist in adaptive physical culture.

Additional education:

Certified Specialist: Aqua Aerobic Instructor World Gym College 2014, AFT 2017.

Certified Specialist: Swimming AFT 2017.

Certified specialist in specialization: “Baby swimming from 2 months to 1.5 years) AFT 2017, Fitness Territory 2017-2018.

Certified specialist in specialization: “Early swimming from 1.5 years to 3 years)” AFT 2017, Fitness Territory 2017-2018.

Certified specialist in the program: “Working with pregnant women in water” AFT 2016.

Certified Program Specialist: “Organization of the Water Program Division” FPA 2017.

Participant of the international fitness convention in Italy: "Rimini Wellness 2018"

Participant of the Aqua Convention "AFT 2015-2018", "4th Worldwild Aquathon 2017"

"H & B in Aqua 2018"

Participant fitness convention: "MIOFF 2017"

Presenter of Aqua Convention “II H & B in Aqua 2019” and also presenter of aqua-marathon “We Gym 2016”, Fitness Territory for the project “Lose Weight Together” Winner of the Russian Cup, Winner and participant of the Championship of Russia in synchronized swimming. Passed the course of first aid in case of accidents at the Moscow Rescue Service

Xiao Yi

Director of operations

Duties

A operations management job starts with Leadership. Ops managers must be familiar with what’s 'going-on' in all of the venues, what works and what doesn't work, and how to finds solutions to always be ahead of potential issues and trends. They gain knowledge by scouring blogs and industry journals, browsing online databases, visiting venues and interviewing hourly staff. Leaders look for the best combination of people, profit and product and create training and SOP's to support all three simultaneously.

Skills

Strong operational presence, sense of empathy to provide firm but fair leadership and interpersonal skills are necessary to build and manage teams that will push our company forward. Operations managers must be good with customers and have very strong product knowledge. They must be able to carefully analyze the advantages and disadvantages of different work flows and be able to pivot to maximize time, effort and product quality.

Since 2015 the Director of operations in Swim Lessons Hawaii.

John Dunbar

High performance triathlon consultant

John Dunbar is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL and Ironman triathlete.

Original founders of "IRONMAN".

John finished 2nd in the first two Ironman races - 1978 and 1979.

The competitive struggle between Dunbar and the fourteen other athletes in the 1979 race was profiled in a ten page, 6,175 word article titled "IRONMAN" in the May 14, 1979 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine that is widely credited with launching triathlons into public prominence.

On the day of the race, Feb. 18, 1978, 15 competitors showed. Out of those, a dozen would finish. Collins handed each a sheet with a few simple rules. At the end of the page it read: "Swim 2.4 miles, ride 112, run 26.2, brag for the rest of your life".

Gordon Haller, 27, was the first to earn that right, finishing the event in 11 hours, 46 minutes. Collins finished in a little more than 17 hours.

According to a USA Today Web article, runner-up John Dunbar, a Navy SEAL, had the opportunity to win the first Ironman, but toward the end of the race he ran out of water. His supporters gave him beer instead.

The next year, 15 more participated in the race, and Sports Illustrated wrote about it, according to Collins' biography. In 1980, Collins was transferred and handed the responsibilities (a shoe box with the race entries in it) to Valerie Silk, who in 1981 decided to move the race from congested Oahu to wide-open Kona on Hawaii's Big Island. The year before, ABC's "Wide World of Sports" had begun broadcasting the epic of exercise.

Since 2015 the High performance triathlon consultant in Swim Lessons Hawaii.

Losha

Head coach

Oleksii Savenko (Losha) is an experienced swim teacher/coach/mentor bringing 20 + years of coaching and teaching swimming to downtown New York. Losha is a third generation Ukrainian and grew up in USSR. He competed as an elite swimmer in Ukraine Olympic national team | 2000-2006.

Represented Ukraine in International competitions in the 100, 200 fly and 200, 400, 800 freestyles.

Youngest Ukrainian athlete selected to the "A" training group.

In June 2015, looking for a pool from which to teach, good luck was on his side when he met John Dunbar - a retired U.S. Navy SEAL and Ironman triathlete and original founder of Ironman. John offered Losha the chance to train masters swimmers and triathletes at the incredible Aqua Building pools. That was the beginning of his swim school, Swim lessons Hawaii.

He offers classes based on the latest and most effective teaching methods. Working with age group swimmers on their technique is one of his favorite areas of teaching. Moreover, while 25% of his students are adults learning how to swim, babies, young children, and triathletes are all part of his teaching day.

Losha students learn to swim in a fun, nurturing, and safe setting leaving with swimming skills they will enjoy for a lifetime. He is a passionate and encouraging teacher whose enthusiasm is contagious. He connects with his students and is excited every day to watch them progress. Losha has taught all levels of swimming for over 20 years from babies to triathletes. He was an Olympic Trial qualifier in both 200m and 100m fly. Losha teaching is so successful because his students learn how to swim in a fun, nurturing, and safe setting leaving with skills they will enjoy for a lifetime. Losha is CPR certified. He toddler learn to swim method. He works with all levels of triathletes on stroke techniques and race strategies.

Vladimir

Dryland coach

Vladimir Liashenko Is A CERTIFIED FITNESS COACH. He educates our clients on nutrition, weight control and lifestyle. He has been into this business for almost 9 years. April 2010 was the year when he decided to sign up for the Moscow RUGBY club, and since then fitness became a big part of his life. In the age of 16 he became a swimming coach assistant. He was teaching other kids how to prevent injuries and to properly stretch. Two years later he started to do Boxing and Brazilian Jiujitsu. All of these activities helped him to get where he is right now.

Moreover, Vladimir has a team of 3 qualified personal trainers. Adam Wilson, Steve Brown and David Miller are going to help you to achieve your goals in and out of swimming pool. Contact Swim Lessons Hawaii to book a dryland lesson with Vladimir is this week.

Nataliya

Assistant Coach

Three-time champion of Latvia once the record holder of the track B Rigė, Natalia, undoubtedly, is a master in the Olympic triathlon. She finished on the podium of Latvia 5 times that she participated there, and is one of the strongest triathletes in Latvia's history in Olympic triathlon, almost exchanging 3:50 for the marathon.

Natallia Kazakova, was born in 1981 and started to practice triathlon when she was 14 years old, almost immediately hitting in the junior national team of the country in 2001.

She represented her at the ITU World Cup races in 2001-2005, winning silver medals in 2002 and 2003. And then I went to the "big triathlon" distance. First, the struggle at long distances was given to her uneasy, but when in 2007 she became a prize-winner of the World Cup in London it became clear that the girl can effectively tolerate long distances.

This start became a springboard and in 2009 it was the second in the European Championship, and then won the World Championship in 2005, 2006 and in 2007. Just in 2007 she ran her fastest marathon (3:20:38) and set the track record 9:52:14.

It is noteworthy that Natallia Cossacks did not long run short distances, but almost immediately went into long distances and achieved success there. Deservedly falls into the list of the best female triathletes of the planet.

Alison

Assistant Coach

Alison specializes in the Pathways and Age Group coaching duties with an emphasis on safety, proper skill development, team member development, and building confidence in the water.

Originally from Michigan, Alison was a competitive swimmer and has competed throughout the Midwest from the age of 4 through college at The University of Chicago Swimming & Diving.

Alex

Assistant Coach

Alex swam from age 5-27 in the Colorado Springs on a USA Swimming club team. He was a 4-year varsity swimmer and captain her senior year; he specialized in 100 and 200-yard breaststroke and 200 and 400 yard IM. He taught swim lessons for over 5 years in the Mississippi area for Swim School and for a couple of athletic clubs. He taught private and group classes for children of all ages from parent-tot classes to pre-competitive swimmers. He currently works as a research specialist at the University. He has BS in Chemistry from Sterling college and he is MS in Chemistry from the University of Swimming.

Among his many swimming certifications, he also completed the Swim Whisperer workshop for students with special needs.

Eva

Assistant Coach

An ambitious and charismatic woman working to become a part of an innovative, efficient, and inclusive team. National competitor for Mexico. CPR and USA Swimming certified for 11 years.

Experience

07/2013 - 08/2015 Akron Firestone Swim Team, Akron, OH — Assistant Swim Coach

Managed and coordinated two sites of the swim team. Lead and coordinator of swim practices of student-athletes ages 5-18 years old. Apprentice of Brian Peresie, Akron University head coach to implement efficient swimming drills to Akron Firestone Swim Team’s programs.

07/2009 - 07/2013 Canton City Schools, Canton, OH — ​Head Age Group Coach

Lead of workouts for age group student-athletes. Attended all swim meets. Awarded Junior coach position of Lake Erie swimming in the year of 2014.

2014 - 2015 Akron City Swimming Pools, ​Akron, OH​ —​ ​Manager

Managed two swimming pools. Coordinated schedules. Attended patrons and provided a safe environment. Checked water chemicals as needed.

Education

2012 - 2016 Kent State University, Kent, OH — International Relations

2015 Webster University, Geneva, Switzerland — International Relations

Projects

2015 Lake Erie Swimming Swim Clinic

Applied and acquired a grant from USA Swimming. Created a swim clinic for the coaches certified by USA Swimming in Lake Erie Swimming. Two Olympians and the best USA Swimming speakers at Olympic training center organization including Russell Mark presented at our clinic.

Skills

- Leadership and continuous swimming educational growth

- Writing personalized workouts based on research

- Expertise in drills of all four strokes

- Work with numerous swimmers of all ages including college swimmers of all levels

Awards

Senior Coach 2015, Lake Erie Swimming

Junior Coach 2014, Lake Erie Swimming

Languages

Spanish

English

Ivan

Assistant Coach

My name is Ivan Ponomarev. I am a master of sports in swimming, winner of the championship of Russia in open water. Prize-winner and champion of all-Russian swimming and swim competitions Champions Cup. I learn to feel comfortable in the water and easily manage my actions in the aquatic environment. I am engaged in preparation for swimming in open water and in the pool.