Staff 2017-05-26T13:40:24+00:00

Our Staff

Kris Swarthout
Kris SwarthoutCoach/Owner
Kris has been a competitive presence in triathlons since 2001. First as an athlete now as a coach. Kris is currently the Midwest Regional Chairperson for USA Triathlon and is the head coach of the Minnesota Junior Elite Team. Between 2010 and 2014 he served as the Official Age Group Coach for Team USA and accompanied them to the ITU World Championships around the globe. Kris is also a co-founder of the Leanda Cave Foundation helping to empower women through triathlon.

Kris has coached athletes ranging from professional to first time amateurs. He strives to help people achieve the ultimate balance of family and sport in their lives.

  • USAT Level 2 Coach
  • USAT Youth and Junior Coach
  • USATF Level 1 Coach
  • USAT Level 1 Race Director
Mike Ladendorf
Mike Ladendorf Coach
Mike has been involved in endurance sports for 15 years. Since his first track race in high school he was hooked. His love for running evolved into a love for a healthy active lifestyle through endurance sports. He has been a triathlete since 2006, competing at the elite amateur level. He is an Ironman finisher and is very active in the Minnesota Multi-sport scene. Mike is also a head coach of the MN Junior Elite team, fostering and developing excellence in the next generation of triathletes.

  • USAT Level 1 Coach
  • USAT Youth and Junior Coach

Karen Bebchuk
Karen Bebchuk Coach
Karen began competing in tennis and Nordic skiing 33 years ago and added triathlon in 2001. She is an experienced coach for nordic skiing & triathlon and a certified group fitness instructor for cardio, strength and mat Pilates classes. Karen’s unique combination of strength, speed, and grace result from her passions for dance and multi-sport competition. This is evident in her coaching style and emphasis on creating a strong mind body connection. Karen’s goal is to give athletes the inspiration, knowledge, and confidence needed to improve their fitness and take pride in their results.

  • USAT Level 1 Coach
  • USSA Level 100
  • ACE Group Fitness Instructor
  • The Method Pilates — Mat

Greg Albrecht
Greg Albrecht Coach
Greg has 16 years of professional coaching under his belt. He focuses on triathletes and marathon runners. Greg has been a competitive age group athlete, completing over 200 triathlons and 81 marathons over the past 25 years. Greg has coached over 200 athletes from beginners to Ironman triathletes to successfully reach their goals. His mantras are; for marathons, “Getting faster, getting stronger,” for general fitness and weight loss “Work out more, eat less,” for racing “Stay focused, stay relaxed” and for working out he says “Have a plan for every workout and work the plan.”

  • USAT Level 1 Coach

Diane Hankee
Diane HankeeCoach
Diane started in the sport of triathlon in 2005.  She specializes in long course coaching, with an emphasis on nutrition and climate specific training plans.  Through her racing experience she has gained knowledge in short course, ITU racing, long course and duathlon.  Diane continually researches nutrition and training techniques, and tests new equipment regularly.  In addition to educational programs for coaches through USAT, she explores innovative ideas to teach proper technique; recognizing people have varying abilities to learn, and people accept concepts in different ways.

  • USAT Level 1 Coach
  • Youth Volunteer Swim Coach
  • Group Fitness Instructor
Christian Twigg
Christian Twigg Coach
Christian grew up playing sports like Hockey, Soccer, Baseball and Tennis but then hung it all up to pursue his love of music. After playing professionally for a number of years, Christian returned to his passion for fitness and sport, became a certified instructor in Pilates, Gyrotonic, TRX, Yoga, Core Align, and Thai Yoga Body work. In 2008 he completed his first Triathlon and was hooked! A self proclaimed freak for the technique he loves working with athletes on developing proper function, alignment and efficient movement. Christian loves to share his passion for the sport of triathlon and believes that health should always come first, followed by fitness then fun.

  • USAT Level 1 Coach
Cindy Schlafmann
Cindy SchlafmannCoach
Cindy has been a competitive athlete for many years. She began as a distance runner in high school and never looked back. Competing in triathlons since 1997, she has been competitive at every distance from Sprint to Ironman. Cindy has been the athletic trainer at DeLaSalle High School for 25 years and has coached their distance runners in track and cross country runners since 2014. She also had an opportunity to coach a wonderful group of women aged 58-72 to successfully complete the YWCA Women’s Triathlon in 2014. It is important to her to help her athletes work to understand outside factors and fears that affect performance and how your attitude can affect a training day and a race. Cindy believes it is very important for athletes to keep in tune with their body to avoid injuries through prevention and also believes communication between athlete and coach is just as vital to ensure peak performance.

  • USAT Level 1 Coach
Krisie Melsen
Krisie MelsenCoach
Krisie’s first experience with competitive swimming was in 1988. From there, she swam competitively at the club and collegiate level, and continues to compete at the master’s level. She is a multiple Minnesota Master’s state record holder and United States Masters Swimming top ten finisher. Krisie started coaching swimming in 1996. She has coached all levels and all ages. She currently coaches the Plymouth Lifetime Masters team working with adults from various swimming backgrounds many of whom are triathletes. Krisie is a student of the sport, consistently reading up on the latest technique and learning from other coaches. In addition to having a passion for good technique, she has a real knack for creating fun, challenging, and engaging workouts both in the water and on land. Krisie prides herself on meeting each swimmer where they are at and helping them reach their goals.

  • USAT Level 1 Coach
  • United States Masters Level I and II Coach
Gaby Bunten
Gaby BuntenCoach
Coach Gaby is driven by the passion behind the sport of triathlon. Not only does the sport require blood, sweat and tears at times. The sport inspires individuals to step out of their comfort zone and TRI something new. Her philosophy as a coach is to inspire athletes by helping them reach a goal they never thought they could achieve.

Over the past six years, she has achieved a degree in exercise science with focus on sports performance enhancement, achieved All-American triathlon status and a chance to compete in Division I athletics. She has the experience and knowledge to work with individuals of all abilities, to grow your strengths and diminish limitations. The experience and credentials she has earned has molded her into the athlete and coach she is today. Gaby realizes that every athlete is different, requiring an array of emphasis on cycling, swimming and running. She will push you to enhance performance and skills in all three elements with attention to detail. But what it comes down to, is her inspiration for you to TRI something new.

  • B.S. in Exercise Science from Iowa State University
  • Division I Distance swimmer from University of North Dakota
  • USAT All-American
  • 2013 & 2015 Age Group World Championship Qualifier
  • 2016 World Championship Qualifier, 70.3

Kris has helped me take my racing to a new level. He has taught me that racing is strategic as well as putting your best performance out there.  Coaching me to my A game for age group nationals and worlds. Coach Kris provided me with great guidance writing a training plan which ensures I don’t over train and make each workout meaningful. He is also great at taking in to account my crazy ever changing schedule as I balance training with responsibilities as wife and mom of three busy kids.  He also adapted the plan as needed like after I broke my wrist at Chisago and still needed to train for nationals and worlds.
Laura
Karen, I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the ski class this winter. I picked up skating as an adult. I could slug along, but I never really learned “how” to do it. I really learned techniques in your class that have helped me improve. The class size was ideal (contrast with the gigantic club-style classes) allowing plenty of opportunity for me to get personal help and feedback on what I was doing–wrong and right. I think I was at about at the midpoint skill-wise; and the class was perfect for me. It also seemed like there were good opportunities for advanced skiers and beginners too. I’d heartily recommend the class to others.
Lisa
Coach Greg,
Thanks again for all you have done for me! Amazing I could have come this far – and I could not have done it without you!
Lyle
With Coach Greg’s guidance I reached my goal of qualifying for triathlon Worlds.
He made the difference I needed to qualify for the Triathlon World Championship. Of all the changes I’ve made to seek improvement in triathlon, the best value has been in finding a great coach.
Thomas

I’d like to take a brief moment to compliment you on Coach Gaby.  She is very good and you are very lucky to have her. She goes above and beyond and makes herself very available for help & questions. Something that goes a very long way with me given I sometimes work 70 to 80 hour weeks! Plus I ask a lot of questions and it requires patience I’m sure.

Chris