Buffalo Swimkins
in sync since 1956

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OUR COACHES

















Mary Ellen Wiegand

Mary Ellen Witt Wiegand started with Swimkins in 1956 as an athlete. She was on the first Swimkin team coached by Mildred Moore.  In 1964 she retired form swimming and took over the club responsibilities of the team from Mildred.  She has been the director and head coach since that time.  
Mary Ellen graduated from the State University at Brockport in Health, Physical Education and Recreation in 1964 and received her Masters degree from the University of Buffalo in 1967. During the past 47 years she has taught for Town of Tonawanda Central Schools, Buffalo Public Schools, and the last 18 years as an Educational Specialist for the Board of Cooperative education (Erie one BOCES)
She received her National and International judges rating from United States Synchronized Swimming in 1972 and she still has that rating.  In the late 1980’s and 90’s she was honored as a Elite Coach for USSSI.  She has also been the East Zone Chairman and East Zone Member to the USSS Board of Directors. Mary Ellen has been chairman of many commitees for                                                                     USSSI.

Mary Ellen Witt Wiegand has received many awards:
1995 she received the Developmental Coach USSS Service Award
1995 The East Zone Synchronized Swimming Contributor Award
2001 The David F. Catena Voluntary Service Award by the Niagara Frontier Recreation & Parks Society
2002 The Lillian MacKellar Distinguished Service Award – “in recognition of selfless service and dedication to the enrichment of those encountered” This is the mostprestigious award given by United States Synchronized Swimming.


Debbie Latchford

ATHLETE AND COACH 
Swimkins Athlete 1976-1985 
Ohio State University Athlete 1985-1989 
USSSI National Duet, Trio and Team Champion 
USSSI Collegiate National Duet, Trio and Team Champion 
Coached in Italy 1990-1992 
Coached the Italian ’92 Olympic Solo Competitor 
Swimkin Coach 1992 - Present 
Coaches 13 And Over Athletes 
Choreographs, Researches And Edits Music For All Swimkin Routines 


PROFESSIONAL

Ohio State University Bachlor Of Science 
Ohio Wesleyan University Master Of Arts 
New York State Teachers Certification 
English Teacher And Department Chairman Middle College High School, Buffalo Public Schools 1991 - PRESENT 


ACCOMPLISHMENTS 
Coached The Italian OLYMPIC 92 Competitor 1990-1992 


SWIMKINS 
Her Athletes Have Placed In Finals 1991-Present In East Zone Senior 
USSS First Place Championships In Age Group Nationals, Us National Juniors, Us Opens, And Junior National Team Trials Phase 4. Her Athletes Have Qualified For Nationals And US Junior Team Trials. 
Represented The USSS - Coach To Hans Christians Anderson Open, Slovic Open Championship 
(First Place All Events) 

NATIONAL/ ZONE CONTRIBUTIONS 
Represents The East Zone As An At Large Member Of The USSSI BOG 
Represents The East Zone On The Competitive Reconstruction Committee 
Also A Member Of Other USSSI Committees 
National USSSI Judge And FINA (Federation International Association- The Highest Rating For A Synchronized Swimming Official. Level 6 
East Zone Olympic Festival Coach 92-93 
New York State Empire State Games Coach 92-Present (This Is A Multi Club Team) 
USSS Coaches Certification level 3 

SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING AWARDS 
Ohio State University Athlete Scholar Award 1987-1990 
East United States Coach Of The Year 
USSSI Age Group Coach Of The Year


CINDY EHLERS

ATHLETE 
Tonawanda Aquetts 1973 - 1981 
Niagara Association, East Zone, and Junior National Champion 

COACH 
Head Coach Ken-Ton Sync-Kipettes 1982-1989 
Coached Tonawanda Aquettes 1989-1994 
Coached Orchard Park Penguins 2001-2003 Swimkins Synchronized Swim Team 2006 to present Attended USA Olympic Training Camps 

PROFESSIONAL 
Graduated University at Buffalo with BA 
Graduated University at Buffalo with a Masters Degree in Library Science (MLS) 
Senior Assistant Librarian at University at Buffalo

Adjunct Faculty for the Dept of Information and Library Studies at University at Buffalo 

PRESENT 
Coach of the Swimkins 11 and 12 Team 
USSS Coaching Certification Level 2 
Judge Niagara Association Regional Judge Level 2 

ZONE PLACEMENT 
Placed Athletes First in the Niagara Association, Regional Age Group 
Placed Athletes First In the Eastern United States Age Group 
Placed Athletes in phase 2 of 11-12 National Team Trials 
Placed Athletes in Finals In USSS National Age Group in Solo, Duet, Trio and Team Events
Coached Bridget Finn, a Gold Medal Olympic Athlete, during her Age Group years. 

AWARDS
National Age Group Developmental Coach of The Year Award

Laura Ehreneich

ATHLETE 
Swimkins Athlete 1976-1985 
Association, Regional, Zone Champion and Finalist in US Junior and Open Championship
Empire State Games Gold Medalist 
Scholarship to Indiana University 
Indiana University Collegiate Athlete 1985-1989

COACH 
Coach of Swimkins 1990- Present 
Empire State Games for the Western Region- Gold in all Events 
USA Team Coach for the Hans Christian Anderson Trophy – Gold all Events

PROFESSIONAL 
Indiana University Bachelor of Science Degree, 1989 
Recreation Therapist 1989-1999 
Recreation Supervisor Town Of Amherst Recreation Department, 1999-Presant 
Member – National Recreational and Parks Society 
New York State Recreation and Parks 
Niagara Frontier Recreation and Parks Society 

PRESENT 
Coaches with The Swimkin Synchronized Swimming 13 and Over Team 
Swimkins Administrative Chairman 
East United States Usssi Chariman 2008-2012 
East United States Vice Chair And Awards Chair 2004-2008 
East United States Teasurer 2000-2004 
Niagara Association USSSI Educational Chairman 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS 
Organized and Coached Indiana University Colligate Synchronized Swimming Team 

SWIMKINS 
Her Athletes Have Placed In Finals 1991-Present In East Zone Senior Championships, Age Group Nationals, Us National Juniors, Us Opens, And Junior National Team Trials Phase 4. Her Athletes Have Qualified For Nationals And Us Junior Team Trials.

NATIONAL/ ZONE CONTRIBUTIONS 
Represents The East Zone As An At Large Member Of The USSSI BOG 
Represents The East Zone On The Competitive Reconstruction Committee 
USSSI Rules Committee, USSSI Education Committee Etc. 
Eastern Us Synchronized Swimming Zone Judge Level 3 
Empire State Games Coach/Official (This Is A Multi Club Team) 
USSSI Coaching Certification level 3

SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING AWARDS 
East United States Contributor of The Year 
USSSI National Age Group Coaching Merit Award


                                                Kristina Sullivan

                                                ATHLETE

Swam with the Town of Tonawanda Aquettes 1983 - 1994
Swam with the Canisius College Griffs (founding athlete) 1992-1994
Swam with the Arizona Aqua Stars 1994-1995
Niagara, Regional, Eastern US, Solo, Duet and Team Champion
West Zone Trio and Team Champion
National Team Bronze Medalist
National Junior Olympic Team Champion
Empire State Game Solo, Duet, Trio and Team Champion
United State Olympic Festival 4 time Bronze Medalist in Team
National Collegiate Duet Bronze Medalist

COACH
Head Coach. Orchard Park Penguins 1997-2004
Buffalo Swimkins 2004-Present
Assisted in Coaching sister Michelle Moore who went on to swim on the USA 2012 Olympic Synchro Qualification Team
Choreographs all Swimkin soloists and all 11-12 age group routines.  Edits 12 & under music.
Coaches Swimkins 11-12 athletes

PROFESSIONAL
Canisius College Bachelor of Science, Accounting

ZONE CONTRIBUTIONS
East Zone Treasurer (2001 - 2005)
Represented The East Zone As An At Large Member Of The USSSI Board of Goveners
East Zone Athlete Representative from 1991-1996
United States Level 3 Zone judge
United States Synchronized Swimming Level 3 Certified Coach
Niagara Association Education Chair (2000-2002)

ZONE PLACEMENT
Placed Athletes First in the Niagara Association, Regional Age Group 
Placed Athletes First In the Eastern United States Age Group 
Assisted in placing Athletes in the final selection phase of 11-12 National Team Trials 
Placed Athletes in Finals In USSS National Age Group in Solo, Duet, Trio and Team Events

AWARDS
Collegiate All American 1993 and 1994
Most decorated Empire State Games Athlete as of 1993

PERSONAL

Currently holds the title of CEO of the Sullivan Household. She is married to Chris Sullivan and has 3 adorable children Taylor, Evan and Brady.   Taylor is a member of the Swimkins.  She resides in Lake View.


Jennifer Spara Ward

ATHLETE
Swam with the Swimkins 1992-2002 
Niagara Association and East Zone Champion 
Placed in Finals US Junior, US Opens, US Age Group 

COACH 
Swimkins Synchronized Swim Team since 2007 

PROFESSION 
Graduated University of Buffalo BS in Nursing 2006 
Worked as RN at Strong Memorial Hospital 3 years 
Graduated University of Buffalo Masters in Nursing 
Family Nurse Practitioner 2009-ANCC 
Practicing FNP 4Years in Cardiac Surgery and Medicine 
Member of Sigma Tau Nursing Honor Society 
VP of Graduating Nursing Organization 

PRESENT
COACH / Choreographer of the Swimkin 13 and Over Teams 8 years 
JUDGE Niagara Association Regional Judge Level 2 
USSS Coaches Certification 2 

PLACEMENT OF ATHLETES 
Placed Swimkins in Association, Zone, Regional and National Levels 

MOST IMPORTANT POSITION 
Married for 5 years and new mother of Nina who is 10 months

Holly Hogg

ATHLETE 
Swam with the Tonawanda Aquettes 1994 - 2001 
Niagara Association and East Zone Champion 
Empire State Games Athlete – Gold Medal 

COACH 
Lifeguard/Supervisor for the Town of Tonawanda 2002-2008 
(Taught Summer Synchro, Infant Lessons, Learn to Swim, Adult Lessons) 
Orchard Park Penguins 2004-2005 
Swimkins Synchronized Swim Team 2008 To Present 
Coach the McKinley High School Swim Team 2008-present 


PROFESSION
Graduated from Canisius College in 2007 with a BS in Mathematics Education
Graduated from Buffalo State College in 2014 with a MS in Mathematics Education
Math Teacher at McKinley High School

PRESENT 
COACH / Choreographer of the Swimkin 10 and under team 
JUDGE Niagara Association Regional Judge Level 2 
USSS Coaches Certification 2 

ZONE PLACEMENT 
Placed Athletes First in the Niagara Association and Regional Age Group 
10 And Under Solo, Duet, Trio and Team Events Gold Medal 
Placed Athletes First In the Eastern United States Age Group 
10 And Under Solo, Duet, Trio and Team Events Gold Medal

Michelle Mitchell

ATHLETE

Swam for the Tonawanda Aquettes from 1985-1995


COACH

While attending RIT she helped coach what was then the Penfield Dolphins (now the Rochester Dolphins)

Upon her return to the Buffalo are, Michelle teamed up once again with Kristina Sullivan her former Tonawanda teammate and coached the Orchard Park Penguins from 200-2002.  


PROFESSIONAL
Rochester Institute of Technology 1995-1997 
University at Buffalo Bachelors Degree in Forensic Chemistry 
Commercial Boiler Sales Person at B.J. Muirhead Co.,Inc. 1997-Present 

PRESENT
Began coaching the Swimkins in 2009.  She coaches our new swimmers with Holly Hogg.
​JUDGE Niagara Association Regional Judge Level 2
USSS Coaches Certification Level 2

Ana Hare

ATHLETE
Member of Swimkin Synchronized Swim team 10 years 
Association, Regional, Zone Champion, National Finalist 
East Zone Athlete Scholar Award 
Wheaton College Scholarship 
Wheaton College Synchronized Swimming Team 
US National Collegiate Finalist Solo, Duet, Treo, Team 
Represented USA at Vaxjo Sweden – Swedish Open - First Place Team 

PROFESSIONAL: 
Wheaton College BS Degree in Psychology 
Presently working for JCC Athletic Department 

PRESENT: 
Coach of the Swimkin 13-15 team 
USSS coaching Certification one 
This year Ana has placed all of her Swimmers Routines in Junior Zone Finals 
Her Team placed in this years Sr. Zone Finals. The only team with 13-15 year olds to place in Finals

NICOLE CARDINALE

ATHLETE

Swimkins Athlete 1996-2006

Niagara Association, Regional, Zone Champion and Finalist in US Junior and Open Championship

4 Time Empire State Gold Medalist

Synchronized Swimming Scholarship to Canisius College 

Canisius College DI Collegiate Athlete 2006-2019

PROFESSION

Graduated from Canisius College in 2010 with a BS in Physical & Health Education K-12

Graduated from Canisius College in 2013 with a MS in Sports Administrtion

Town of Amherst Head Lifeguard & Water Aerobics Instructor 2005-2011

Buffalo Bills Ticket Service Graduate Assistant and Customer Service Representative 2012

​Arizona Diamondbacks Senior Sales Assistant and Customer Service Representative 2012

Currently working for Dr. Fugitt & Dr. Lillie-Adult & Pediatric Urology Practice: Scheduler/Receptionist


PRESENT

Coaches the 13 & Over Group of the  Swimkins Synchoninzed Swimming Tea


ACCOMPLISHMENTS

2007 All - American Athlete Canisius College DI Synchonized Swimming

Member of the Canisius College 3rd place over all synchronized swimming teams 2007-2009


DEANNA DESIMONE

​ATHLETE

​Swam for Sculpins Synchro 200-2010

Swam Division 1 College Synchronized Swimming at Canisius College from 2010-2014

Four time ECAC Champion

US Collegiate National Finalist: Team & Trio

US Collegiate Nationals: Bronze Medalist in C Figures

US Age Group Nationals: Second Place in Team 2010

US Age Group Nationals Finalist: Team, Trio, Duet, Solo

​US Open Championship Finalist

​East Zone, Senior Zone, Junior Zone, Regional & Association Champion

Empire State Games Champion

Behind the Vertical by Janet Biggs 2006

2010 Kim Miller Scholarhsip

East Zone Scholar Athlete Award

Performed in Ashpalt Green's Big Swim 2011 & 2012


COACH

Coached for Sculpins Synchro 2008-2010

New to Coaching with the Buffalo Swimkins  this year coaching our first year swimmers!


PROFESSION

Graduated from Canisius College in 2014 with a Bachelors Degree in Health and Wellness


PRESENT

Attending D'Youville Collge for a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Dietetics


JULIa GRIZANTI

ATHLETE

Town of Tonawanda Aquette from 2001-2011

13-15 Age Group National Team Member 2010

Gold Medalist in Duet at National Age Groups 2011

Silver Medalist in Solo at National Age Groups 2011

Plaed 8th in Figures at the Pan American Championships 2010

Niagara Association, East Zone, National Age Group, and Pan American Champion


COACH

Coach of Summer Synchro at Lincoln Pool in the Town of Tonawada

New to Coaching with the Buffalo Swimkins this year coaching our first year swimmers!


Trish Adams

ATHLETE

Swam with the Swimkins for 10 years

Niagara Association and East Zone Champion

Placed in Finals for Us Juniors, US Opens, and US Age Groups

Empire State Games gold and silver medal winner

US Olympic Festival

Attended the USA Olympic Training Camp as athlete and coach


COACH

Swimkins Synchronized Swimming Team from 2009 to Present

 

PROFESSION

Cornell University BS degree in Arts & Life Science 1986

Cornell University Veterinary SChool (DMV 1989)

Doctor of Veterinary Medecine at Summer Street Cat Clinic

Board Member of Niagarag Frontier Veterinary Society


PRESENT

JUDGE Niagara Association Regional Judge Level 2

USSS Coaches Certification Level 2


PLACEMENT OF ATHLETES

Placed Swimkins in the Novice Program first in Age Group, Regional and Zone Championships


MOST IMPORTANT POSITION

Married to Sean Brennan and has 3 beautiful girls Meghan, Sarah, and Betsy who all swim for Swimkins