Background[edit | edit source]

Insights[edit | edit source]

Snip from coaches page in fall 2018[edit | edit source]

Danny Cerrito[edit | edit source]

The WHAT Board of Directors is pleased to introduce in September 2018, new Head Coach, Daniel Cerrito. Coach Danny joins WHAT with numerous years of experience as a swimmer and coach. He started swimming at 4 years old and began competitive swimming at 6. As a swimmer, he was Captain of his high school swim team at Brophy College Prep, competed in the Arizona State High School Championships, and medaled at Sectionals. Coach Danny’s favorite events as a swimmer were the 200 fly and 50 free.

Coaching has always been something Coach Danny has been passionate about, and he started volunteering at 16. His first coaching experience was at Scottsdale Aquatic Club, one of the top swim clubs in the western United States. Throughout his career, he has taught swimmers across a wide range of skills and ages. Coach Danny comes to us most recently from the La Paloma Swim Team in Southern Arizona. His personal coaching philosophy is “FIT”. He believes in having FUN at every practice, emphasizing INTELLIGENT training both in and out of the water, and focusing on all athletes learning proper TECHNIQUES.

Assistant Coaches[edit | edit source]

Anna Lepsch[edit | edit source]

Assistant Coach Anna Lepsch, comes to WHAT with over 20 years of both competitive and recreational swimming experience. In addition to a passion for all things swimming, Coach Anna is a certified special education teacher currently working in cyber school. She resides with her husband in the Woodland Hills School District from which both her children are graduates.

Coach Anna has been a swim instructor and life guard at the Wilmerding YMCA for over 23 years. During that time she has taught both children and adults from beginner to competitive level swimming skills. Many of her students have gone on to become lifeguards, swim instructors and swim team participants at local swim clubs, high schools, and colleges. Her experiences in competitive swimming began when her son started swimming for the YMCA at age 5 (he is now 26).

Coach Anna became a deck official and then a meet manager for the team along with serving on the swim team board for several years. Coach Anna was involved with the YMCA team for 15 years. During that time she was also involved with the White Oak swim team for several summer seasons. In 2006, Coach Anna became the manager of the Blackridge Swim Club located in Churchill, PA. She took over as head coach of their swim team in 2007 and held the position until 2011.

Coach Anna’s focus when coaching and teaching is to help swimmers to see and reach their potential, encourage a positive work ethic and foster a love of swimming that will last a lifetime!

Hosea Holder[edit | edit source]

Assistant Coach Hosea Holder, comes to WHAT with over 50 years of coaching competitive and recreational swimming experience. He is the oldest African American coach registered with USA Swimming and is the 2nd oldest coach associated with AMS Swimming.

Coach Holder moved to Pittsburgh from Birmingham, Alabama when he was 9 years old and fell in love with swimming. He learned to swim at Ammon Pool in the Hill District and that’s where his passion for swimming started. He became a lifeguard and his passion for swimming evolved into a coaching position in 1965. Coach Holder has always wanted to coach children from various socioeconomic backgrounds.

Coach Holder is a “stroke enhancement specialist” whose strong philosophy of dedication, hard work, and perseverance has produced champion swimmers for more than 45 years.

Coach Holder continues to live his passion for swimming and he knows the value of the sport. He believes that swimmers show their greatness not when they find success, but when they fail to achieve their goal. He sees good in everyone and he uses that insight to inspire his swimmers to overcome adversity in the moment and to be their best.

Meghan Mendez[edit | edit source]

Meghan has been a swimmer since the age of 6, and enjoys coaching all ages. She began giving swim lessons at the age of 12 and coached the Haymaker Hammerheads for three years next to Coach Becca. She also worked for a non-profit while living in NYC that focused on bringing sports education and healthy living habits to inner-city youth. She views this as one of the most rewarding experiences she was able to participate in and hopes to eventually go back and continue the work she started.

As a swimmer, she swam locally for FAST, JCCS, and Franklin Regional before finishing her swimming career at Wagner College in Staten Island, NY. As a high school swimmer, she was a three time All American, a four time WPIAL qualifier in multiple events, and a three time PIAA qualifier in multiple events. Her junior year, her 200 medley relay won the WPIAL, broke the WPIAL record and got third at the PIAA meet. In college she was voted to the All Conference second team and was an A finalist in the 100 backstroke at the NEC championship for four years. She also made the B final for four years in the 200 backstroke. Her sophomore year, she was a member of the first Wagner team to win the NEC title.

Meghan graduated from Wagner in the Spring of 2016 with a B.A. in Government and Politics and B.A. in History. She is now attending law school at the University of Pittsburgh and hopes to pursue either family law or become a public defender.

As a coach, Meghan hopes to be able to encourage and motivate her swimmers the same way that her coaches motivated her!

Meghan start coaching at WHAT in 2016.

Kristen Swaney[edit | edit source]

Kristen began swimming at 8 years old, and has been involved with the sport in some capacity ever since. She swam for the Monroeville Marlins & Gateway Heights Swim Club as a kid, and also swam for the varsity team at Gateway High School. After graduating high school, Kristen began coaching for Gateway Heights. She spent 6 summers (2009-2015) coaching for the Gators. She also spent 3 years as an assistant coach for the Monroeville Marlins (2012-2015). In the fall of 2015, Kristen moved to central PA for a job, but continued coaching for 2 years as an assistant coach for the Bellefonte YMCA.

In addition to coaching, Kristen spends the rest of her time working as a teacher. She has her Bachelors from Slippery Rock University in Elementary Education and just completed her Masters in Reading Education from Pitt. She currently is working as a Reading Specialist at Ellwood City Area School District.

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