TOP INSTRUCTION. PEAK ACTIVITY.
Anna Heidinger: Pikes Peak Athletics Owner, Director, Coach
A strong administrator, elite athlete, and dedicated family woman, Anna is uniquely qualified to direct a USA swimming club. She earned a Master’s degree in College Student Development with an emphasis in Sports Administration from the University of Denver in 2010. Prior to her time at DU, Anna was educated in secondary education at the University of Wisconsin, where she was a three-time Academic All-American, 9-Time NCAA Division I Swimming All-American, Captain of the Badger Women’s Swimming and Diving Team for two seasons, and a three-time Dean’s list scholar. During her time as an athlete, Anna garnered numerous accolades on the local and national levels, including being the only person other than Missy Franklin to win every individual event she competed in at the Colorado high school state championships. Over the course of her career, she qualified for the US Olympic Team Trials in 7 different events, demonstrating unique versatility. This blend of competitive experience and advanced education is a powerful combination for use in leading a team and a business. A native of Colorado Springs, Anna’s mother served as board president on her local club, exposing her to the inner workings of the business of swimming. Each of Anna’s three brothers also swam NCAA Division I, representing Stanford, Arizona State, and Southern Methodist University. Anna is renowned for her administrative prowess, her attention to detail, and for her tough coaching style. She and George have two children, Sophea and Isabella, born in 2011 and 2014.
George Heidinger: Pikes Peak Athletics Owner, Coach
George has always been known for his individualistic and creative approach to coaching, stemming from his art education at Carnegie Mellon University. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he came to Colorado Springs for the USA Swimming National Team Coach Fellowship in 2007, a prestigious one-year internship that lead him to a long term position on the National Team staff. In his time there he served as a performance consultant, traveling the country and world to serve the sport’s best swimmers and coaches. His team assignments included the clubs of 2012 Head Olympic Coaches Teri McKeever and Gregg Troy, as well as Jon Urbanchek, Frank Busch, and Dave Salo. During this time, George developed strong relationships with these and other world class coaches, resulting in a unique mentor-apprentice bond by which he was tutored in swimming at the very highest levels. In 2011, he was promoted to National Junior Team Program Manager, charged with designing and implementing every aspect of the feeder system to the USA Swimming National Team. One of George’s passions lies in Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD). His work with the National Team has armed him with distinctive and practical experience in designing holistic programming for athletes at every level. Early in his career, George head coached several parent-run swim teams, earning a reputation as a builder-of-clubs. Over the years he has coached summer league swim teams, high school swim teams, USA Swimming clubs, US Masters swim teams, and taught lessons of all kinds to athletes of all levels.
Steve Fair: Senior Team Coach
With 16 years of coaching experience, Steve has worked with all ages ranging from 8-and-unders to Senior level swimmers, teaching the basics to novice swimmers as well as training Olympic Trial Qualifiers. He has served as a coach for Colorado Swimming for numerous Zone teams, All Star teams, and Catch-the-Spirit Camps. Steve strives to keep practices interesting, challenging, and purposeful. In addition to coaching he is a full time student pursuing his degree in Bio-Chemistry from UCCS.
Joselyn Auxer: Flying Horse, Head Age Group Coach
Coach Joselyn leads the Pikes Peak Athletics program at the Club at Flying Horse. Her enthusiasm and natural love for the sport are evident through her careful planning and instruction, and deeply formed relationships. Not only a student in seeking her master’s degree in Public Administration at UCCS, Joselyn is a student of the sport and actively seeks opportunity for growth and learning. During her college years, Joselyn head-coached a summer league program in her home town of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, growing the program for 60 to 150 athletes from 2011 to 2014. She swam for Mount Holyoke College for four years, serving as team captain for two years. In high school, Joselyn set 7 school records, while individually representing her high school at the state championships in all four years. Joselyn coaches all Pikes Peak Athletics groups in some capacity, weaving her edgy personality and flippant sense of humor into the fabric of the team.
Kara Raney: Age Group Team Coach
Kara found her passion for swimming when she was just five years old at a local summer league program in Kingwood, Texas. Her love for racing drove Kara to compete collegiately at the division I level at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock as a sprint freestyler and backstroker. During her time in Little Rock, Kara was an assistant coach for the Arkansas Dolphin-Lasers and during summer breaks would coach the same summer league team she grew up with. Kara graduated with a bachelors in strategic communications and turned her passion for swimming into a career working as the communications coordinator at USA Swimming. In her role she helps grassroots programs across the country with their marketing and communications efforts and contributes new ideas to help grow the sport. In her spare time Kara likes to explore the outdoors by hiking, skiing and enjoying good food with friends. She is excited to be a part of Pikes Peak Athletics’ passionate coaching staff!
Chris Byrne: Head Safety Lead, Junior and Senior Team Coach
Chris became involved in coaching like the majority of coaches, by participating in the sport. The son of a Marine, Chris traveled across the country swimming but eventually came to call Colorado Springs home. Swimming for Cheyenne Mountain, Chris saw how much impact a coach has in an athlete’s life, and spent as much time as possible learning from his coaches and using them as mentors. Chris spent his first year of college swimming and coaching a high school team at New Mexico Military Institute. After that high school season, he continued swimming at University of Colorado-Boulder where the team won their 5th straight ASA. U. Club National Title. Chris contributed to the title with numerous top 16 finishes. The following year Chris returned home and spent the next 2 and half years coaching in the city and working on his B.S. from Grand Canyon University in Emergency Management. Chris has since began a career in the fire service and continues to swim when he can. Excited to return to coaching after taking year off, Chris looks forward to joining the PPA family and contributing to the already excellent coaching staff. When not coaching or working, Chris can be found out and about playing in the best backyard in the nation, Colorado.
Alicia Kendig: Sports Dietician
Alicia dove into the swimming world at an early age, and continues to participate and give back to the sport that she grew up loving so much. She swam on both Club and Summer teams growing up, and continued her swimming career at Case Western Reserve University where she chose Nutrition as major. The combination of her two passions in life, focused her studies on Sports Nutrition. Her college swimming career culminated in a National Division III National Championship in the 500y Freestyle, but that's not where the fulfillment ended. As a graduate student at Case, she continued her involvement with the Varsity team by serving as a graduate assistant coach and sports dietitian. A coaching internship brought Alicia out to Colorado Springs in 2005 and since then she has continues to be involved in the swimming world, both as an PPA Masters athlete and coach. She has coached at the Collegiate, Masters, Senior, and Age-group levels over the past 5 years. She truly values the time that she can spend developing young swimmers motivation and identity as athletes, as well as helping older athletes strive to meet their true potential.
Annie White: Age Group Coach
Annie White hails from the beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She spent her childhood mostly in the outdoors skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. She was told she needed a "sport" to focus on and found swimming. After quickly falling in love with the it, all aspects of her life have encompassed this great sport in some capacity. She swam year round on a USA Swimming club and for her high school team and managed to balance time in the pool with time in the mountains. She attended college at Concordia College in Minnesota and continued her passion for the sport competing as a distance swimmer for her college and coaching a local high school team. Annie received a degree in Exercise Science and went onto graduate school at Minnesota State University, earning a Master’s degree in Sports Management. After graduate school she worked for the University of Minnesota (Go Gophers!) in their Recreation and Wellness Department coordinating events. Annie now works her dream job, planning and running national level USA Swimming competitions such as Junior Nationals, Nationals, the Arena Pro Swim Series, and Olympic Trials. Annie has managed to keep coaching part-time throughout her professional career. She has coached age group swimming for 10 years and high school swimming for 6 years. She loves working with all age groups from 5 years old to 50 years old and just enjoys sharing her passion with others. When not coaching or traveling for USA Swimming Annie can be found playing in the mountains with her husband, where her other passions live.