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Bios {Program Leaders}


Liana Rosen program leader

Swimming was the gateway sport that lured Liana into the triathlon world. She swam competitively as a kid on both club and varsity teams and was captain of her high school swimming and diving team. Liana picked up cycling in college and after too many years of simply dabbling in the separate disciplines, she decided to put them together and join the DC Tri Club. Liana views coaching for the DC Tri Club's masters swim program as a way to give back to the DC triathlon community. Through coaching, she hopes to share her passion for the water and develop a new generation of lifelong swimmers! 

Catharine Myung program coach

Catharine joined the DC Triathlon Club in 2011 when looking into something that was going to help her cross train while training for her first marathon. Once she joined the New Triathlete Program, however, Catharine was hooked on her new sport! Catharine volunteered to be one of the founders of MSP in order to force herself to the pool. When she isn’t biking, running, or swimming, she likes to look for the best burgers in town, and, more importantly, nap in front of a tv that has some terrible (read: awesome!) reality show on. 

Katie Tobin program coach

Katie started dabbling in triathlons in 2010 and finally admitted that she was hooked in 2011, thanks in no small part to the Master's swim team. She was a competitive swimmer and water polo player in elementary, middle, and high schools (including playing on a semi-pro team in Switzerland) and started biking while in graduate school. Running came later, usually as a result of signing up for half marathons with friends after having one or more glasses of wine. Her favorite distance is the sprint and enjoys mentoring new triathletes as they begin their journeys into the most fun sport ever. In the rare occasions she is not wearing spandex and a heart rate monitor, Katie enjoys delicious kitchen experiments and globetrotting. 

David Payne program coach

David joined DC Tri Club in January 2011 through the New Triathlete Program to fulfill a long time dream of completing a triathlon. Little did he know at the time, but he'd be hooked. After finishing his first Half Ironman, IM 70.3 Augusta, David took on Ironman Lake Placid. He was led to volunteer with Masters Swim as a way to immerse himself more and give back to the club. 

Thomas Colicchio program coach
Kim Orsulak program coach

Kim joned MSP in 2014 with more than five years of swim instruction and coaching experience, ranging from the (not so) organized chaos of summer camps to triathletes completing their first swim. She is a lapsed runner, but is slowly working back from a knee injury sustained in the normally contactless sport of congressional softball and a self-imposed hiatus as penalty for abusing running as a procrastination technique while completing a graduate thesis. Avidly opposed to the bike due to lingering physical therapy-related PTSD, Kim is working up to an aquathon soon. 

Claudia Blackburn program coach

A ten-year veteran of on- and off-road triathlons, Claudia has participated in some very unique venues to address her swim form and shear panic in open water. From coast guard rescue training in the early years to training camps in Boulder Colorado, she has become an unlikely student of a sport that once was her weakest. She is a USMS certified coach. 

Emerson Padiernos program coach

HiEmerson found triathlons after 2008, when he met fellow DC Tri Club member and MSP coach Claudia Blackburn. Outside of playing volleyball and chess, and finishing a couple of marathons, his interest in multisport events emerged relatively recently. Although Emerson describes his swimming prior to 2008 as mostly "bobbing" and "doggy paddling," his swimming technique and speed in the water has vastly improved with the help of friends, numerous coaches, countless hours reading books, watching YouTube videos and practicing endless drills. Since the end of his doggy-paddle days, he has completed numerous triathlons, beginning with a super sprint in 2009 and including IM Lake Placid in 2013! Emerson decided to become a peer-coach to help give back to the sport and club that has given him so much happiness, better health, and amazing friends. Motivated by food, friends, and promise of a faster finish time, Emerson prioritizes and aspires mastery of technique over speed in the water. 

James Chu program coach

James started swimming competitively in the third grade and through his grade school and middle school years he was a member of the local YMCA swim team as well as a local USA Swimming club team, participating in local and regional competitions around New England as well as on the national level at YWCA Nationals in Ohio. James swam all through high school at the varsity level, and after a long break away from the pool, returned through triathlon in 2010. Outside of triathlon, James is an avid snowboarder, foodie, and traveller and can frequently be seen running and biking around the Tenleytown area. 

Beth Plewa program coach

Beth started with DC Tri Club as an NTPer in 2014, completing her first ever race, and open water swim, at Peasantman that spring. From then on, she has been hooked on triathlon. She is an enthusiastic Sprint and Olympic distance racer, who came to triathlon from a swimming and water polo background. She prefers swimming to biking or running because of the significantly decreased chance of causing herself injury, to which she has begrudgingly admitted in recent years she is prone. She has taught swim lessons to all ages and skill levels since she was 14 and first joined a swim team herself. Beth enjoys coaching because she loves to see DC Tri Club members be as competitive on the first leg of their races as they are on the final two. She believes that with a few small tweaks in stroke, we can all increase our efficiency in the water, and she is fueled by the idea of helping DC Tri Club get there! 

Marisa Harrington program coach
Brenda Cordero program coach

California native Brenda began club swimming in middle school and eventually throughout her high school years for her varsity swim team. After a 4-year hiatus of most things athletic, her familiarity with the water lured her toward triathlons. Brenda joined DC Tri Club in 2014 and completed her first tri in 2015, the first of many to come! Looking to be more involved in Club and to support new and experienced triathletes develop as swimmers, joining the Masters Swim Program as a coach was a natural step. 

Daisy Letendre program coach

Daisy grew up basically in the pool and has been swimming competitively since she was 5. She swam all through high school and was the Varsity Captain at Trinity College in Connecticut. She specialized in the IM and Breaststroke and therefore loves making triathletes do stroke sets! While she competes as a masters swimmer, and has taken up running since graduating from college, 2016 will be her first triathlon season. She's excited for the season and ready to rock! 

Thomas Kish program coach

Tom is a triathlete coach and multiple Ironman finisher. He was an all-conference swimmer in college and has been racing triathlon since 1997. Since then Tom has experienced most of what not to do while training/racing/recovering and is pretty good at using those lessons to help you be a better triathlete. He has completed 4 ironman races, multiple 70.3 distance events, too many olympic and sprint events to count and even qualified for the 70.3 world championships once. Swimming competitively since he was six has made swimming Tom's specialty and he understands the challenges faced by beginner and expert swimmers alike. As a former certified swim instructor and then USAT certified coach, Tom has followed his passion to help triathletes become better swimmers. 

Jennifer Cunningham program coach

Jennifer's originally from Florida, so she grew up spending a lot of time in and around the water. She started swimming competitively around the age of 10 and went on to swim at Denison University, where she specialized in distance freestyle. Jennifer's new to triathlon, having just completed the 2016 NTP program. 

Damon Bowe program coach

As a swimmer, Damon is an inductee to the Bates College Athletics Hall of Fame for excellence in Varsity Swimming. As a two-year captain of the Varsity Swimming & Diving Team, Damon set school records for the 200 yards IM and 400 yards IM, the latter record remains standing for over 18 years. Damon has competed at all levels of swimming, including NESCAC and NCAA Championships. In triathlon, Damon has also competed at all levels of the sport, including representing LSU on the collegiate level, and competing individually USAT National Championships and the Ironman World Championship in Kona, HI. Damon acknowledges always being built more like a linebacker than a swimmer, and credits his success to perfect stroke technique. He now coaches numerous triathletes in the DC area on achieving success and enjoyment in swimming. 

Carmyn Chapman program coach

A "water-baby" at heart, Carmyn is very excited to continue her involvement in the sport of swimming with the DC Tri Club! In college she swam for the University of San Diego (NCAA DI level). After nearly 16 years as a competitive swimmer, she has now accepted the life of a "swammer" and is still trying to figure out how to exercise (without injury) on land. While teaching history in Huntsville, AL as a Teach for America Corps member, Carmyn also coached for two years with the Huntsville Swim Association and swam in their Masters Program. While in grad school, she coached the North Shore Swim Club's Senior Group at their Medford site. Carmyn loves the beach, country music, sunsets, anything with avocado, coffee, and a good laugh! 

Joseph Havey program coach
Joseph has been competing in triathlons for nearly six years as an age-grouper. After four years of Cross Country in high school, Joseph was looking for a change during his undergraduate studies and decided to add swimming and biking to his endurance pursuits. He has completed three 70.3 races, several shorter-course triathlons, and one trail-based marathon. He originally moved to DC to pursue his Masters of Public Policy, and now works downtown for a consulting agency. He has been a member of the DC Tri Club for two years. 


Katie Giles program coach
Katie is a two time CoSida Academic All American recipient and a former collegiate swimmer at Gallaudet University. She currently is a graduate student at Gallaudet University working towards dual masters degrees in International Development (IDMA) and Public Administration (MPA). She is also a graduate assistant swim coach for the Gallaudet Swim and Dive team. Katie loves swimming and coaching, her favorite strokes are freestyle and breaststroke. In her collegiate years she was a sprinter, but has grown to love longer distances since joining DC Tri Club. Katie is a new triathlete and is excited to share her love of swimming with other triathletes. She also has a reputation for being uncharacteristically merciful on butterfly sets. 


Laurie Wei program coach
Laurie is very excited to get involved and provide support to new and experienced triathletes in their swimming. She swam competitively in club and varsity teams throughout high school and college. She recently did her first triathlon last year at Nation’s and swam across the Chesapeake Bay. While she has done a few races here and there, 2016 will be her first full triathlon season and she is excited to get started!