We're thrilled and so lucky to welcome Coach Jim back for his third year with the Lazers! "I love coaching the Lazers and I am looking forward to seeing all the returning swimmers and meeting new ones. I am excited about our upcoming season and seeing all the swimmers improve and learn new strokes, but most of all, the Lazers have FUN."
Jim has been swimming competitively since he was eight years old and swam all the way through high school and college. He attended The University of Kansas on a swimming scholarship and during his days at KU, he was a 3-time Big 8 Champion, 2-time Big 8 Team Champion, and 2-time team Co-Captain. He was also a senior national qualifier. Jim graduated from KU with a degree in Education in 1980.
Jim currently swims with UT Longhorn Masters under renowned Olympic Gold Medalist Head Coach Whitney Hedgepeth. Coach Jim competes around the country in both regional and national masters meets. Currently he holds National records in the 200 Fly (60-64 age group) and in the 400IM (55-59 age group), and is a part of 3 world record relays teams. He is a 30+ time Masters National Champion. He is also an accomplished long distance freestyle swimmer and has won many national championships in the 5K, 10K, 3000 and 6000 yard distances. Jim won 1st place male overall in 2012 in the “Escape from Alcatraz” Sharkfest open water swim. Jim is a Level 2 certified masters coach. This past year, Coach Jim attended several swimming clinics including one at the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs where clinic participants included Olympic Gold medalists Missy Franklin, Nathan Adrian, Rowdy Gaines, and UT legend Josh Davis. "I enjoyed attending these clinics learning new drills and techniques and also learning how current and former Olympic Champions train."
Jim is currently retired, but spent his career in the hi-tech industry with Compaq Computer, Dell and others. He is also active in the community and volunteers with “Lifeworks” and "CASA" working with underprivileged youths. Jim and his wife, Eileen, have 2 children and he is "Papa" to his grandchildren, Hudson and Ella.
Beth Plevich has been swimming competitively since age 10. She was a scholarship swimmer at the University of Wyoming and competed at Division I Nationals. She has been swimming and competing with the University of Texas Longhorn Masters program since 2002. She graduated from the University of Texas in 1985 with a degree in elementary education. She recently retired after 26 years of teaching with both the AISD and Eanes ISD, Kindergarten and 2nd grade.
Mariah Harper is a 2015 Honors graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and currently pursuing her Masters of Science in UT's Kinesiology and Health Education program. Most recently she coached age group swimming with Longhorn Aquatics, a competitive swim team based at the renowned Texas Swim Center. A proud Austinite, Mariah loves hiking, perusing coffee shops, reading/discussing literature and ice cream.
Though Mariah started swimming long before her family moved to Austin in 2004, it's in the Hill Country that the sport truly captured her heart. She spent a season with the Lake Pointe Lazers before joining West Austin Athletic Club's summer team and has many cherished memories of her summer league experience. Later, she swam for Lake Travis High School (a state qualifier while there) as well as West Austin and Lost Creek Aquatics' club teams, with butterfly and mid-distance freestyle her specialties. Though a shoulder injury stopped short her collegiate career, Mariah continues to pursue her passion for sport and competition under Olympian Whitney Hedgepeth at Longhorn Aquatics. She also enjoys training for running races (and hopes to complete her first marathon by year's end!). Mariah is excited to bring her love for swimming and fun to the Lake Pointe Lazers this summer- see you at the pool!
Maggie Huggins is a Junior at Lake Travis High School. She has been on the school's swim team for the past three years and is currently the Girl’s Junior Captain. She participated on the Lazers and has been competitively swimming for 12 years. She’s happy to be returning this summer to coach for the Lazers again and is looking forward to this upcoming season!
Ben Cude is 13 year swimmer who has competed in club, high school, and summer leagues. He is a Senior at Lake Travis high school and the Senior Team Captain of the LT swim team. Ben started swimming when he was 5 years old for his community swim league and continued until 10th grade. He excelled in butterfly and IM and went on to get the High Point award at the championship meet. He began club swimming in 7th grade and just finished this past March. For high school swimming, Ben made Varsity his Freshman year and never looked back. He made districts and regionals all four years of high school and qualified for one Texas state meet. Ben will be attending Texas A&M University in College Station in the fall where he will be studying Civil Engineering. He has a passion for swimming, socializing, and having fun in the sport that he has been a part of for most of his life. Go Lazers!!
Vincent Ray is a 2017 mechanical engineering graduate of The University of Texas. A Houston native, Vincent competed for both his high school The Woodlands College Park and club team The Woodlands Swim Team (TWST). However, upon entering college, he decided to take his love for competition and challenge to the triathlon scene. Vincent was a member of the Texas Triathlon team for four years, frequently making the podium in local and state-wide races. In 2017, he capped off his university career at Collegiate Triathlon Nationals with a lifetime best time and was ranked first nationally in aquathalon for the 20-24 age group. He now continues to train for triathlon races and swims masters for Texas Longhorn Aquatics. He is excited to bring his knowledge and experience to the Lake Pointe Lazers!