Coaching Staff

Neil Wright - Head Coach - email Coach Neil at

Neil began his age-group swimming in Belgium with the SHAPE Seals in the early 1980s (qualifying for the European Forces Swim League Championships as a 13-year-old).  Eventually he moved to Racine and swam competitively for SEA in the mid- to late-eighties where he was a YMCA National qualifier.  Neil swam with the local high school swim team at J.I. Case where he was a four year varsity swimmer and state qualifier.

After graduating high school, Neil spent the next eight years with the United States Army Reserve based out of Fort Sheridan, Illinois.  During that time he completed a BA in Language Arts at the University Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha.

Neil has been an active coaching member of SEA since 1990 and has served as Head Coach since 1998. He has also coached at all three Racine high schools at one time or another - most recently as Head Coach of the Washington Park Girls' High School team back in 1998 (during the 1997 season Neil was voted Racine County Coach of the Year).

Along with a dedicated coaching staff and a committed parent board Neil has lead the SEA swim team to numerous top ten finishes at USA State meets, D2 Team Championship in the summer of 2014, many top three team finishes at YMCA State, and to date a team best 18th place finish at Spring YMCA Nationals in 2003.  He has coached swimmers at all levels, from learn-to-swim to US Olympic Trials to tri-athletes and Master swimmers.

Philosophically, he leads by example and believes what swimmers and parents put into the team is what they get out of the team. The more they put in, the more they get out.

Neil is active within the WI LSC and currently serves as the Secretary on the Board of Directors and has served as Age-Group Chair in the past. He has also filled roles within the LCS as Open Water Chair, Coaches Rep. and has served as a Zone Coach numerous times - most recently in 2010.

In his free time Neil enjoys spending time with his family, working around and on the house, playing guitar, reading, listening to music, and traveling.


Katie Palmiter - Age-Group Coach - email Coach Katie at

Katie is originally from Madison, Wisconsin where she attended La Follette High School. She started swimming as a young child taking swimming lessons and joining the local YMCA swim team at eight-years-old.

Throughout her age-group years Katie swam club and continued swimming club through her high school years where she was a varsity level athlete and captain during her senior year. She was a Breaststroke and IM specialist and managed the high school boys swim team during her off-season.

Katie has been teaching swimming lessons since 2007 at various pools and loves teaching them! Sharing her skills with children is most rewarding. She also enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee and attending concerts in her free-time.

Katie moved to Racine and is finishing her degree at Kaplan University in Early Childhood Development and is scheduled to graduate in May 2017.  She's also getting married in July of 2017!  Teaching and being creative are her biggest joys in life. The smile on a swimmers face when they learn something new is priceless and she is very excited to help give those smiles to SEA swimmers!


Alyssa Gustin - Senior Coach

Alyssa began swimming competitively as a sophomore at Park High School here in Racine and continued to swim for their team throughout her high school career.  She served as an Assistant Coach for the Park girls' swim team during the fall of 2013, and began coaching for SEA in November of the same year.

Alyssa is currently attending UW-Parkside majoring in English and in her free time enjoys listening to music and dancing.


Sierra Cook - Age-Group Coach

Have been swimming competitively since the age of 5. Started swimming for Lake County Family YMCA Swim Team (currently known as the Kenosha YMCA Seahorses). In 8th grade I joined the Kenosha Barracuda Swim Team (BST) and swam competitively for them throughout all of my high school career and when they transferred over to PX3 as they are currently known as. I was a state qualifier and attended the Speedo Championship Series in 2013 where I represented PX3 in all of the relays.

I attended high school at Zion-Benton Township High School where I was the senior captain my senior year and I currently hold 4 school records where I specialized in the 100 Backstroke and broke my own record multiple times since my sophomore year to my senior year. I missed the state cut for IHSA by 1 second. I graduated high school in 2014.

I currently am a Junior at UW-Parkside majoring in Psychology with a minor in Sociology in hopes of becoming a Market Research Data Analyst for a Marketing Firm. I am now a triathlete who enjoys competing and training for triathlons in my free time as well as snowboarding in the winter. I am currently training to compete in the Half Ironman Triathlon in Racine, Wi in the summer of 2017!


Jacob MacKenzie - Age-Group Coach

I started swimming competitively at the age of eight for Barracuda Swim Team (now PX3) where I still hold 3 individual team records as well as one relay record. I transferred to SEA my junior year of high school and represented the team on four relays at the 2015 YMCA Nationals meet as well as individually in the 800 Freestyle at Speedo sectionals that same year.

I am currently juggling work as well as school with the intent to return to school full time to study nuclear medicine technology.  In my free time I enjoy listening to music, watching NBA games, and hanging out with friends.


James Weslaski - Age-Group Coach

James became a member of the SEA Swim Team back in 2004 with a little convincing from his sister, who joined two years prior.  Starting at nine-years-old, James grew up with the team and coaches, learning the importance of teamwork and friendship through swimming.

Currently James is a student at Carthage College where he majors in Exercise and Sports Science.  There he is a member of the Red Men Swim Team where he chases his school's record books.

After becoming a high school State Qualifier, a YMCA National Qualifier and now First Team All Conference in college, James believes he can use his experience to help swimmers excel and reach their goals no matter how big or small.

With coaching, James hopes to remind all swimmers the number one rule of swimming ... HAVE FUN!


Jenny Hovan - Yoga Coach

A former SEA swim team mom, Jenny has been working with SEA, as the team's Yoga coach, since Spring of 2014.

Jenny received her Y-200 certification from Kanyakumari, in Glendale, Wisconsin and is a member of Yoga Alliance.  Additionally she has continued her wellness education ​getting certification​s: Thai Yoga Bodywork​ and Yoga Warriors, which allows her to work with anyone suffering from PTSD, concussion​, anxiety, and stress ​ related issues.​

​Additionally, Jenny has taken courses in Yoga​ Therapy​, Therapeutic ​Bodywork, and Food as Medicine.

When not coaching the swimmers, Jenny can be found teaching at the Sealed Air ​Y,​ ​City Hall, and/or working with local schools and sports teams.

Jenny is passionate about Yoga and the benefits it offers both in and out of the pool.  She loves working with swimmers and feels blessed to have been given the chance to introduce them to Yoga.