Panther Swimming & Diving

          

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Coach Fritze
 Todd Fritze

Boys & Girls Head Coach

  

  


Sarah Peper

Girls Assistant Coach

 

 

 

Kristi Smythe
Kristi Smythe


Boys Diving Coach

As a three sport, Park Rapids High School athlete (Volleyball, Gymnastics, Track) Kristi developed a true love for sports and the beginning of her understanding of the immense impact extra-curricular activities can have on shaping a young person’s life. 

Kristi began her coaching career while in college (U of M Moorhead) at FM Acro where she coached everything from toddlers to level 5 & 6 competitive gymnasts. After completing her coursework for Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten and Coaching, Kristi did her coaching practicum in Menahga, MN with the girls Volleyball team. This was directly followed by her first year of being the Park Rapids Gymnastics assistant coach. Kristi coached gymnastics in Park Rapids for 6 years where she was fortunate to take several individuals to the state competition along with the entire team one year. Kristi also dabbled in coaching girls softball.

After taking a coaching break, Kristi returned with a brand-new challenge at the personal request of her son. “Mom, we need a dive coach. We can’t win a swim meet without divers!” In the 2009-10 Swim and Dive season Kristi got her feet wet and began to learn the rules, regulations and skills required of a dive coach. Graciously, retired Coach Roman Horejsi volunteered to spend the first half of the season with her to help her find her way. The section dive coaches also provided and continue to provide much needed support by sharing experiences and knowledge. 

Coaching boys and girls requires a completely different skill set that Kristi has found to be a welcome change. Kristi loves the challenge presented day to day as the boys strive to better their skills and increase their difficulty. In addition to diving, Kristi has embraced swimming and continues to marvel at the abilities Coach Fritze shares. 

 

 

Megan Helms

Boys Assistant Coach

Growing up with a love for water, Megan spent most of her time in a pool. Joining a competitive swim club at the age of 7, in Mankato, MN and continuing to swim all throughout high school. Megan continued to swim year-round, joining the Mankato East Cougars, varsity team at her high school, as a 7th grader. She swam all 6 years earning a varsity letter and a spot on the section team for those years. Throughout swimming, she also found her love for coaching. She would go help the club teams after her practices and coached throughout the summers, along with teaching swim lessons. It was hard to imagine her life without the pool. A shoulder injury her senior year ended her chances at swimming in college. 

Megan went on to attended Minnesota State University, Mankato to get her Bachelors in Education. She went back to coach Junior High swimming while finishing school. After graduation, she took a long-term special education position where her love for teaching and her students grew. She then accepted a 3rd-grade teaching position in Park Rapids, MN. Where she was lucky enough to also get to coach the sport she loves. 

Megan says her parents are her biggest drive when it comes to work, coaching and obtaining her Masters in Special Education. “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you,” her mom tells her on a daily basis. 

 

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