David Henkel - Head Coach & Founder
 
USAT Level 1 Certified Coach
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Growing up along the coast of NJ, Head Coach David Henkel, was a fixture in the water: swiming, surfing and lifeguarding. He swam in college, and once he became land-locked in PA, he took to the bike to conquer the hills. He quickly became a Category III cyclist but always had the triathlon bug. Under a local coach, he developed into an elite road triathlete, earning podiums and qualifying for world championships at multiple distances. Dave also has a passion for mountain biking, and qualified for XTERRA World Championships in his first year of off-road racing.

 

For a decade, Dave has loved mentoring and coaching his own athletes, and greatly enjoys watching their personal growth and celebrating their successes. Dave's athletes have qualified for: Pro Card; Ironman World Championships (Kona); Ironman 70.3 World Championships; Xterra World Championships; all ITU distances on and off road (Team USA). 

 

Dave resides in Vienna, VA with his triathlete wife and two sons.  He coaches athletes across the United States in a highly personalized fashion.

Athletic Accomplishments
  • 55+ Career Triathlon Podium Finishes (Overall, Elite, and Age Group)
     

  • World Championship Qualifications 

    • Short Course World Championship Team USA (2012, 2013, 2018)

    • Off-Road World Championship Team USA (2014, 2015)

    • XTERRA World Championship (2013)

    • Long Course World Championship Team USA (2011)

  • National Championship Highlights

    • USAT Sprint Nationals, 2nd Age Group (2012)

    • XTERRA America Tour 2nd Age Group (Northeast, 2013)
       

  • Regional Racing Overall Wins 

    • Ironman Atlantic City 70.3 Aquabike Champion (2019)

    • Escape the Cape Sprint Triathlon Champion (2019)

    • Atlantic City Sprint Triathlon Champion (2017)

    • Quantico Triathlon Champion (2017)

    • Wisdom Oak Winery Sprint Triathlon Champion (2014)

    • Mid Atlantic Sprint Age Group Champion (2012)

    • Mid Atlantic Aquabike Age Group Champion (2011)

    • Quakerman Olympic Triathlon Champion (2011)

    • Seaside Super Sprint Champion (2009)
       

  • Long Course Racing Experience

    • ITU Long Distance World Championships & Ironman Finisher

    • 8 x Half Ironman Finisher

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Clarice Lorenzini - USAT Level 1 Certified Coach
 

Clarice is the only actively racing Asian-American female professional triathlete! She is an advocate for diversity in our sport, and has been featured by multiple media outlets including Triathlete Magazine and USAT. Clarice is also the first professionally-sponsored triathlete by Bike Law, through which she advances awareness for vulnerable road users. She began her multi-sport career at Syracuse University by running on their club team, and completed her first half-Ironman in 2014. After ankle ligament reconstruction in 2018 Clarice began training consistently and qualified for Kona. After achieving her dream of racing at Kona, she qualified for her pro card in 2020 at Ironman Florida.

 

Clarice eventually left New York to follow her husband’s nomadic military career. Her love for authentic New York bagels will never fade but her need for pizza drives her to find all the hotspots in their home of Virginia Beach. When she is not with her dogs or training, Clarice works as a recreation therapist for the US Navy’s substance abuse rehabilitation program. 

 

Her coaching philosophy largely focuses on lifestyle - something she has learned in her line of work and in personal life. While working as a recreation therapist she sees the effects recreation can have on an individual and the changes which can ensue. She aims to be a coach that endows confidence in her athletes, and ensures they take time to enjoy their journey through every stroke, pedal, and stride forward.

Athletic Accomplishments
  • Professional Triathlete
     

  • 15 Career Triathlon Podium Finishes (Overall and Age Group)
     

  • World Championship Experience

    • 2x Ironman World Championship Qualifier (2019, 2021)

    • Ironman World Championship Finisher (Kona, 2019)

    • Ironman 70.3 Worlds Qualifier (2019)

    • USAT All American Triathlete Ranking

    • Ironman All World Athlete Gold
       

  • 5 x 70.3 finisher (PR 4:42)

    • 5 x podium finisher
       

  • 4 x 140.6 finisher (PR 9:44)

    • 4 x podium finisher, including 2nd OA female at Ironman Florida 2020

 

  • Running Experience

    • Fastest female amateur marathon Ironman Florida 2020 (3:07)

    • 2019 Shamrock Half-Marathon 3rd AG 25-29 female (PR 1:28)

    • 2019 Virginia Beach Rock’n’Roll Half-Marathon 1st AG 25-29 female

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Katie Silfies - IRONMAN Certified Coach
 
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Katie's life-long passion for running began at a young age after her first race with her Dad. She went on to run cross country and track in high school and college. Katie caught the triathlon bug in 2009: Finding success in local races, Katie decided to aim for bigger goals. Indeed, after competing well in Escape from Alcatraz, she set her sights on Kona. In 2012, Katie enlisted Coach Dave to take her racing to the next level. She went from placing in her age group to winning overall. Ultimately that year she qualified not only for the Ironman World Championship, but also for the ITU Sprint World Championships, earning a spot on Team USA. 

 

Katie believes in training smart; that everything you will do as athlete/coach will have a purpose. She believes “we are never done growing, and we always have more to learn. Small accomplishments should be celebrated just as much as big accomplishments." It is her goal to help you reach your full potential as an athlete. 

 
Athletic Accomplishments
  • 15 Career Triathlon Podium Finishes (Overall and Age Group)
     

  • World Championship & Long Course Racing Experience

    • Ironman World Championship Finisher (2012)

    • Ironman Lake Placid Finisher (2012, 4th AG - 11:55 PR)

    • Ironman 70.3 Princeton Finisher (2013, 3rd AG)

    • Ironman 70.3 Syracuse Finisher (2012, 4th AG - 5:25 PR)
       

  • World Championship & Short Course Racing Experience

    • Short Course World Championship Team USA Finisher (2013)

    • 2 x USAT National Qualifier

    • 3 x Mid Atlantic Regional Champion
       

  • Running Experience

    • 3 x Marathon Finisher

    • St. Luke's Half Marathon (2nd Overall)

Kim Wikel - USAT Level 1 Certified Coach

Kim got her start in multi-sport racing in 2009, when her sister begged her to join her in this thing called triathlon! After placing 1st AG in her inaugural race (riding a $50 mountain bike!!), she was captivated. Always looking to challenge herself, Kim increased training through the years to work up from sprint to the 140.6 distance. Now, after 30 years of soccer and high school track, she has found her love in triathlon and road-racing.

 

Kim’s philosophy of sport focuses on “Believe in Better.” She encourages athletes to focus inward and work at bettering their own individual performance, drive, and attitude, rather than comparing to others. She considers the small building blocks of training just as important and worth celebrating as the significant competitions. Kim has the skills and understanding to work with new athletes, and because she trains to win, she has the experience and drive to train elite athletes, as well.

 

Kim resides in Ohio with her husband- also a triathlete and runner, and puppy Carli, who enjoys training and cheering Kim on at races! She spends her days as a teacher and coach to high school students- including teaching classes such as Food and Fitness and Healthy Foods.

Athletic Accomplishments
  • 50+ Career Triathlon Podium Finishes (Overall, Elite, and Age Group)

  • World & National Championship Experience

    • Ironman 70.3 World Champion Finisher (Australia, 2016)

    • USAT All American Triathlete Ranking

    • Olympic Nationals Qualifier (multiyear)
       

  • 2 x 140.6 finisher & 7 x 70.3 finisher

    • Podium finish OA women on first 140.6

    • 2 x OA Women Winner (PR 4:56)
       

  • 8 x 26.2 finisher

    • 1 x OA Women Winner (PR- 3:30:31)

    • 2 x OA Women Runner-Up

    • 3x Boston Qualifier (2013, 2016, 2018)
       

  • Coaching Experience & Other Certifications

    • High School Track and Field (Level 1 National Certification)

    • High School Cross Country

    • High School Soccer

    • Nationally Certified Personal Trainer

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Amanda Bayer - IRONMAN & USAT Level 1 Certified
 

A swimmer, runner, and former Division I volleyball player, Amanda has always been active in sports and competition -- including competing in her first IronKids triathlon at age 6!  After her collegiate volleyball career to a close, she went back to her roots of swimming and running to stay active. It didn't take too long for her to jump back into triathlon. From the finish line of that first local, sprint tri she was hooked! 

While a lifetime of being an athlete helped her be naturally competitive in the age group ranks, structured training helped take her to the next level.  And she began to find the overall podium at local road races.  Then, after discovering off-road triathlon and a successful debut season, which saw her qualify for World Championships, she earned her professional racing license in 2019 and placed 4th overall in her first professional race.  
 

Amanda has 10+ years experience in all distance triathlons - sprint to Ironman, and with both on-road and off-road racing including: triathlon, cross triathlon (Xterra), cyclocross, and mountain biking. USAT - Elite Off Road License earned 2019.  She approaches coaching and mentoring with the same passion, discipline, and joy that she brings to her own racing.  

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Athletic Accomplishments
  • Professional Off-Road Triathlete
     

  • 30+ Podium finishes (Overall, Elite, and Age Group)
     

  • 5 x Overall Female Xterra Race Champion

  • World & National Championship Experience

    • Xterra World Championships (2018)

    • Xterra National Championships (2018, 2nd AG)

    • USAT All American Triathlete Ranking
       

  • 7 x 70.3 finisher (PR: 4:57)

    • 2 x Podium finish
       

  • 2 x 140.6 finisher (PR: 11:54)
     

  • Course Record Holder, Winding Trails Off Road Triathlon 

 
Andrea (Dre) Pucke - USAT Level 1 Certified Coach

Born under the sign of Pisces, it seems as if Andrea was born with a love of the water, or more accurately, of being in the water. She began swimming at age four and never looked back. Growing up in the panhandle of Florida, and later living with her family near the coast of New Jersey, she lived up to her horoscope and spent more time in the water than on the sand. 

Andrea swam competitively on school teams from elementary school through her senior year of college, while concurrently competing for various clubs. In 2010 competed in her first triathlon, placing third in her age group. From there, she was hooked and sought her next challenges.

For those triathletes who do not have a swimming background, Andrea is empathetic that the swim portion can be the most challenging. Confidence, determination, and concentrating on the technical aspects of the swim during training, while minimizing poor efficiency, can help aspiring triathletes become improved swimmers.

Andrea is never satisfied with just being good enough—she believes you always must improve and be the best you can be. She exhibits this belief through her enthusiasm for the sport, and she’s not easily deterred from her goals, much like the slogan of her former Jersey Storm swim team: “Can’t Calm the Storm!”

  • 15+ Career Triathlon Podium Finishes (Overall and Age Group)

  • National Championship Experience

    • USAT All American Triathlete Ranking (2012, 2013)

    • USAT Nationals Qualifier (multiyear)
       

  • 1 x 140.6 finisher & 3 x 70.3 finisher

    • Top 10 OA Female Swimmer at Ironman Florida (2013)

    • 4th OA 70.3 Aquabike (2019) 
       

  • Steelman Triathlon Female Champion (2018)​
     

  • 3 x Open Water Swimming Champion
     

  • Coaching Experience & Other Certifications

    • US Masters Swimming Level 1 & 2

    • YMCA Masters and Tri Club Swim Coach

Athletic Accomplishments
Amanda Denney - USAT Level 1 Certified Coach
 

My racing journey began with little to no experience or knowledge of the sport. Over the years, with some blood, a lot of sweat, and a few tears, I began wining age groups and placing top ten in many Ironman races. Training and participating in triathlons are truly one of my passions. As a coach, I intend to harness that passion and share my love of the sport with others by helping them to reach their racing goals.

I have been working as an Athletic Trainer at Wilmington University for over 10 years years. I have the opportunity to help athletes with injury prevention and rehabilitation while focusing on a healthy return to activity to ensure longevity in their college sports careers.

To keep sharp and satiate my need to help those that would like to focus on physical fitness, I am also a certified personal trainer certification where I have a client base that encompasses a wide variety of physical fitness levels.

 

My mantra for success is believe in yourself, never give up, trust the process, and ALWAYS train and race Healthy!

Athletic Accomplishments
  • 15+ Career Triathlon Podium Finishes (Overall and Age Group)

  • World & National Championship Experience

    • 4 x Ironman AWA (All World Athlete)

    • USAT All American Triathlete Ranking (2019)

    • USAT Nationals Qualifier (multiyear)
       

  • 6 x 140.6 finisher & 7 x 70.3 finisher

    • 1 x Ironman AG Podium (PR:10:45)

    • 2 x Ironman 70.3 AG Podium (PR 4:50)
       

  • 9 x 26.2 finisher (PR: 3:24)

    • 3 x Boston Qualifier (2013, 2015, 2020)​
       

  • Other Certifications

    • Collegiate Certified Athletic Trainer

    • Nationally Certified Personal Trainer

Leslie Neff - IRONMAN Certified Coach
 

Leslie grew up playing competitive sports in high school and was a Cycling Instructor and HIIT Group Exercise coach at her local YMCA when she was asked by a friend to sign up for her first triathlon. She never looked back.

 

Despite not having a background in swimming when she entered her first multi-sport racing event in 2010, Leslie worked extremely hard over the years to become a competitive triathlete - she quickly went from completing two sprints and an Olympic distance in her first year of competition into a 70.3 and 140.6 in her second and third years respectively. 

  

Leslie’s approach to training is simple. “Be fiercely competitive and fiercely humble.” This mantra extends to her coaching.  She also believes that participation in triathlon is a lifestyle that will involve big goals and challenges, but at the end of day there is enjoyment and balance.  Leslie is very motivated to build resilient and tenacious athletes and help them achieve their personal goals while keeping balance in their lives. 

 

Leslie lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog, Moosh, who enjoys running with her.  Leslie also works full time as a counselor for Veterans at a local VA Hospital.

Athletic Accomplishments
  • 20+ Career Triathlon Podium Finishes (Overall and Age Group)

  • World & National Championship Experience

    • 4 x Ironman AWA (All World Athlete)

    • USAT Nationals Qualifier (multiyear)
       

  • 8 x 140.6 finisher

    • Ironman PR:11:19
       

  • 12 x 70.3 finisher

    • 1 x Ironman 70.3 AG Podium
       

  • Other Certifications

    • Cycling Instructor

    • HITT Exercise coach

 
Vince Lafashia - IRONMAN Certified Coach

As the youngest of 4 kids growing up in Delaware, Vince learned to ride a bike to keep up with the older kids and has never stopped riding! Cycling is not just a passion for Vince, it’s a lifestyle that now includes roads, gravel, trails, and even beach cruisers. From riding, his athletic background expanded to include strength training, running, and swimming. Despite being a self-taught swimmer, Vince’s persistence resulted in efficiency gains in his mechanics and he now comes out of the water with the lead age-group swimmers in a triathlon. 

 

Vince’s coaching attitude encompasses balance, patience, and adaptability. He recognizes athletes juggle many competing priorities and responsibilities and strives to understand his clients as individuals, not just athletes. Vince is a true student of the sport: He continually researches the latest equipment, strength and mobility exercises, and nutrition offered to triathletes. Vince educates himself (and his athletes) by reading reviews, watching videos, and listening to podcasts to understand how to continually elevate his coaching and his athletes’ performances.

 

Vince and his wife are both Speed Sherpa athletes and have been a part of Speed Sherpa family from the beginning. They lead virtual spin sessions via ZWIFT weekly for Speed Sherpa and their local triathlon team, and love supporting novice to highly experienced triathletes. They live in Delaware with their three dogs and escape to Cape May, NJ every chance they get.

Athletic Accomplishments
  • 15+ Career Triathlon Podium Finishes (Age Group)

  • World & National Championship Experience

    • 2 x Xterra World Championships

    • 2 x Xterra National Championships

    • USAT Nationals Qualifier (multiyear)
       

  • Long Course Racing Experience

    • 2 x 140.6 finisher

    • 4 x 70.3 finisher
       

  • Running Experience

    • Boston Marathon Qualifier

    • 6 x 26.2 Marathon (3:06 PR)

    • 10 x 13.1 Half-Marathon

Sara - Volunteer Tri Club Manager & Media/Marketing

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Sara keeps the Speed Sherpa athletes smiling. She is our marketing guru, our purveyor of positive thinking, and our mental skills messenger. Sara also volunteers in assisting our women and novice athletes with their unique questions and concerns. 

 

Sara grew up in Connecticut as a competitive swimmer and ballerina. In high school she swapped lap lanes for goal posts and fell in love with water polo. She also played on her high school's New England Championship winning volleyball team. In college, Sara played Division I water polo before succumbing to severe shoulder injuries. After a decade away from any sports, Sara discovered triathlon and has now been competing since 2013, with several hiatuses thrown in for motherhood! 

 

Sara loves living and training with her husband (Coach Henkel!) and their growing family!

Athletic Accomplishments
  • 13 Career Triathlon Podium Finishes

 

  • National Championship Experience

    • USAT National Qualifer (multi-year)

    • USMS Top 10 National Relay

 

  • Division I Water Polo Player 

 

  • Sports Hall of Fame Inductee - High School Volleyball

 

  • Coaching Experience 

    • Varsity Boys Water Polo 

    • Varsity Track 

    • Middle School Volley Ball 

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