Coaches/Athlete of the Week

Athlete of the Week

Once the 2022 season is underway, we will be posting our athlete of the week here. Check back weekly during the season to see who we highlight!  

“Coaches who can outline plays on a blackboard are a dime a dozen. The ones who can win get inside their player and motivate.”

-Vince Lombardi

Peter Falcon 

pfalco@district16.org
Head Boys Coach

Peter Falcon will enter his first year as the head track and field coach at Spring Lake Park High School for the upcoming 2022 season.

Before coming to Spring Lake Park, Falcon coached for two years at Iowa Western Community College as an assistant cross-country/track and field coach, where he was in charge of coaching the distance runners. In his time at Iowa Western, highlights included coaching Sylvester Barus to a runner-up finish at the NJCAA National XC and Half Marathon Championships, which resulted in men’s team finishes of 10th and 5th place. Falcon also coached Shanieke Watson to All-American finishes at the 2015 NJCAA National XC Championships (8th place) and Half Marathon Championships (5th place), which resulted in women’s team finishes of 19th and 6th place, respectively. Other coaching accomplishments included various school records on both the track and cross-country course.
Falcon also comes with experience in coaching youth track and field, where he assisted in coaching the distance runners for the Bellevue Breeze Track Club, a USATF junior olympic track and field team, from 2017-2019.

Falcon started his running career at the age of 10, running for the Bellevue Breeze and Cornhusker Flyers track and cross-country clubs in the Omaha, Nebraska area. He was a multiple time national medalist at the Junior Olympic levels from 1500m-5000m and 4x800m relay. He continued his success as a multiple all-state performer in both track and cross-country at Bellevue West High School in Bellevue, Nebraska.

He’s a 2012 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. During his undergraduate career, Falcon was a 4 time Big 12 and Big 10 XC and track and field conference qualifier and ended up 11th on the Nebraska 10k all-time list by the end of his running tenure for the Cornhuskers. He still runs competitively for a sub-elite USATF club called “Lincoln Running Company-Nebraska”. Falcon currently holds personal bests of 2:19:51 for the full marathon and 1:07:10 for the half marathon. He was 51 seconds short of qualifying for the 2020 USA Olympic Marathon Trials and has sights set on qualifying for the trials in 2024.

Currently, Falcon works full-time at as a licensed clinical mental health therapist at Ballard Clinic in Wayzata and Edina. He works with children, adolescent, young adults, and families. He specializes in working with athletes struggling with both sports performance and clinical based issues, while also working on becoming a Certified Mental Performance Consultant (CMPC) through the Association of Applied Sport Psychology.

Falcon believes in building meaningful and long lasting relationships with his athletes, utilizing evidenced based/ optimal training methods, and applying a sports performance based mental approach that allows his athletes to succeed to the best of their abilities, both on and off the track. His passion lies in coaching and building a meaningful, competitive, open, and holistic team culture to the Spring Lake Park track and field program. He currently lives in Maple Grove with his wife, Jenny, a physical therapist in the Twin Cities area; his golden retriever, Millie, and cats, Archer and Stella. Outside of coaching, Falcon enjoys keeping close tabs on Husker football in the fall, going on hikes, traveling, spending time with his wife and pets, and having frequent movie marathons.

Sara Hale

shale@district16.org
Head Girls Coach/Sprints

I have been teaching and coaching at Spring Lake Park since 2016. I teach health and physical education at SLPHS and coach cross country in addition to track and field. I have a background in yoga, group fitness, personal training, and speed development. My BS degree is from Winona State University and my Master’s degree will be complete from Concordia University St. Paul in June of 2022. My favorite part about coaching track and field is working with eager student athletes who want to get a little bit better each day. To me, success comes when you keep showing up and never give up on yourself, and I hope to help athletes realize this throughout the season.

Staff photo of Sara Vincent

Greg Kugler  

gkulger@district16.org
Hurdles/High Jump Coach

I have been teaching art at the middle school and coaching in the Spring Lake Park schools since 1994. I received my undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College where I competed on the swim team and the track & field team (decathlon). I also earned my Master’s Degree from the University of Minnesota. I have coached the hurdles since joining the coaching staff back in 2000. The high jump is an event in which I held the school record here at Spring Lake Park back in 1988. When not coaching track in the spring, I am the head swim & diving coach for both the girls and boys teams here at Spring Lake Park High School.

Greg Kugler

Doug Potthoff

dpotth@district16.org
Throws Coach

I have been a Health/PE/DAPE Teacher and Coach in Spring Lake Park for 31 years. Named 2016 Secondary Teacher of the Year in ISD 16. I am currently teaching full-time DAPE at SLPHS and Westwood Schools. 

 I coordinate adapted athletics and coach adapted bowling, football, track and field throwing events, coach in our strength/conditioning program and am BFS Strength-Coach Certified.

I graduated from White Bear Lake Sr. High School (1985); hold a BS Degree in Physical Education from St. Cloud State (1990) and a MA Degree in Administration of Athletics from the University of St. Thomas (1996).

My family consists of myself, my wife Kelli, who is a Business-Ed Teacher at North St. Paul Sr. High and daughters Avery (UMD-track, UWRF MA program & Prescott, WI. Teacher/Coach), Gabby (UWRF-tennis & UW-LaCrosse MA program) and Sonya (11th) attending school and playing basketball and tennis as a two-sport captain at Mahtomedi High School. 

In my free-time I enjoy attending church, time with my family, the YMCA, playing hockey, biking, fishing, reading, and attending sporting events.

My passion in education is teaching, coaching, and mentoring teenagers! I very much enjoy being a teacher and coach in our dynamic profession to the students in Spring Lake Park Schools! If you ever have questions or concerns, please contact me at: dpotth@district16.org or 763-600-5996 and I will get back to you as soon as I can!

Go Panthers!

Staff photo of Doug Potthoff

Natalie Marsh


Jumps Coach

Hi! My name is Natalie and I use she or they pronouns. I am a graduate of Carleton College, where I ran cross country and middle distance in track. Track is probably my favorite thing in this world, so I'm quite happy to be joining the Spring Lake Park coaching staff as a jumps coach this season. When I'm not coaching, I work as a Patient Advocate at a reproductive healthcare clinic in the Twin Cities. Some of my favorite things include: a smooth handoff in the 4x4, anything that involves peanut butter and chocolate together, jewelry, the smell of spring, and my dog's little beard.

Daulton Olinger

daulton.olinger01@gmail.com 
Throws Coach

This is my first official year being a coach for the track and field team as I have helped some in the past. I also coached the defensive line for the Spring Lake Park football team this year as well. I am a Spring Lake Park alumni graduating in 2013 where I played both football and track.  

staff photo of Daulton Olinger

Mike Hrudka 

mhrudka@xcomcast.net
Pole Vault Coach

My wife Heidi and I have been Blaine residents for over 15 years and we have two sons. I have two sons who have attended Spring Lake Park High School. I work in the private sector for a restaurant chain. I competed, very successfully, as a pole vaulter in high school setting school records for indoor and outdoor of over 14’. Injury caused me to compete only one year collegiately. I love track and have a passion for pole vaulting that drives me to innovate drills and improve technique.

Staff photo of Mike Hrudka

Thomas Fields

tfield@district16.org
Strength Coach

I grew up in Waverly, Iowa, where I played basketball, football, baseball, and ran track. I graduated from high school in 2006 and then attended Wartburg College (also in Waverly) and played football my first year. Instead of continuing to play football throughout college, I got my coaching certificate and began coaching middle school basketball and football. I hold a bachelor's degree (2010) in Elementary Education and a Master's degree (2013) from Iowa State University in Educational Leadership. After college I taught 4th and 5th grades in Waverly for three years before moving to Minnesota.

My family includes my wife, Noelle, who teaches kindergarten at St. Francis Area Schools, our two-year-old daughter Linnéa and our dachshund Daisy. I teach 5th grade at Westwood Middle School, where I also coach basketball, football, and supervise the weight room. We are involved in our church in New Brighton and love having our summers off to enjoy camping, fishing, golfing spending time with Noelle's family on the boat or at her family's cabin, and making trips back to Iowa to visit my family.

Staff photo of Thomas Fileds

Michelle Deedrick

michelledeedrick@gmail.com
Distance Coach

This is my 10th year as an elementary physical education teacher in the Robbinsdale school district.  I absolutely love what I do.  In my teaching career I have taught in New York City, Florida and now Minnesota.  I earned my BS degree from Bethel University and my Masters from Emporia State University.  While at Bethel I had the opportunity to run both Cross Country and Track and serve as a captain.  Fun fact, Coach Hinseth and I were teammates in college.  In the past I have coached a youth triathlon team, girls basketball, and high school adapted soccer. My husband and I have two dogs, a 2 year old son and are expecting our 2nd boy in August.  Our favorite thing to do together is travel and we have been to 21 countries. My coaching hero is John Wooden and I can only hope to model and implement some of his philosophies.

Nate Hendrickson

Sprint Coach
 

Being a Spring Lake Park Panther has been a huge part of my life. I bleed Panther Blue. My whole family has gone to Spring Lake Park, from my parents to my two younger brothers. It has been  my lifestyle from the time I was born. I graduated from SLP in 2015. I played football and competed in both swimming and track. I did a year of college track at St. John's University before transferring to Bethel University. I graduated from Bethel in 2019. Now, I work as an Assistant Youth Director at a church in Fridley. I also teach English/Language Arts at Mahtomedi High School. And finally, capping it all off, I coach football here at Spring Lake Park, as well. 

I coach because I know the effect sports, especially Track and Field, can have on an individual. I met one of my best friends, and later college roommate, on this team. Track and Field is where you can build things that can last a lifetime and I want to help in anyway I can.

"I'mma show you how great I am." - Muhammad Ali

Bryan Atwood

Pole Vault Coach
 

I work in the private sector for investigations agencies and own a local restaurant. I grew up in Mankato, MN and participated in Track and Field at Mankato East High School and MSU-Mankato, with a focus on Pole Vault. After separating from Active Duty Army, my wife Erin and I moved to the metro and have been in Blaine for the past 5 years. We have 1 daughter, Charlotte. Throughout my competitive years, I had the opportunity to vault for and coach with some of the best coaches in the state. While I separated from the sport for several years, Pole Vault has always been a passion of mine and I'm eager to return and help our athletes meet and exceed their athletic goals. 

"What's my best height? I haven't jumped it yet."

Spencer Hinseth

Distance Coach
 

I currently work in the athletic department and admissions at Bethel University. Before Spring Lake Park, I coached cross country and track at Bethel University, as well as track at Blaine High School. I also currently coach cross country and nordic skiing at Andover High School. I attended Bethel University where I majored in Social Studies Education and ran cross country and track with Coach Deedrick. In my free time I like to run, ski, and travel! Through my coaching, seeing growth as a person is just as important as growth as an athlete. My goal is to help students become the best version of themselves, both on and off the track.

"Opportunity doesn't knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door."