Meet the Evolve Swim Instructors
Ashley has made a name for herself as one of the best freedivers in the world with 3 world records and 17 US national records in the sport. She currently holds all the US national records for depth while at the same time mothering an eight year old and a four year old, both of which have lots of hours in the water already.
“I love freediving but my current focus is on my children. Ren and I live on a boat so it is very important to make sure the children can swim. Much like competitive freediving, the goal has always been to create a sense of water comfort. Teaching our children to swim and in their own turn, freedive, has been even more rewarding than any record I ever set at depth.”
Leah Behrends was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. Leah competed in as many sports as her parents would allow but the swim team was always the highlight of her summer. At age 4, Leah started lessons at Seven Oaks Swim and Racquet Club and eventually started competing on the swim team the following summer. From age 5 to 18, Leah competed on the swim team, creating lifelong friendships and fueling her competitive nature.
From 6th to 8th grade, Leah started swimming year-round which meant longer winter meets and longer distances. During these competitive swimming years, Leah found her stroke of butterfly with the 50m fly and 100m fly becoming her favorite events. Besides the pool being her second home all year round, Leah was also an avid distance runner and soccer player. Outside of being active, Leah worked as a lifeguard and nanny from freshman to senior year of high school.
While swimming always stayed an important part of Leah’s life in Raleigh, NC, Leah decided to attend UNCW to pursue her running career on the UNCW Women’s Cross Country and Track team. Thankfully for Leah, her coaches always supported her love for swimming and encouraged her to utilize swimming as a form of cross-training. Leah graduated from UNCW with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health. Since graduating Leah has taken the year off from school to rediscover her passions and apply for graduate school. At the end of August, Leah will pursue her Masters of Public Health in Physical Activity at George Washington University.
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