Coaches



Head Coach: Ben Allen



I am Ben Allen, 32 years old. I have a wife, Dara, and 1 year old son Luke. I am a high school social studies teacher at Madison Southern High School in Berea, but I still live in Lexington where I was born and raised.

I started swimming at the age of 8 with the Palomar Piranhas and swam with them for 10 years. I also swam for the Lexington Dolphins for 10 years in USS. I was then a swimmer coach for Cumberland Hill for 1 year, then coached with Dave Little for 6 more summers. My last summer as an assistant for Dave, with the Catfish, was in 2011. At that time, I was the last remaining person who had been affiliated with the MOWSC since it's beginning. Swimming has been a major part of my life since I was young and I look forward to returning to the pool deck and working with the next generation of young swimmers.


Assistant Coaches


Emma Ivey:

"I swam for Cumberland Hill for 15 years. I graduated from Tates Creek High School last year. I spent the last 3 years as a swimmer-coach and this year will be my first solely as a coach. I am finishing my first year of college at UK as a Public Health major on the Pre-Occupational Therapy track. I am looking forward to another great summer with the Catfish!"


Welcome back Emma!


Stone Poole:

"Hi Everyone! I've been a Catfish since I was 6 years old and have been swimming for the Lexington Dolphins for the last 6 years. I am a state champion and Dolphin's National Team. I've loved being a Catfish and it's always been a dream to be a coach. I can't wait for the season to start!"


Welcome Stone! We can't wait either!



Grace Nikirk

Grace is a Junior at Lexington Catholic High School and swimming has been a part of her life since she started swimming competitively at five years old. Grace was a state champion in the breast stroke even though she will tell you that free style is her favorite stroke.

Grace has swam club and Catfish for thirteen years and she has bee a part of the Lexington Catholic High School swim team since she was in sixth grade.

Grace loves teaching the "littles" how to swim. She also still loves to swim relays.

When Grace isn't swimming, she is taking her studies seriously. She is a member of the National Honor Society, she plays the flute in the band, and she also plays club and high school soccer.

"I love all the teams I've been a part of. I've made lots of great friends and made lots of great memories. My favorite things about being a Catfish is seeing the little kids improve. It's rewarding to see them come and progress and build their self confidence." Once a Catfish, Always a Catfish.


Well said Grace!

Maggie Hudson

"Hi, I am Maggie Hudson and I will be starting at UK in August! I have been apart of the Catfish family since I was 5 years old. I helped coach last year and a little bit the previous year. I am so excited to coach for the Catfish! I can't wait till this upcoming season!"

We can't wait either Maggie!

Allie Diggs


Allie Diggs has swam for the Cumberland Hill Catfish team for 8 years. She has been a member of the Tates Creek High School swim team and enjoys kickboxing at Hybrid Martial Arts. Allie would like to thank her family for being supportive and former Catfish coaches, Dave Little and Stephen Sparks for pushing her to beat her personal goals. She would also like to thank Coach Ben Allen for taking on the Catfish and keeping the team spirit alive. She wants to remind young swimmers to stay with this sport, it brings more than just faster times, some of the best memories are made in the pool with your team and coaches, we are family. Allie will be attending the University of Kentucky in the fall with a major in business. Her ultimate goal is to travel the world.

Welcome Allie! Glad to have you on board!