Swimming Wilson

Girls’ Swim: Kristin Barth Kredell Returns Home to Wilson as Head Coach

The562’s coverage of Long Beach Wilson Athletics is sponsored by Joel Bitonio, Class of 2009.

The562’s coverage of water polo & swimming is sponsored by the Aquatic Capital of America Foundation.

Long Beach is flush with accomplished athletics programs steeped in tradition, but few can rival the success and relevance of the Wilson High swim program. After Maggi Twinem’s retirement at the end of last school year, the Bruins were in need of new leadership, and they’ve called on one of their own to continue the program’s legacy.

Wilson Athletics Hall of Famer Kristin Barth Kredell is the new head coach of the girls’ swim program, returning to her alma mater and deepening her influence on the local swim community. Barth Kredell runs the swim program at Shore Aquatics, working alongside her husband, former Olympian Chi Kredell, who oversees the water polo program.

“(Maggi) always asked me if this is something that I would be interested in, and I’ve always said absolutely,” Barth Kredell said. “I would love to be a part of this aquatic family again and fill your shoes. And they’re big shoes to fill, but I’m up for the challenge and ready to work with the girls and make it happen.”

The relationship between Shore Aquatics and Wilson High goes back generations, and has been a cornerstone of the Bruins’ success in the pool. Barth Kredell embodies that relationship, and hopes to continue bringing elite swimmers and water polo players to Wilson, instead of other high schools down south.

“Now that I’m in the position I’m in, I’m hoping that we can get some of those future athletes like I have at Shore, that maybe they’re gonna want to come swim for me at Wilson,” she explained. “That could be a huge thing for the success of the program. I just think working together and creating a great, strong, powerful program will continue the excellence that we have in both swimming and water polo.”

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Kristin is also the daughter of the legendary Klaus Barth, a longtime soccer and swim coach at Wilson who represented West Germany in the 1968 Olympic Games before attending Long Beach State. He was also one of the founders of Shore Aquatics back in 1993.

“As a kid I would go with him to trainings where he coached his swimmers, and it’s like I grew up on that pool deck,” Barth Kredell recalled. “So yeah, for me to actually be a coach there and continue that legacy and this special aquatic program that Wilson has, is truly an honor.”

Barth Kredell becomes just the seventh head coach in program history dating back to 1977. During that time, the Bruins have won or shared in 38 of the 46 Moore League girls’ swimming titles, including each of the last two.

She hasn’t just contributed to that history, she grew up in it. Former Bruins swim coach and Hall of Famer Cheri Swatek taught Kristin how to swim when she was just two years old. A few years later, she was swimming for Coach Twinem, and both women coached her as a student at Wilson during the early ‘90s. 

“I’m completely honored to be the next swim coach,” Barth-Kredel said, firmly aware of the program’s rich history. “It’s just full circle. I’m super fired up and pumped to get back to my roots there.”

The Moore League swim season starts next Friday, with Wilson hosting Lakewood for a dual meet. Also, be sure to come back next week for The562’s Moore League swimming season preview.

Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.