Along with Casey Barrett, Lars is the co-founder of both Imagine Swimming and the Manhattan Makos. Growing up in Hoechstadt, Franconia, Lars was one of the fastest German age group swimmers of his generation. He was a European Junior Champion in 1992, a German Champion in 1994, a World Military Games Champion in 1997, and a member of the German National Team for eight years. In the summer of 1996, Lars traveled to the U.S. on a full scholarship at the University of California, Berkeley, where he swam for the legendary Bears coach Nort Thornton and world-renowned sprint coach Mike Bottom. At Cal, Lars was the anchor leg of the NCAA Champion and U.S. Open record-setting 4x100 freestyle relay in 2000. However, he views his greatest gift from Berkeley as the coaching – and life – wisdom passed along by the sage coach Thornton.