Katia V Alyabyeva
Bronze Director & Senior Coach
As a 2017
addition to Westside Aquatics, Katia Alyabyeva literally brings a
whole new world of experience and expertise to the Westside
Coaching Staff. Katia brings her skills to the team to help both
our youngest and our oldest swimmers achieve new heights.
caoching experience began after college in 2014. Her last tenure
was at Alpha Aquatics where she was the El Segundo Head Site Coach.
At Alpha, Katia worked with all ages of swimmers, from 4 year-olds
to senior athletes, to help them achieve their goals whether it be
completing their first lap of butterfly, to qualifying for Junior
Nationals, to achieving a college scholarship. Before coming to
California, Katia worked in Fort Lauderdale where she coached club
swimming as well as assisted special needs athletes at Bright
coaching, Katia had an education that intertwined with excellence
in competitive swimming. Graduating from Drury University in 2014
with a Business Management Degree, Katia also excelled in the pool.
From 2010 to 2012, while at Drury, Katia garnered All American
swims an incredible 18 times as well as setting 3 Division 2
National Records! These great performances helped the Panthers win
3 National Championships while Katia was on the team. Her time as a
collegiate swimmer culminated with her qualifying for both the
Russian and United States Olympic Team Trials in 2012. Before
working on her American education, Katia completed coursework at
Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University where she studied PE and
at Drury was preceded by over a decade of International level
swimming with Russian Regional and National teams. Born in Siberia
and toughened up by inhospitable weather conditions, Katia competed
for regional teams as well as the Russian National Team. During her
time in Russia, she won the Open Water Siberian Cup 5k in 2005 and
2006. In 2006, she added the 10K where she finished 3rd.
After her competitive distance success she went on to Qualify for
the Russian Olympic team trials in 2008. She made the semifinal
heat in both of the Individual Medley Races but her best
performance came in the 100 Breaststroke where she made the
lucky to have a coach with such vast expertise and
Coach Stefan was born and raised in Bulgaria. He learned how to swim when he was six years old, and started swimming for Sport Club Lokomotiv Plovdiv when he was eight years old. He was the Middle School Regional Champion for the 100m and 50m breaststroke, and then swam for his college team. Coach Stefan became certified as a swim instructor in 2008, and starting teaching for Anne Arundel County Olympic Swim Center in Maryland. He moved to Los Angeles, and has since taught private and group lessons for the YMCA, LA County, Happy Swimmers and Sunsational Swim School. He has been with Westside Aquatics for three years, and is now a certified coach with USA Swimming. Stefan works with swimmers of all ages & levels, and focuses on detailed instruction and drills for proper techniques. It is exciting to see children progress from swim lessons to Pre-team and start to compete with Stefan’s guidance.
Head Coach Swimming
Coach Mike is an ASCA Level 4 coach who has been with Westside Aquatics since 2014. While at Westside, Mike has helped swimmers reach thier goals of competing in college, and Westside swimmers have reached the National, Junior National, and Sectional level under his guidance. Mike's swimmers have made Championship Finals at the Junior National, Futures, SCS Club Championships, Junior Olympics, June Age Group Championships, and Winter Age Group Championships.
Before joining Westside Aquatics, Coach Mike coached at Canyons Aquatic Club in Santa Clarita for over ten years, working with the senior level swimmers. During that time, he also had a 5-year stint as the Head Coach at Valencia High School, which culminated in the team's 25th (boys) and and 31st (girls) places nationally. Prior to joining Canyons, Mike was the head coach at Riverton High School, where he coached the Riverton Aquatic Team and was selected as the North 4A Coach of the Year. Before coaching, Mike was a collegiate swimmer at the University of Wyoming, and he swam in high school at Cheyenne East.
Throughout his career, Mike has held an unparalleled record in advancing swimmers to their next level of competition. Swimmers under Mike's guidance have achieved Junior National, National and Olympic Trial qualifying time standards. Mike has had swimmers go on to become professional athletes and Olympic Team members, and Olympic medalists. Mike has also been part of the North American Challenge Cup coaching staff for the 2008 and 2007 seasons as well as Pacific Coast All Star Coaching Staff and Southern California Zone Coaching Staff. He has also been invited to travel as a "host" coach to the Olympic training center with his athletes for both the Diversity Select Camp and the Junior National Select Camp.
Pre Team/Director Age Group Water Polo
Adam has been coaching swimmers and water
polo players in California for over twenty-five years. He has
taught athletes at UC Riverside, St. Monica's, Crespi, Chabot
College, Santa Monica College and Palisades-Malibu YMCA. He has
coached Senior, Junior, and YMCA Natinal swimming qualifiers. Coach
Adam was named the 2012, 13, 14, 15, 16 LA CIF Water Polo Coach of
the Year while leading Pali High to the LA City Title. Adam swam
and played water polo at Santa Monica High and UC Riverside, where
he graduated with a BA in History.
Santa Monica Lead Site Swimming Coach
Coach Danny Colvin is joining the Westside Aquatics staff as Lead Site Coach for our Santa Monica Site. Before Westside, Danny was the Director of Strength and Conditioning with the Mission Viejo Nadadores, His primary focus at Mission was coaching their 13-14 year olds but also branched out to other age groups. During his year and a half tenure at MVN, he helped to rehabilitate Cal Berkeley Freshman Katie McLaughlin (2015 Bronze Medalist 200 FLY at 2015 Pan Pacific Championships) after neck fracture. Danny also developed the strength and conditioning programing which complemented the water training for Ous Mellouli (World Record/Gold Medalist) 12 Rio Olympic Trial Qualifiers and Ous Mellouli (2012 Gold medalist 1500 FR and former world record holder). Before Mission Viejo, Danny started his coaching career with Buenaventura Swim Club as the Bronze Group Coach and quickly moved up to Senior Sprint Coach and Head Strength and Conditioning Coach. Danny also spent nearly three years as the Strength and Conditioning coach for the men's and women's water polo and swim teams at Ventura College.
Senior Coach / Director of Nutrition
Peter is also our director of college swimming.
With no prior competitive experience, Peter began swimming for Palisades Charter High School in 2003. By his senior year, he had helped Pali achieve three City Championships, scoring each year at the City Championship in the top 10. He was recognized as All-Los Angeles City Team (1st and 2nd place per event)>
As a Palisades High School senior, Peter coached the Pali JV Women’s squad, where he helped lead the team to the Marine League championship with an undefeated season in 2006. While attending Franklin & Marshall, he helped coach the Trident Swim Club’s senior squad, leading 2 men to the 2009 PIAA state finals.
Peter has been the full-time Assistant Coach for Palisades Charter High School Swim Team since 2011. The Women's team have claimed the last 4 City Championships, won 20 events and turned in 46 CIF top 3 performances during his tenure. The Men's team have taken the last 3 City Championships, ending their 7 season title drought. They have won 22 events, been awarded 38 medals and broken 4 CIF City Section records.
Peter represented Westside Aquatics as a swimmer from 2004 to 2006, and began coaching for them in 2011. His swimmers have competed at the highest levels of Southern California Swimming, turning in meet record setting performances at the SCS Club Championship "Super JO" meet, as well as countless SCS Junior Olympic qualifying swims.
Director of Water Polo
Coach Matt attended Santa Monica High and graduated from UCSB and UCLA. He played water polo at UCSB from 1989-1994, earning all MPSF honors, the McCormick Leadership Award ('93 & '94), and the MPSF Student Athlete of the Year award.
Coach Matt Flanders has been the head coach of Santa Monica High School's water polo and swim programs since 1996. During that time, Santa Monica teams have won 20+ league championships and reached the conference playoffs 20+ times combined, including one conference finals appearance. During this time, Santa Monica High has also had more than 75 athletes named to all-league, all-area, or all-conference teams.
Coach Matt is currently in charge of goalie development for Westside, and he also assists with the under-12 teams.
14U Boys Polo
Coach - Water Polo
Coach Miriam has 8 years of competitive synchronized swimming experience, representing teams from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and California. Upon moving to Los Angeles in 2014, Miriam began coaching and performing. She is a USA Synchro CCP 1 coach, and also instructs adult fitness classes. She plans on competing in a Masters competition in 2016.
Timothy James Murphy
Head Age Group Coach Swimming
Coach Tim is an ASCA Level 3 certified coach in his eleventh
season in SoCal Swimming's Pacific Committee. This is
his second stint as a member of the Westside Aquatics coaching
Coach Tim's philosophy is to keep things fast and fun, with a
healthy dose of inspiration. He encourages each athlete
to be committed to the team and to the fulfillment of their
athletic and academic potential. His extensive and diverse
coaching history has led him work with every level of athlete, from
novice to Olympian. Beginning way back in his high school
days, in the Cincinnati Country Club League, his coaching career
includes some time as an undergraduate assistant at Kenyon College,
one season at the CIF level with Harvard-Westlake School, six
seasons with Team Santa Monica, three seasons with Swim Torrance
and parts of six different seasons with Westside
Aquatics. Coach Tim has produced multiple Junior National
qualifiers, Sectional qualifiers, Junior Olympic champions and SCS
record-holders and, from 2008-2010, he was the developmental coach
of a 2016 U.S. Olympian and 2015 World Champion. Throughout
his career, he has been fortunate enough to work with some of the
sport's best athletes, which include an American record holder,
NCAA champions, U.S. and Australian Olympic Trials qualifiers,
International Open Water medalists, World Junior Team members and
numerous Junior and Senior National qualifiers.
As an athlete in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, Tim was a U.S.
Open qualifier, Junior National qualifier, NAG Top-16 qualifier and
YMCA National Champion, while representing the Cincinnati Marlins
and the M.E. Lyons YMCA, respectively. However, it was his
experience as a State Champion and All-American at Cincinnati St.
Xavier High School that cemented his passion for the sport.
*Swimming World Magazine recently ranked the St. Xavier High School
men's swimming team as the 3rd best high school program in
After graduating from St. X in 1998, he competed for NCAA Division
III powerhouse Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he was
awarded All-Conference honors. In 2002, he achieved a B.A. in
History from Kenyon.
Coach Tim has given back to the sport as the Pacific Committee's
representative to the Southern California Swimming Board of Review
14U Girls Head Coach
Coach Justin played at Granada Hills Charter High School and played club for ORWP for 3 years. He was awarded a full scholarship to play water polo and swim for Penn State. He was 3 time All-Conference and 2 time All-American while also currently in possession of the single season and career assists record. During his time in high school and college he played for the junior national and senior national teams for The Netherlands under Coach Robin van Galen. He played for the World Championship and European Championship contending teams as well as the FINA World League and World Cup squads. As a coach, he assisted the Penn State Women’s team before becoming the head coach for the Fairview high school women’s water polo team in Erie, PA. He landed 3 All-Conference players and was voted the Western Conference Coach of the Year for the 2015 season. Currently, he is the head men’s and women’s swimming and water polo coach at John F. Kennedy high school in Granada Hills, CA. He led the swim teams to their first ever League championship during the 2016 season and secured a first ever playoff berth for the women’s water polo team for the 2016-2017 season. As a coach, he appreciates the rewarding experience of mentoring and teaching players in the sport, and contributing to their growth and success.
Born and raised in the South Bay, Connor started playing a little over 10 years ago for Trojan Club and then at Palos Verdes High School. He was recruited to play at USC, where he contributed to the team's success of winning 6 consecutive NCAA championships. After graduation, Connorr played abroad in Newcastle, Australia and represented the US on the world stage with the Senior National team. He has helped coach several programs around the LA area and continues to compete as a member of the Los Angeles Athletic Club's National League roster.
Julie Ann Wessler
Silver Coord / Open Water Coord
Julie Ann comes to Westside from Illinois where she coached in
various roles. In 2017, she was an Assitant Coach at Lewis
University outside of Chicago and a Senior Assistant Club coach
Lemont Park District Dolphins. In 2017 Coach Julie
was named as an Assistant Coach for the 2017 USA Swimming
Open Water Select Camp
in Fort Myers, FL. Before her tenures in Illinois, she
coached group and private lessons in Wingate, NC from 2013 to 2016.
Prior to finding her passion for the coaching profession,
Julie had a successful career as a competitive swimmer. She
graduated from Wingate University with her Bachelor of Science
Degree in Sports Management as well as a Master of Arts Degree in
Sports Management and Administration. She attended Wingate
from 2011 to 2015 where she competed on the swim team. For
the Bulldogs, she was a 4-time All-American in all three
distance events at NCAA's in 2013 and 2015 and won both the 1000
and 1650 at the BMC Conference Championships in 2015. Before
her college swimming career, Coach Julie competed in the distance
freestyle events for her hometown club SG Essen in Essen, Germany.
she qualified for the German National Open Water Team in 2008 and
2009. She was also part of the National
club team SG Essen
in 2008 and 2009 where she was coached by Henning
the current National Team Head Coach
. Outside the pool, she enjoys researching about sports nutrition
and psychology and spends her free time with friends outside
like going hiking
Synchronized Swimming & Lessons Director
Coach Valerie has over twelve years of coaching experience. She previously coached 12&Under teams at Los Angeles Synchro and the Meraquas of Irvine. Her athletes have placed routines in Finals at US Nationals, and she qualified a swimmer to the 2011 U.S. National Team. She was the Assistant Coach for the 2012 12&Under U.S. National Team, and will be coaching the U.S. National team in 2016. She is a U.S. National Team consultant, CCP3 Certified coach, Grade Level Assessor, and a Regional judge. She is also the head coach of a local Masters team, and performs & choreographs for private shows and film/tv productions.