Partners
Bodyline
Amazon+Smile
Vasa+Trainer
SwimOutlet
Sponsors
Sandpiper Coaching Staff
We are here to support your needs. If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs, please contact one of the coaches. For all questions related to administrative, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please contact one of the board members.
 
Sandpiper of Nevada offer the best coaching staff available in Southern Nevada, providing educated and experienced coaching for all levels of athletes, from novice to national. Our coaches continue to pursue excellence, increasing their coaching skills and knowledge through training and continued education to advance their certification levels.
 
Our coaches bring to Sandpiper swimmers not only experience, but enthusiasm, dedication, commitment, and a love for the sport of swimming. Simply put, they coach because they love it.
 
Other swim teams in the area may try to duplicate our program, but the Sandpiper program sets itself apart from the rest with a proven history of success. If you are an experienced swim team family, you can see the difference in programs and the level of coaching you are receiving on a daily basis, as well as in the annual performance your athlete achieves with the Sandpipers of Nevada. Elite level swimming is our specialty, taking swimmers from age group to collegiate, National and Olympic Trial level competition. If you are interested in performance results and the best opportunities for college scholarships, we are the ultimate program for you.
 
 
Coaching Staff

Ron Aitken

Head Coach & CEO

Email

Coach Aitken is a Level 5 ASCA (American Swimming Coaches Association) swim coach, a level achieved by only 1-3% of the highest rated coaches in the United States. He has been with the Sandpipers since 1994, and leads the team as the Executive Director, Head Coach, and coach for the Sandpiper National Team. 

Coach Aitken’s Achievements
  • 2017, 2016 USA Swimming Development Coach of Year. Highest Award Achieved by 18 and Under results that a coach can achieve.
  • 2017 Multipule US Open Gold Medal Finishes
  • 2017 National Team Coach
  • 2017 7th Place World Ranking
  • 2017,16, 15,14,13,12,11,10, & 2009 Multiple USA National Junior Team Members and Coach. Nine (9) consecutive years. 
  • 2017 Head Jr Open Water WorldCup Coach Team USA
  • 2016 Olympic Medalist Gold and Bronze
  • 2016, 2009 American Swim Coaches Association Certificate of Excellence.
  • 2016, 2012. 2008, 2000 Olympic Trial Qualifiers. Qualifiers in every event from the 50 Free to the 1500 Free and all strokes, 200 IM and 400 IM. 
  • 2016 USA Swimming Head Coach Open Water World Junior Team - Horn, Netherlands.
  • 2014 FINA Open Water Jr. Worlds Coach Team USA
  • 2013 World Cup Coach Team USA
  • Four (4) Time Speedo Sectional Champions
  • Four (4) Time Nevada State Club Team Championship
  • American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA) Award of Excellence
  • Six (6) Time Nevada State Runner Up.
  • Five (5) Time Southern California Winter Age Group Champions
  • Five (5) Time Southern Nevada Swim Coaches Association Sunset Coach of the Year
  • 18 & Under National Champions
  • College Athletic Scholarship Winners
  • College Academic Scholarship Winners
  • Individual State Champions
  • Individual State records
  • High School All-Americans
  • NCSA All-Americans
  • High School Swimming Academic All-Americans
  • USA Swimming Academic All-Americans
  • New team records
  • Junior Olympic Champions
  • National Top 10 Rankings
  • Junior National Champions
  • National Age Group Record Holders
  • National Qualifiers with Top 8 appearances

 

Chris Barber

Head Age Group Coach

Email

Coach Barber joined the Sandpiper coaching staff in 1996. He has been extremely successful coaching our 14&U Athletes, many holding team records. Chris is also known amongst other coaches and parents in Nevada and California as Southern Nevada’s best age group coach. He has always produced results with swimmers and many go onto Southern California Swimming Selection Teams, International All-Star Teams, and National Age group record holders. Chris was part of the Sandpipers 2011 & 2004 Nevada State Club Championship Staff. Chris is well educated in the sport of swimming and currently holds a Level 3 ASCA designation.
 
His level of education and experience gives our swimmers the best competitive edge they deserve. With his encouragement the swimmers are dedicated, focused, motivated, and have fun!
Chris began swimming when he was 10 years old for the Las Vegas team, Nevada Rapids. Through high school he trained with the Las Vegas Gold swim team and was coached by Bob Bowen. Chris also attended and competed on the high school swim team at Bishop Gorman High School for three years. Chris started his coaching career with three years as a coach for the Clark County Parks and Recreation program. His success led him to encourage many swimmers to join year round swim teams, eventually leading him to year round swimming as a coach with the Sandpipers. Chris is a 6th grade teacher with the Clark County School District. His teaching experience enhances his excellent ability to coach kids and understand their needs. Chris and his wife, Diane, have 3 children, Sarah, Ryan, and Cole.
 
Coach Barber’s Achievements
  • 2008, 2007 Desert Committee Age Group Coach of the Year
  • 2013, 2012, 2011 & 2004 Nevada State Club Team Championship
  • 2002 - 2005 Southern California Winter Age Group Champions
  • Junior Olympic Champions
  • International All Star/Zone team qualifiers
  • USA Swimming National Top 16 Age Group rankings
  • National 1st place season ranking

Lindsey Leeming

Head Site Coach - YMCA

Email

Coach Lindsey was born and raised in Las Vegas. As a kid you could always find Lindsey in her grandparent’s back yard pool, but when it came to competitive swimming Lindsey was a late bloomer. She joined her high school swim team her Freshman year at Cimarron-Memorial High School and immediately joined club swimming. She swam well all four high school years in Breaststroke and IM events. She joined Sandpipers in 2000 and started coaching at a beginner level in early 2002. After graduating from Cimarron in 2002, Lindsey swam for two years with UNLV.
 
Coach Lindsey currently coaches our Sandpiper Centennial YMCA team in the northwest Las Vegas area which continues to grow and feed into our NAG group. She also coaches the Senior II group.

Danielle Basilio

Coach

Email

Coach Danielle swam with the Sandpipers of Nevada starting in 2010. She continued her swimming career on the team competing at multiple State Championships, Age Group Championships, and Junior Olympics until graduating from Northwest Career and Technical Academy in 2016. While swimming with the Sandpipers, she was a four year varsity swimmer for Legacy High School where she competed at regionals and set multiple school records as well. She enjoys sharing skills, sets, and goal setting techniques she learned as a swimmer with all her athletes she coaches. Coach Danielle also works as a production associate at UNLV TV and is currently attending UNLV on a full ride scholarship majoring in Media Studies and Broadcast Journalism with plans to minor in political science.

Shayne Berkedal

Coach

Email

Coach Shayne started his swimmer career at age 16 in Amarillo, Texas. After swimming for 3 years for his local high school he moved to Las Vegas where he joined Sandpipers in 2015. With Sandpipers he accumulated JO times and was a State qualifier. He also swam for Spring Valley High School and competed at the NIAA State Championships in the 50 free and 200 Medley Melay.

Coach Shayne started working at Desert Breeze following high school, becoming the recreation coach and teaching swim lessons. Shayne is currently attending UNLV, majoring in political science, and is completing his personal training certification.

Jake Des Roches

Coach

Email

Coach Jake has been a member of the Sandpiper coaching staff since April 2016. Jake grew up on the other side of the country, in Fairfax, Virginia, and began swimming competitively as an 8-and-under. Jake started coaching for his summer league team, the Fairfax Frogs, in 2005 and progressed from a Junior Coach to Assistant Head Coach in 2012.  While with the Frogs he taught over 100 kids how to swim and led many to make the jump from summer league to USA swimming. 
 
Jake attended Penn State Behrend, where he swam and played water polo. Jake was the captain of the water polo team his junior and senior years. He received recognition as athlete of the week multiple times throughout his collegiate career, and was recognized with the leadership and sportsmanship award his junior and senior years. In his final collegiate swim, Jake anchored the men's 4x100 Free relay to a first place finish at the Fredonia State Invitational setting a pool record in the process.
 
Outside of the pool, Jake was a founder of the Penn State Behrend Snow Club (the largest student group on campus in its first year), and, in 2012, he qualified for the XTERRA Off-Road Triathlon National Championships (Jake returned to triathlon in 2016, and is planning to compete in the XTERRA world championships in 2018 or 2019). Jake graduated in 2012 with a B.S. in Business, Liberal Arts, and Science with minors in English, Economics, and Management and membership in Phi Kappa Phi and Omicron Delta Kappa honor societies (he is also a few credits shy of a masters degree in education, and hopes to stop procrastinating this year).
 
After graduating, Jake joined Teach For America as a 2013 corps member and moved to Las Vegas to teach at Sunrise Mountain High School. Jake began coaching at Sunrise in 2015 and is currently in his third year as the head coach. At Sunrise Mountain, Jake led the team to its first ever State Championship relay qualifier in 2014, and the two highest team finishes at D1A regionals in 2015 and 2016. With the Sandpipers, Jake helped two members of the Senior 3 group qualify for D1A state championships in 2016, and plans to follow that up again this year.

Thomas Farrell

Coach

Email

Coach Thomas began competitive swimming at the age of 13 for the Sandpipers of Nevada. While part of the team, he competed on multiple Club State Championship teams, Age Group Championships, and Summer and Winter Junior Olympics. He was a member of the Centennial High School Swim Team where he swam on a relay that qualified for the High School State Championships and set a school record. He was also team captain his Senior year for his leadership abilities. He went on to compete in college for the Hood College swim team in Frederick, Maryland.
 
Thomas continued his education at UNLV, where he majored in Finance and graduated in 2016. He continues to make his focus on improving swimmers of all abilities, as well as helping give life lessons that they can take with them outside the pool.

Katelyn Faulk

Coach

Email

Coach Katelyn started her swimming career at age 6 for the Clark County recreational team. She joined Sandpipers at age 11 and competed for the team until she graduated high school in 2014. During her time on the team, Katelyn swam at multiple State Championships, Winter Age Groups, and Junior Olympics meets. She swam for Spring Valley High School where she holds multiple school records, was team captain, and helped her relay qualify for the Nevada High School State Championship meet.
 
Starting in 2012, she coached for the recreational swim team and taught swim lessons for Desert Breeze. Then, in 2014 she began coaching Sandpipers stroke school and White 2 groups. Coach Katelyn takes pride in helping young swimmers find a passion for the sport, while also teaching them that hard work and having fun can be done at the same time. Katelyn is currently attending UNLV majoring in pre medicine/biology with plans to graduate in 2018 and continue on to Medical School. 

Alonzo Freeman

Strength Coach

Email

Coach Alonzo has been working with the Sandpipers for more than 10 years at Philippi Sports Institute and recently started personal strength training at Lifetime Fitness. Alonzo was a standout linebacker at UNLV and an exceptional student, earning both his BS and MS in Kinesiology at UNLV. Besides the Sandpipers, he has experience working with a wide range of sports teams, ability levels and ages. From youth soccer teams to training professional hockey players, like the Golden Knights very own Deryk Engelland.

Brent Gonzalez

Coach

Email

Coach Gonzalez is a Level 3 ASCA certified Coach. He coaches the Senior Development group. Brent is also a teacher at Palo Verde High School and is the Head Coach for the Boy's and Girl's Team. Brent has a wealth of experience from his previous coaching positions. He was the head coach of Extreme Aquatics and Lake Elsinore. Brent was also a Head Coach for Riverside Community College, where he coached 4 Junior College All-Americans. Brent has a strong background in stroke skills, race strategies, and sportsmanship. With the Sandpipers Brent has coached State Champions and Top 16 National Rankings.

Dwight Gravley

Coach

Email

Coach Gravley began competitive swimming in 1974. Receiving various honors as a competitor throughout his age group career, Coach Gravley has been afforded the opportunity to be associated with perennial swim programs and well respected swim coaches within the swim community.  Currently Coach Gravley holds a degree in Physical Education and Coaching.

Cutter Haupt

Coach

Email

Coach Haupt started swimming with the Sandpiper of Nevada at the early age of 9. He competed for the team for 9 years and now is currently attending UNLV majoring in Computer Science. During his 9 years with the Sandpiper he accomplished becoming a Scholastic Academic All-American, Member of the 2001 Nevada State Championship time that one by 1 ½ points and a true team leader of the Sandpiper National team as he was Team Captain during his days with the club.  He has also competed at Sectionals, Junior Olympics, High School State, High School Regional and Club States. He had many accomplishments at those levels but one of his greatest accomplishments of all was being known for his dedication and work ethic in the pool and in the classroom.  Cutter is a very motivated coach that likes kids and likes teaching them the skills they need to be better athletes, students, and well rounded individuals.

Michael Kinross

Coach

Email

Coach Michael moved to Las Vegas in September of 2016 to begin working for the Sandpipers of Nevada.  He hails from the Chicago Area where he was born and raised in Crystal Lake, Illinois.  Coach Michael began his coaching career teaching swim lessons out of his backyard pool when he was 13 years old.  From there he began coaching Developmental and Summer League teams and hasn't looked back since. His previous coaching position was as Assistant Head Coach of the Barrington Swim Club and Freshman/Sophomore Coach of the Barrington High School Boys swim team. In his tenure in Barrington, BSC received Silver Medal USA Swimming Club Recognition and had the privilege of coaching an Olympic Trial qualifier, 3 State Record holders, multiple state champions and over 20 National Top 10 swims.  Coach Michael is an ASCA Level 4 Coach.

Michael's swimming career began at age 9 for his local YMCA and eventually concluded competing for Eastern Michigan University.  While at EMU, the Eagles won 3 Mid American Conference Championships and received All-MAC Academic Honors and MAC Swimmer of the Week.  Michael graduated college in 2013 with a degree in Secondary Education-Math and a Minor in Teaching English as a Second Language.

Savannah McKie

Coach - YMCA

Email

Coach Savannah was born in Laguna Beach California in 1998 and moved to Las Vegas in 2004. Though far, she spent all of her summers going back to Laguna, swimming in the ocean every chance she got. From there it lead her to become a swimmer, swimming for her high school, Arbor View, and she began teaching swim lessons at the YMCA at age 16. While working for the YMCA, she taught many private lessons to current Sandpipers, helping prepare them for the next level. She joined Sandpipers in October 2017 at age 18, and since then has been assistant coaching at the YMCAs.

Katy Phifer

Coach

Email

Volkan Saricayir

Coach

Email

Coach Volkan swam with the Sandpipers of Nevada starting in 2009. In his Sandpiper career, Coach Volkan competed in multiple Junior Olympic and Regional Championship swim meets before graduating from Palo Verde High School in 2016. After graduating, Coach Volkan continued his swimming career with the Las Vegas Masters, competing in their 2016 Winter Championships.
 
Towards the end of 2015, Coach Volkan began teaching swimming lessons at Desert Breeze, including becoming a coach for their recreational swim team. Volkan is currently attending UNLV majoring in Kinesiology, with the intention of earning a Doctorate of Physical Therapy down the road.

Eli Tanimoto

Stroke Master

Email

Coach Tanimoto began coaching for Sandpipers from November of 2005 through February of 2013 and has come back to assisting Coach Aitken as a stroke technician coach.  From 2005 through 2008, Eli assisted Coach Aitken and from 2009 through 2013 Eli coached the 10 and under age group.  Eli was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1985, and shortly after moving to Las Vegas began competitive swimming in 1992. He attended Palo Verde High School, graduating in 2003, receiving honors as a scholar athlete, and lettering four years, Eli attended UNLV where he dove for four years, received his bachelors and masters in accountancy in 2009 and 2011.  After graduating from UNLV, Eli became a Certified Public Accountant at a local firm here in Las Vegas.  Eli brings much experience in coaching to the Sandpipers.  From 2001 to 2006 Eli worked with the City of Las Vegas coaching a number of summer recreational sports, including swimming, diving, water polo, and junior lifeguards.
Board of Directors

Michelle Brereton

Team Secretary

Email