CHICO AQUAJETS

Eric Balken - Head Coach - cajheadcoach@gmail.com
Coach Eric has been a part of the Chico Aquajets since 2003. Starting as an athlete parent and serving on the Board of Directors for Chico Area Swim Association. Coach Eric began teaching in 2011 as the Head Coach for Mercy High School in Red Bluff and was an age group coach for Chico Aquajets before advancing to Head Coach. Eric has been a lifelong swimmer and self confessed "Swim Nerd". He enjoys passing on mechanics and swimming tools to elevate skill and enjoyment of the best sport on earth.

Kendal Bjella – Assistant Coach

Kendal grew up in Anoka, Minnesota where she swam for Anoka High School and various USA swim teams. Kendal went on to swim her freshman year of college at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN a DIII NCAA school. Unfortunately her career was ended by a shoulder injury. However, when she received the opportunity to be a student assistant coach for the Concordia College Women’s Swim Team she jumped on it. Kendal graduated with a degree in Nutrition and a minor in coaching with swimming as her emphasis. When Kendal and her husband moved to North Dakota she coached for a USA swim team, as well as a high school team. Kendal is so excited to be a part of Chico AquaJets!

Josie Cornwell - Navy Group Coach 

Coach Josie grew up in Chico and swam with the Aquajets from age 7-18. Josie started coaching with the Aquajets at age 13 with the MiniJet group and moved to age group coaching in 2016. Josie is a student at CSU Chico majoring in Health Science and plans to become a Physicians Assistant. Josie is a part-time nanny and loves spending time with family friends and animals.
Zinnia Balken - White Group Coach
Coach Zinnia swam for 14 years on year round programs beginning with the Aquajets in 2002 at the age of 4. Zinnia has been coaching since the age 17 starting with Aquajet age-group coaching and has been the Assistant Coach for the Durham Dolphins for 2 years. Zinnia has taught at the WaterSprites Swim School for 3 years being mentored by the swimming genius, Haley Clark. Coaching and teaching children to swim has inspired Zinnia to be an elementary school teacher, she currently attends Butte College and CSU Chico to earn a teaching credential.