Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Brian Pajer Head Coach - Azot 3, Senior 3

Brian Pajer founded the Aquazot Swim Club in 1999.  In the first year, Brian’s leadership and coaching led the Aquazot team to win the SCS Junior Olympic Championships and placed among the elite teams at the US Nationals. Over the past 19 years, Brian has coached Aquazot swimmers who have represented the USA at the Olympic Games, World Championships, Pan Pacific Championships, & Pan American Games.  Aquazot has been named a USA Swimming 'Gold Medal Club' 5 times in the past 10 years.

 

Coaching Accomplishments:

·    2x U.S. Open Women’s Club Champions 

·    2x USA Swimming State Club Champions

·    5x USA Swimming Gold Medal Team Recognition

·    6x USA Swimming Sectional State Club Champions 

·    Three USA National Championship Individual Event Champions

·    2009 World University Games – One athlete

·    2009 USA World Championship Team – One athlete

·    2007 Pan American Games – Two athletes

·    2004 Olympic Games – Two athletes

·    2003-2009 Head Coach of the UC Irvine Men and Women’s Swim Team

·    2005 & 2007 Big West Conference- Coach of the year

·    2007 Big West Conference - Men’s Champions

·    2005 Big West Conference - Women’s Champions

·    2022 Asca National Top-10 Age Group Coach Award

 

Todd Hickman Coach - Senior 4 Irvine

Todd Hickman started competitive swimming at the age of 5. He was a well rounded swimmer holding records in Orange County in fly, free, and IM’s. At age 14 he broke the National Record in the 500 free and was first in the nation that year in 9 events. He won CIF in the 200 IM his senior year and was first in the nation in High School. He received a full ride scholarship to the University of Arizona and was an NCAA All American in 1987. After college he competed in his 3rd and final Olympic Trials in 1992 and was 9th in the 200 IM.

Since then, he was the athlete rep for Southern California Swimming for the National Convention; where he held positions in the Club Development Committee, Time Standards Committee, Officials Committee, and Athlete Accountant. 

Coach Todd’s everlasting devotion is that his swimmers realize and achieve whatever particular goals they set for themselves; and they find personal success and satisfaction in knowing they made the effort to do the best of which they are capable according to their own level of competency.

COACHING ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Helped make AZOT a USA Swimming Gold Medal team for 5 years 2013 to 2017.
  • 2017/2018 National Junior Team Coaches List
  • Qualified 1 swimmer for 2012 US Olympic Trials
  • Qualified 3 swimmers for 2016 US Olympic Trials
  • Coached National Age Group Record holder
  • Coached 3 relay teams to National Age Group Records
  • Coached 5 relays and 7 Individuals to Southern California Records
  • 3 Swimmers at National Select Camp
  • 1 Swimmer at National Diversity Camp

Accomplishments:

  • Olympic Trials qualified & finished top 16 3 times 1984, 1988, 1992
  • USA Nationals Qualified 9 years best finish 4th place 400 IM
  • Full Scholarship University of Arizona 1984 -1988
  • NCAA All American 1987
  • USA Junior National Team 1984-1985
  • Ranked top 15 in the USA and top 25 in the world 1984-1988 and 1991-1992
  • Age Group National Record Holder 13/14 boys 500 free
  • Member US National Lifeguard Team 1990
  • High School Swimming 1st in Nation 200 IM 1984
  • Athletes Rep. Southern California USA Swimming 3 years 1996 to 1998

 

Vanessa Manalastas Coach - Azot 2 Irvine

An Aquazot Alumna, Coach Vanessa has been active in the sport of swimming since she was a child starting out as an age group swimmer for Head Coach Brian Pajer.  After graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara, she returned to the pool and earned an Infant Toddler Instructor Education Program certificate from the United States Swim School Association.  She transitioned back into age group swimming and was recruited to join the Aquazot Coaching staff in 2013.  In 2017 Vanessa joined the JSerra High School coaching staff where she currently leads the freshman/sophomore swim program. 

Combining the knowledge she obtained through the certification program, her years as an age group swimmer and high school coach, Vanessa delivers effective instruction and training to children with a wide range of personalities and learning styles.  This is reflected in her ability to help most of her AZOT 2 swimmers achieve Blue, WAG, JAG and JO times. 

In her free time Vanessa enjoys swimming, surfing, and spending time with her husband and friends.

 

Maye Andarza Head Developmental Coach - Zot1&2, Azot1

Coach Maye is a Texan born Aquazot alumni, who began swimming competitively with Aquazot at the age of six years old. She has competed in many Aquazot swim meets, including: Junior Olympics, Senior Invitationals, and USA Swimming Sectionals. She first began coaching at Harbor View Swim Team in Newport Beach when she was 13 years old, and then joined the Aquazot coaching staff in 2017. Coach Maye specialized in the Breaststrokes and the IM's. 

Coach Maye attended Crean Lutheran High School where she was Team Captain her senior year and led her team to three CIF division two Championship titles. She also competed in the California State HS Championships where her team placed 1st among all California High Schools. 

Coach Maye now attends California Baptist University where she is earning her Bachelors degree in early childhood development with a double minor in psychology and special education. 

Some fun facts about Coach Maye are: she is a professional makeup artist, she lived in Mexico for the first four years of her life, and she has a dog named Ozzie! 

 

Sloane McCahill Coach - Zot 1 & Azot 1
Coach Sloane began her swimming career at the Irvine Swim League when she was five. She graduated from Irvine High School, where she swam all four years at the Varsity level and went on to become team captain her senior year. Her best events were the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 fly.  Aside from swimming, Coach Sloane also played water polo and was a member of the honor roll. She now studies at Irvine Valley College, where she is majoring in Nursing and minoring in Biology. Her major career goal is to eventually become a nurse-midwife. 
 
Coach Sloane started coaching for College Park Splash at the age of fourteen and joined the Aquazot coaching staff in the fall of 2021.
 
Some of Coach Sloane’s favorite hobbies include baking, crocheting, and hanging out with her friends. She also loves watching and cheering for her favorite Philadelphia sports teams with her two brothers and parents.
 

 

Melanie Masud Coach - Zot 3 & Senior 1&2
Charlie Nanfria Coach - Senior 3
Board of Directors