Ron Aitken

 Head Coach & CEO

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Coach Aitken is a United States Olympic Coach and 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

 

• 2020/21 Tokyo Olympic Coach

• Five (5) Olympic Medals 2 Gold 2 Silver 1 Bronze earned by his Athletes.

• 4x USA Swimming Development Coach of Year, Highest Award Achieved by 18 & Under results that a coach can achieve

• 10x USA National Team Coach

• 2017-21 Multiple USA National Team Members

2009-2021, Eleven (12) consecutive years, multiple USA National Junior Team Members and Coach 

• 3x USA Open Water Jr. Worlds Head Coach Team USA

• 3x USA International Team Coach Team USA

• 3x Open Water National Champions 

• 4x American Swim Coaches Association Certificate of Excellence

• 2017 Multiple US Open Gold Medal Finishes

• 2017 7th Place World Ranking

• 2017 Head Jr Open Water World Cup Coach Team USA

• 2016 Olympic Medalist Gold and Bronze

• Five 5x attend Olympic Trials and Qualifiers in every event from the 50 Free to the 1500 Free, all strokes, 200 IM and 400 IM 

• 2013 World Cup Coach Team USA

• Four (4) Time Speedo Sectional Champions

• Four (4) Time Nevada State Club Team Championship

• 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

 

 

 

 Michael Kinross

 Assistant Head Coach

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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 Michael 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.

 Chris Barber

 Head Age Group Coach

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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 records. 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 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 coaching 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 4 children, Sarah, Ryan, Cole, and Delaney.

 
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

 Jake Des Roches

 Coach

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Coach Jake has been a member of the Sandpiper coaching staff since April 2016. Jake grew up in Fairfax, Virginia, and began swimming competitively as an 8 & 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. 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 the future. 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. Jake 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.

 

 Sarah Barber

 Coach

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Coach Sarah Bio to come...
 

 Shayne Berkedal

 Coach

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Coach Shayne Bio to come...

 Katelyn Faulk

 Coach

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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, Katelyn 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 graduated from UNLV in 2019 with a degree in pre-medicine/biology. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Public Health.
 

 Alonzo Freeman

 Strength Coach

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Coach Alonzo, also known as “Coach Zo”, has been working with the Sandpipers for more than 10 years as a strength and dryland coach. 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 customizes strength training for a wide range of sports teams, ability levels and ages, from youth soccer teams to professional hockey players, like the Golden Knights very own Deryk Engelland. Coach Zo is also a personal trainer at Lifetime Athletic in Summerlin.
 

 Brent Gonzalez

 Coach

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Coach Brent is a Level 3 ASCA certified Coach. He coaches the Sandpipers Senior Development group. Brent is also a teacher at Palo Verde High School and is the Head Coach for the Boys and Girls Teams. Brent has a wealth of experience from his previous coaching positions. He was the head coach of Extreme Aquatics in 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 Ranking swimmers.

 

 Cutter Haupt

 Coach

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Coach Cutter started swimming with the Sandpipers of Nevada at the age of 9. He competed for the team for 9 years and is currently attending UNLV majoring in Computer Science while coaching. During his 9 years with the Sandpipers, he was a Scholastic Academic All-American and a member of the 2001 Nevada State Championship team when they won by 1 ½ points. Cutter was a true team leader of the Sandpipers National Team as he was Team Captain during his days with the club. He has competed at Sectionals, Junior Olympics, High School State, High School Regional and Club States. He had many accomplishments at those levels, but he is most proud of 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.

 Amy Padilla

 Coach

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Coach Amy Bio to come...
 

 Katy Phifer

 Coach

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Coach Katy is a Las Vegas native and swam for Sandpipers as an age-grouper. She graduated from Bonanza High School and went on to swim for University of Nevada - Reno, competing all four years and ending with NCAA Division I Championship qualifying times her senior year. Katy currently teaches 5th grade while serving Sandpipers as a stroke school coach... where champions begin! Katy has been coaching for 20 years. Starting in Salem, Oregon, she was awarded Age Group Coach of the year for Oregon in 2004 and was nominated for Senior Coach of the Year in 2008. She has coached Oregon record holders and Olympic Trials athletes.

 Mavi Sampaio

 Coach

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A native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Coach Mavi has a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education (Brazil), and a Master’s degree in Kinesiology (study of human performance) from the University of North Dakota.

As a swimmer (1970-1990), C oach Mavi was a South American Champion and record holder, took 5th at the Pan-American Games (1983), and 10th at a World University Games (1983). He was also a World Champion as a Masters swimmer (1989 and 1990). All as a Breaststroker.

As a coach (1986-present), coached in various teams in Brazil (1986-2000), as well as the Senior National Team. His Club teams/swimmers earned numerous National, South American, and Pan American Games titles and records. In the US (2000-present) Coach Mavi first coached at the University of North Dakota as the Head Swimming and Diving Coach (2000-09), where he was voted the NCAA DII Coach of the Year, earned the status of ASCA Level 5, and his teams and swimmers won 32 individual and relays NCAA National titles, breaking 6 National records, and placed his team twice as the runner-up at a NCAA National Championship.

In 2009 changed to be a USA Club coach. Since then, have had a couple of his swimmers going to USA Senior and Junior National Championship, having his swimmers “moving on” to some of the best Swim Team colleges in the US: Louisville, Kentucky, Xavier, Florida Atlantic, Air Force, etc.
 
Coaching Philosophy: Coach Mavi says that he is a technique/detail-oriented coach: “everything my swimmers do during practice has a reason”. He likes to see his swimmers coming out of races with a “I think I did a great job” smile. There is no time to waste during a practice: “PERFECT practice makes it perfect”. But that doesn’t mean that games and fun stuff will never be done; they are all part of a well-balanced planning (hard work and “fun” stuff). He adds: “in competitive swimming, having fun is swimming fast. Let’s work towards that”.

Married with Ana, and a PROUD father (as he describes) of Manuela (26) a former D1 swimmer who is now a nurse at the Outer Banks, NC, and Mariana (24) who lives in Los Angeles and is a Musical Engineer.