Ron Aitken

 Head Coach & CEO

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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

 

• 2011-19 USA National Team Coach

• 2017-19 Multiple USA National Team Members

2009-2019, Eleven (11) 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

• 2x USA Swimming Development Coach of Year, Highest Award Achieved by 18 & Under results that a coach can achieve

• 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

• 2016, 2012, 2008, 2000 Olympic Trial 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

 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

 Lindsey Leeming

 Head Site Coach - YMCA

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Coach Lindsey was born and raised in Las Vegas. As a kid you could always find Lindsey in her grandparent’s backyard 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 the beginner level in early 2002. After graduating from Cimarron in 2002, Lindsey swam for two years with UNLV.

 

Lindsey currently coaches our Sandpiper Centennial YMCA groups in the northwest Las Vegas area which continues to grow and feed into our NAG group. She also coaches the Senior II group.

 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.

 Thomas Farrell

 Coach

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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. Thomas 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 thanks to 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 focus on improving swimmers of all abilities, as well as to give life lessons that they can take with them outside the pool.

 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.

 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.

 Dwight Gravley

 Coach

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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

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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.

 Felicia Zamora

 Coach

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Coach Felicia started swimming for the City of Santa Fe Seals at 5 years old. At age 8, she was 9th in the nation in the 200 IM. To this day, Felicia holds two 10 & Under New Mexico State Records. For High School, she swam for Albuquerque High School and was 2013 Metro State Champion in the 100 Breast and 2013 Captain of the Women's team. During this time, she was also a member of the Vipers of Albuquerque Swim Team. For College, Felicia swam at California State University Bakersfield 2013 - 2017. She went to Conference Championships all 4 years and, as a Senior, made the all-time top 5 in the 400 IM record board for CSUB. She specialized in 400 IM, 200IM and 200 Back, and filled in where ever was needed for dual meets.

While she was still in high school, Felicia started coaching stroke school swimmers. In college, she started Club coaching for Roadrunner Aquatics and coached their Junior Olympics swimmers for 5 years. Felicia graduated from CSUB with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Exercise Science. After graduation, she started coaching at the collegiate level, helping CSUB Coach Chris Hansen with his group, and attending Conference as a coach. 

In 2019, Felicia moved to Las Vegas to be closer to her family in Santa Fe, New Mexico. One day at Desert Breeze, Felicia asked volunteers at a Sandpipers table if they needed help, and one thing led to another, bringing her to coach with Sandpipers. Felicia coaches Sandpipers Stroke School and Yellow 2,  helps with try-outs and admin work, and also works full time at Bodyline Swim Shop.

 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.

 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.
 

Ellen Bator

Coach

 

Coach Ellen recently moved to Las Vegas form Telluride, CO where she was Fitness Director for the Peak Resort and Spa, and coached swimming for the Telluride Torpedoes. Before Telluride, Ellen had the opportunity to coach fro 3 years for Flatiron Swimming and CAC Master Swim Team in Boulder, CO where she worked with a variety of athletes ranging from introductory level swimmers to Olympic Trials qualifiers and professional triathlets. Prior to her time in Boulder, she lived in Chicago, IL where she was Head Coach for the Irving Park YMCA Swim Team, coached for the Italian Olympic Committee Youth Games and also spent 3 years as the Assistant Men's and Women's Swimming Coach and Assisstant Aquatics Director for the University of Chicago.

While at University of Chicago, Ellen was awarded UAA Coaching Staff of the year, helped lead the team to 31 new school records, and the best NCAA finish in team history. She holds a Masters Degree in Sports Administration from Northwestern University and a BA in English from North Park Univesity where she ran Track & Filed and aslo founded, coached, and competed for the North Park University Swim Club. It's been 20 years since she got her start coaching swimming for the Salt Creek Park District in Palatine, IL; but Ellen looks forward to many more years of helping athletes achieve their goals and sustain their love for swimming.

 

Julia Fehervari

Coach

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Coach Julia was born and raised in Hungary where she began swimming at 7 years old. She grew in competitive swimming and made it onto her National Team where her hard work and dedication to the sport paid off and became a National Champion in the 50 free in 2010 at the age of 18. After graduating form high school, she made her way to the United States with scholarship to our very own UNLV (Go Rebels!). Throughout her collegiate career at UNLV (2012-2017), she competed in sprint events including the 50 and 100 freestyle. After her four years of being apart of the UNLV Swim and Dive Team, she continued with UNLV as a fifth year student assisstant getting coaching experience at a collegiate level.

Coach Julia earned her Bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management at UNLV. She later traveled and joined the Agustana University Swim Team Coaching Staff in 2019 as a Graduate Assisstant Coach and graduated with her Master's Degree in Sports Administration and Leadership. During that time, she also worked as an Assisstant Swim Coach for Sioux Falls Swim Team for a year working with competitive swimmers ranging form 9-13 years old.

 

 Eli Tanimoto

 Stroke Master

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