CVAC Coaches

Coaching Staff
Eric Landon Head Coach/Senior Coach

While swimming in college, Eric started coaching for various summer clubs in the Cincinnati area in 1994. Since then, he has coached high school and year round programs in Florida, Ohio, and in Virginia. He has served as a develomental coach, age group coach, Head Age Group Coach and Head Senior Coach for various programs. During that time, he has helped three teams to more than triple in enrollment. Additionally, Eric has coached hundreds of swimmers to age group championship level and Senior State Championship level meets. He has coached swimmers to reach Junior National, Senior National, and Olympic Trial time standards. While coaching, Eric has also served as a Site Coordinator for Swim America, teaching lessons and overseeing several other instructors within the program.

Carina Masson Head Age Group Coach/Meet Coordinator

Coach Carina is our Head Age Group and Administrative Coach, primarily coaching the morning option for select White Group and Red Group Swimmers. She is proud to be a part of the Cyclones! She has a passion for coaching with a focus on instilling proper technique and a love for swimming in every athlete. She believes in creating a positive culture and sense of belonging for every athlete and their family. She most recently served as head coach for the Larkspur Lasers summer team in Virginia Beach. She has experience coaching year round age group level and was a Virginia Swimming Zones coach for 2 years.

Carina started swimming competitively at age 11 and ranked top in the state throughout her career, still holding records for her hometown team. Coach Carina was also copetitive in soccer and track. She received a full swimming and academic scholarship to a Division I university. She still swims competitively today and is the holder of statewide age group records for Virginia Masters Swimming. Carina is also a registered nurse for a local hospital. Carina enjoys being active and outdoors with her family. She is married to a Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician and is the mother of four swimmers, two of which swim for the Cyclones. 

Cassondre Wilburn Lead Junior Coach, Lead Red Group

Cassondre is the lead coach to Red group, assisting and accomplished in all levels of training from age group to senior level swimmers. She started in competitive swim in the early 80’s. She swam both on a competitive team (starlit) and high school (Bishop Ireland). She competed at the college level at Old Dominion University. She earned several honors both academically and athletically. She graduated from Old Dominion University with a major in Therapeutic Recreation and double minor in Psychology and Sociology. She received her masters degree from NSU in Early Education. She then got her certification for personal training and worked for the Virginia Beach Rec for several years as a personal trainer. She was a professional IFPA bodybuilder and competed in several triathlons. She started coaching early with Evergreen Country Club in Haymarket, VA. She developed the team from nothing to winning several meets.

She moved to Virginia Beach and started coaching with Tidewater Aquatic Club on the dryland side assisting Coach Cassell. She then went on to coach the age group program. Developing swimmers from basic water safety skills to national level competitors. She then left TAC to coach with East Coast Aquatic Team. There she coached the age group athletes and was in charge of the dryland program. While on ECAT, she sent swimmers to age groups and to zones. She is currently coaching First Colonial High School women’s and men’s team. Last year the women finished as runner up for the 6A state meet. She loves the sport of swimming because every swimmer is capable of learning to be the best of their ability. Even if not an Olympic swimmer, it is still important to understand the sport. She cares about every swimmer no matter their ability. She wants the swimmers to be honest and communicate with the coaches because it teaches them responsibility. She is married to Keenan Wilburn and has one son, Cason, who will be attends the University of Notre Dame with a swimming scholarship. 

Eric Zank Lead White Group, Assistant Green Group

Coach Eric Zank is our lead White Group coach for the 2021-2022 season and Assistant Green Group coach. Coch Eric started his swimming career when he was 13 and swam all through high school. He started coaching summer league after high school and has continued ever since with the Larkspur Lasers. He was recently promited to head coach of the Lasers this summer, leading them to be first in their division! Eric enjoys keeping up with new ways to instill proper technique in all athletes and build them from developmental level up to age group level athletes. He currently attends Old Dominion University for Accounting. He enjoys making practice and competition as fun as he can and motivate athletes to be excited about swimming. Eric is excited to be a part of the Cyclones!

Marilyn Rowell Senior Assistant

Marilyn began swimming competitively in Jacksonville, Florida. She has swam on a club team since she was little and was a 4-year varsity swimmer and captain at Episcopal School of Jacksonville. She qualified and placed at many high level meets and went on to swim at the collegiate level. She graduated with a degree in Environmental Science and traveled for the non-profit organization, Zeta Tau Alpha, for two years. She eventually found her way to Virginia Beach where she coached a local club team and two VBSL teams, Indian Lakes and Club Brittany. She currently works for an IT company as a Procurement Agent and is the Head Coach of the Swim and Dive Team at Salem High School.   Marilyn has numerous certifications and has experience with private lessons, summer swim camps, underprivileged youth programs, and has even coached the Special Olympics in Alabama.  She was even recently selected to coach the Virginia IMX Select Camp alongside the VT Assistant Coach.  Animal Planet’s Shark Week is her favorite week of the year and she loves to spend time trying new foods. 

Elizabeth Ward Lead Green Group, Assistant White Group

Coach  Elizabeth is the lead Green Group coach for the 2021-2022 season and assistant White Group coach. She started swimming competitively when she was 5 years old on her summer league swim team. At the age of 13 she joined Old Dominion Aquatic Club and swam all 4 years in high school where she went to States. In college, she was a Division 1 swimmer for Old Dominion University where she majored in Marine Biology. Currently she works for Old Dominion University as a Water Quality Scientist and is getting her Master’s Degree in Environmental Management and Sustainability. She is happy to be a part of the Cyclones coaching staff! 

Steve Cassell Senior Assistant

Coach Cassell has been a Virginia Swim coach since 1994 and brings to the cyclone deck a vast knowledge of coaching swimming at all levels and experience....In his career of coaching he has coached Senior National, Junior National and Olympic trial qualifiers as well as high school All Americans...Cassell was previously the head age group coach as well as senior coach for teams in Virginia and produced some of the fastest swimmers in the state.  His enthusiasm on deck is what gets Cyclone swimmers excited about practice as well as meets and training in general.  He is easy to recognize on the deck because he is always smiling because he has been blessed to motivate and train competitive swimmers....

Hanna Pennington White and Green Group Assistant

Hanna is an assistant developmental and age group coach for the 2021-2022 season. She started swimming at age 4 and competitively swam for 13 years before graduating high school. She also coaches the Larkspur Lasers summer league swim team. She is a senior at Old Dominion University, studying to become a Special Education teacher. She is happy to be a part of the CVAC Cyclones!