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Coaches & Directors

Santa Barbara Swim Club Coaching Staff

We are here to support your needs. If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs, please contact one of the coaches. For all questions related to administrative, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please contact the office at swimoffice@sbswim.net.

Coaching Staff

Mark David Warkentin

Head Coach

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Coach Mark assumed the role of head coach at SBSC on December 1st 2012.   He previously coached locally for San Marcos High School, La Cumbre Country Club and SBAC.  He also acted as a volunteer coach for the UCSB collegiate program under head coach Gregg Wilson between 2004 and 2009.

Mark began his swimming career in Santa Barbara with SBSC in the late 1980's.  As an age group swimmer he broke 3 Southern California Swimming records, was a member of the USA Swimming National Jr. Team, a 4 time CIF champion and was a finalist at the 1996 Olympic Trials in the 400 Freestyle.  Over the next 10 years Mark competed at National competitions as a finalist in events ranging from the 200 to the 1500 free and the 400 IM.  Mark competed for the USA National team as a member of the Goodwill Games team and the World University Games Team winning multiple gold medals.  In 2006 he transitioned to Open Water Swimming and was a National team member for 4 years, earning a Silver Medal at the World Championships in the 25k in 2008.  Mark's competitive career culminated with an 8th place finish at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 10k. Coach Mark also raced in open water events in the Amazon River, around Manhatten Island and throughout Croatia.

Coach Mark is the Coaches rep for the Coastal Section committee and is in his 5th full year of coaching at the USA Swimming level.  He is very excited to help SBSC athletes achieve their own greatest success in the pool.

Mark and his wife Diana have two boys.

John Abrami

PM Masters Coach, Assistant Coach

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Coach AB has been coaching for over 26 years.   He has coached at every level from beginning age swimmer to the senior national level.  At the LSC level coach AB has been an All-Star coach, Zone Coach, served on the board of directors, Coach of the Year and led his team to the LSC championship.  Coach AB has also coached Masters swimming for 26 years.  During that time he has coached world ranked masters swimmers, world ranked triathletes and a Masters National Championship. 

Coach AB believes that perfecting technique and developing a strong aerobic base is the key to success in any swimming event.   He believes that improving the small details of starts, turns, and stroke technique along with consistent training will led to fast swimming.  Swimming is a great sport; the attributes you need to succeed in swimming are the same ones you need to succeed in life.  Being involved in swimming can’t help but make you a better person. 

JJ Jones

Head Age Group Coach, AM Masters Coach

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Coach JJ grew up in Hemet, California where he swam for the Hemet Valley Dolphins from the time he was eight years old until leaving for college. He swam in college at U.C. Santa Cruz where he was conference finalist in the 500 free two years in a row. After graduation from U.C. Santa Cruz in 1998 with a B.A. in History, he helped coach the swim team for five years. As the assistant swim coach for U.C. Santa Cruz JJ coached the distance group and the 400 I.M.ers; out of this group, seven All-American swims were produced. While coaching for the University JJ also coached for the USS swim team in the area, Cabrillo Threshers. At Cabrillo the junior group and the pre-senior group were his primary focus. While coaching the college students and the age group swimmers Coach JJ also coached for Santa Cruz Masters. Coach JJ moved to Santa Barbara in 2004 and is the Advanced Age Group Coach at Los Banos as well as the morning Masters coach.

Coach JJ is currently entering his 11th year coaching for Santa Barbara Swim Club. During his tenure he has coached many SBSC swimmers to success. Many of his swimmers have made various Southern California All-Star teams such as, Pacific Coast All-Stars, the North American Challenge Cup (NACC) and Festival. ASCA Level 3. JJ was appointed to coach at the 2007 Western Zone Select Camp. JJ for the past 10 years has coached Western Zones (2005-2006) and  the North American Challenge Cup (NACC) (2007-2014) for Southern California Swimming. All these levels of swimming have taught JJ a lot about coaching the sport and about life in general. Coach JJ enjoys reading and watching movies in his spare time and would like to see how far his coaching can take him.  Coach JJ lives in Santa Barbara with his wife Sarah who is a lecturer in the writing program at U.C. Santa Barbara.

Micaela Velasquez

Gold Coach

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Coach Micaela fell in love with the water when she began her competitive swimming career at the age of 6. Her love of the water transcribed from the swimming pool to the ocean as she grew up enjoying the beach, surfing with her dad, and countless hours in the pool.

She was a 4-year Varsity member of the Valencia High School swim team and Team Captain her senior year. It was during her high school years that she began to see her hard work and dedication to the sport of swimming pay off. As a 4-year CIF Finalist and 2-time member of the USA Swimming Scholastic All-America Team, Micaela set her goal of swimming at the collegiate level.

Micaela swam for the University of California, Santa Barbara from 2011 until she graduated in 2015 with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Sociology with a minor in Women, Culture, and Development. During her career as a Gaucho, Micaela was a major contributor to the team as she was a 4-year Conference team member and finalist. Throughout her college swimming career Micaela swam the Freestyle events of 100, 200, 500, 1000, mile, and was a part of the 4 x100 and 4 x 200 Freestyle Relays during the dual meet season and at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Conference meets. She was voted Team Captain of the Women’s swim team by her peers and coaches for the 2014-2015 season, during which she lead the team to a historic year and acted as a mentor and leader to the team and potential recruits. 

During her last 2 years at UCSB Micaela coached the Junior Varsity Boys and Girls Swim Teams at Dos Pueblos High School. After graduation she relocated responsibilities to San Marcos where she was the Assistant Women’s Swim Coach.  She helped coach the SM team to a League Championship and a fourth place finish at CIF Finals.

During this past swim season she also coached the Women’s Swim Team at Santa Barbara City College. The Vaqueros posted their highest finish ever with a fourth place showing in the State Swimming & Diving Championships. During her year as Assistant Coach, Micaela helped guide the women’s team to setting 10 school records and SBCC went 41-1 in dual meets and won their 2nd straight WSC Championships.

Currently Micaela works at Mad Fitness Santa Barbara as a fitness trainer, spin instructor, and gym manager. Focusing on corrective and preventative therapy combined with strength and conditioning programing, Micaela specializes in working with athletes of all ages and levels. 

Corinne Taylor

Swim School Coach UCSB

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Corinne Taylor is a junior at UCSB majoring in Biology. She started her swimming career when she was 6 years old and continued to swim competitively until she was 18. She swam for Hillside Aquatics, Red Hill Country Club and for her high school team all four years. Corinne is a swim instructor for the UCSB aquatics program as well as a lifeguard at the recreation center. She has coached swimming for four years now and is excited to be joining the SBSC team. 

Morgan K Ingle

Swim School Coach

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Coach Morgan grew up in Mansfield, Texas and swam with varsity all through high-school. She qualified as an All-American swimmer 4 years in a row and competed at the Texas State Championships in three of her high school seasons. Coach Morgan started teaching swim lessons in 2010 and began coaching for the YMCA in 2013. After attending school in northern California, she moved to Santa Barbara to work with Mission Isla Vista in July of 2015 and then joined the SBSC team in January of 2017.
Coach  Morgan  loves the combination of competitive swimming and still having fun while doing it. It parallels with being able to really enjoy life while still moving forward and constantly working to grow and challenge yourself. This is her first year of coaching USA swimming and is working primarily with the Turtle and Dolphin groups.

Alysa Velasquez

Swim School Coach

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Alysa continues to pursue her passion for the water as a swim coach for Santa Barbara Swim Club! She currently attends UCSB where she is pursuing a baccalaureate degree in Sociology, a minor degree in Education, and a certification in Health & Wellness. In hopes of becoming an Athletic Counselor, Alysa will be pursuing her teaching credentials and a Masters of Education degree. With her educational and athletic knowledge, Alysa specializes in adolescent development and knows how to motivate and challenge young athletes as well as promoting fitness, nutrition, and mental health.

Alysa’s greatest joy is helping young swimmers grow athletically, mentally, and socially. She is a firm believer that swimming helps athletes mature into independent young adults and helps develop exceptional leadership skills for their future. She believes it is crucial to create a happy and fun swim environment where swimmers can metamorphose into strong and talented athletes. 

Chris Smithour

Swim School Coach

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Coach Chris joined the SBSC Coaching Staff in July of 2017, and has enjoyed working with the team’s younger athletes ever since. He brings nine years of swimming experience and one year of coaching experience from his hometown, Fairfield, CA,  in the San Francisco Bay Area. During his swimming career, Coach Chris swam with his local club team, the Solano Aquatic Sea Otters (SASO), starting at the age of 8. While swimming with SASO, he was a multi-event finalist at the Junior Olympics. He also swam with the Varsity Swim Team at Rodriguez High School for four years, where he qualified for the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Championships as a relay swimmer and individual event qualifier. Coach Chris specialized in the distance events (500, 1000, 1650) as well as the short access strokes (Breaststroke and Butterfly) while he was swimming competitively.  

After three years of stepping away from the swimming community, he returned as an Assistant Senior Coach with SASO for one year, where he helped send athletes to the Junior Olympics and Sectional Championships. Later, one of those athletes would qualify for the Winter Junior Nationals and Futures Championships in 2017.  

Coach Chris is currently a fourth year undergraduate student at UC Santa Barbara, majoring in Sociology with a Minor in Asian American Studies. Throughout his college career, Chris has had a history in public service to the student body as well as the Santa Barbara Community. He has been a student leader in the Filipino American and Asian American community for the past three years, and was an intern at the Santa Barbara County Education Office in conjunction with the non-profit organization, Partners in Education. He is currently working with SCPASA (Southern California Pilipino American Student Alliance) as a board member, and AAPIC UCSB (Asian American Pacific Islander Coalition UCSB) as the organization’s president. He also continues to swim with the Master’s Program.  

Coach Chris hopes to instill the lessons and positive qualities from his experiences as an athlete, a coach, and a community builder into his athletes as he continues to work with SBSC. He understands that it’s important to address each athlete’s needs differently, and is excited to explore the different avenues that SBSC’s athletes will take him on. He also knows that SBSC’s job is to not only produce great athletes, but great individuals, and he’s ecstatic to be apart of that process. You’ll see Coach Chris working primarily with the team’s novice groups, and will periodically substitute for other coaches when necessary.

 
Board of Directors

Sara Ellis

Treasurer

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Lance Depew

Vice President

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Paul A Castleberg

President

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Tom Hopkins

Board Member

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Lucia Eickert

Secretary

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Christopher Roderick

Board Member

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Matt Struckmeyer

Board Member

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Owen Terence Rybnicek

Board Member

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Marci A Steelman

Board Member

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