Andrea Valoppi

Head Coach, 13 and older programs

Andrea has been coaching artistic swimming for over ten years in Northern California and Colorado.  She has coached many young athletes to various national championship titles and national team appointments during her career. 

 

Before coaching, Andrea’s synchro career began with Sac Synchro in Sacramento, California. While there she helped the team earn multiple titles and awards at Age Group, Junior and Senior Nationals, and numerous U.S. Opens. Deciding she wanted to further her knowledge and proficiency in synchro, Andrea moved to Santa Clara, California to train with the Santa Clara Aquamaids in 2005. While there she earned multiple national titles as well as placed in the top 8 at US National Team Trials.

 

Outside of coaching, Andrea has performed with the synchronized swimming group ‘Aqualillies’ and has appeared in music videos, commercials, and TV shows. She studied art in London and later, biology at UC Berkeley. Andrea loves reading, listening to podcasts, being outside, hanging out with her three cats and of course, swimming. 

 

Andrea is excited to share her knowledge and experience with Splash and help the athletes grow beyond their perceived potential. She strives to teach athletes to not only become the best artistic swimmers they can be but also to become the best people they can be.

Johanna Jaquith

10 and Under Coach

 

Johanna began swimming at the age of 9 in the Rocky Mountain Summer Synchro League with Crestmoor Community Association.  She immediately fell in love with the sport and spent the next 10 years competing.  She consistently won medals in her Team, Duet, Trio, and Solo events and was a part of the record-breaking team in 2001. 

 

After graduating high school Johanna went on to swim for Miami of Ohio and attended the Collegiate Nationals in 2004 where she placed 5th in the Figure competition. 

 

Johanna began coaching at the age of 19 when she was made the head coach for Skyline Acres.  In addition to coaching at Splash, she has continued to coach for Skyline in the summer leading the team from their chronic last place seat in the league to regularly being in medal contention, taking age group trophies and, this last year, winning all their figure meets. 

Johanna also competes in Artistic Swimming's Masters competitions as an integral member of the 8-man SplashMasters team!

 

Johanna graduated in 2005 with her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and has since earned her Master's in Counseling from Regis University.  Johanna is also a professional actress and has performed at various theaters around Denver and Chicago.

Camille Merrick

Pre-Competition Coach

 

Camille comes to Splash with over 11 years of swimming experience in the summer league program. She started coaching routines in 2013 as a junior coach at Skyline Acres and ascended to full-time assistant coach in 2017. 

Camille coaches Splash's Pre-Competitive team where beginning swimmers learn the fundamentals of artistic swimming and the camaraderie that a team sport offers. She loves being able to pass on her passion and help young women learn the foundations of artistic swimming.

Ashley Romney

11-12 Assistant Coach

 

Ashley started swimming with Splash at age 9 and competed for 7 years. In 2017, at the apex of her career, she qualified for Phase 3 of the 13-15 National Team Trials and placed in the top 20 at Junior Olympics in the Figure competition. In that same year, she took 1st place in Figures, Duet and Team at the North Zones Championship and she took home the 13-15 High Point Athlete award. At Junior Olympics, her Team routine placed 7th and her Duet placed 9th in Finals. In 2018, her Junior Duet placed 4th at Junior Olympics. Ashley consistently performed at a high level qualifying for Junior Olympics in 6 out of her 7 competitive years. Ashley transitioned to coaching to share her passion and her technical skills. She loves seeing the excitement that younger swimmers have for the sport. In addition to coaching with Splash, Ashley also coaches for Crestmoor Community Association in the Rocky Mountain Summer Synchro League.

Kendra Roberts

Head Coach, 12 and under programs

 

Kendra began swimming at 9 years old, when her best friend brought her to a Splash practice to "just try it." She immediately fell in love with the sport.

 

She competed for 10 years. During that time she attended 8 National Age Group Championships and 1 U.S. National Championship.

 

Kendra graduated in 2011 and began her coaching career with Splash shortly after.

 

Kendra's favorite part about coaching is watching the swimmers grow -- gaining strength and confidence -- throughout the season.

Lea Cortez

Novice Coach

 

Lea started swimming at Splash when she was 8 years old. She swam for 8 years before deciding to end her competition career and begin coaching Splash’s lesson program.

 

Throughout her time at Splash, Lea competed in several North Zone Championships, U.S National competitions, and Junior Olympic Championships consistently placing among the top in the country.

 

During the summer, Lea continues to coach the lesson program and is the head coach for SplashMasters (Splash's Masters team) who took home first at their latest competition in October.

 

During the competitive season, Lea coaches Splash’s Novice Team. She absolutely loves working with and coaching her girls, and couldn’t imagine a world where she didn’t! 

 

Lea graduated from Eaglecrest High School in 2019, and is currently majoring in  psychology to become a sports psychologist. 

Erika Stewart

13-15 Assistant Coach

Erika began artistic swimming at age 8 with the Synchro-Maids of Central Massachusetts. She swam with the Synchro-Maids for 10 years, competing at the local, regional, and national levels. She attended Northeastern University, where she played on the women’s club water polo team for 5 years. She also coached and taught speed swimming as well as artistic swimming, and had the opportunity to train one-on-one with an artistic swim coach while studying abroad in Russia. Erika graduated from Northeastern in 2018 with a degree in Linguistics and minors in Spanish and Russian, and currently works at a nonprofit that provides literacy intervention for elementary school students. She is so excited to be in Colorado, and especially to be with Splash, coaching the sport she loves!

Aria Zhou

11-12 Assistant Coach

 

Aria began swimming at the age of 6 with Rocky Mountain Splash. She swam for 9 years and loved every moment of it. In the last few years of her athletic career, she placed 1st in Team at the North Zone Championships (2018), 9th in Team at US Nationals (2018), 12th in Team at Junior Olympics (2018), and 11th in Figures at the North Zone Championships (2019). Although she loved swimming, Aria chose to leave her competitive career in pursuit of a coaching career where she could pass on her passion for artistic swimming to younger athletes as well. She loves working with younger kids and creating a special bond with each and every one of them. As a current student at Cherry Creek High School, and with most of her life having been involved in the artistic swimming community, Aria has found a second family with Splash that holds a special place in her heart. Aria can’t wait to continue coaching and has loved all the memories and skills that have come with it! 

Layla Smith

Assistant Coach

 

Beginning when she was 5 years old, Layla began exploring speed swimming, gymnastics, ice skating, theater and dance. She discovered synchronized swimming at the age of 8 and was fascinated by the sport because it combined so many things that she loved – movement, water, athleticism, performance, and music. 

 

At age 16, she moved to Santa Clara, CA to pursue synchronized swimming at an elite level. She qualified for the U.S. National Team at age nineteen, was a member of 5 U.S. national championship teams, and competed in international competitions all over the world.  

 

Layla was recruited to participate in a workshop with the show Le Reve in Las Vegas in 2010.  She accepted and soon after was hired as an artist. She went on to train as an artist for Cirque du Soleil in Montreal, and joined the cast of ‘O’ in 2013.  

Currently Layla works for C5, a performance company based in Chicago.  She is part of their artistic team, and she helps to create and install new circus shows on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.  She also coaches for Rocky Mountain Splash, and absolutely loves being a part of the coaching staff and working with all of the athletes.

Marina Popovych

Ballet Coach

 

Marina began competitive rhythmic gymnastics at the age of 5. She was a candidate for Master of Sports of Ukraine (equals level 9 in USA gymnastics system). Marina graduated from the National University of Physical Education and Sports of Ukraine in 2012 with a major in Rhythmic Gymnastics Coaching. She has worked as a rhythmic gymnastics coach in Ukraine, Japan, and USA for the past eight years and is a USA Gymnastics certified member and a judge. Alongside her gymnastics training, she studied classical ballet (Vaganova method) for four years under the highly regarded and recognized ballet teacher, Igor Taranushenko. She also studied contemporary and jazz from the top teachers in Ukraine. Certified in Progressive Ballet Technique.  

Emma Daddario

Flexibility Coach

 

As part of training for artistic swimming, it is imperative to exercise flexibility and strength. Splash is proud to include Coach Emma as part of the coaching staff. Coach Emma trains the girls on stretching technique and exercises to encourage flexibility safely.

Lori Eaton

Nutritionist and Mental Coach

 

Splash is proud to offer twice monthly sessions for their competitive teams with a professional nutritionist to assist swimmers with maintaining an athletic lifestyle. Group sessions focus on understanding which foods are best for an athletic lifestyle and which foods are more difficult to process. The goal is not to monitor the athletes' food intake, but to educate them on best practices for competitive swimmers.

 

Splash understands the importance of mental health as well as physical health. To assist our athletes in learning how to be in the right "mind space" for practice and for competition, our competitive athletes participate in group mental exercises twice monthly. During these sessions, swimmers discuss mental road blocks they're experiencing and strategize ways to overcome these obstacles.

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