April 5, 2011

Our Coaches

KARA PURVES – Co-Owner / Head Coach

Kara grew up in Benicia, CA, and obtained her B.A. in Psychology at Dominican University of San Rafael. Before CrossFit, Kara was involved in soccer, volleyball, and swimming, and later found triathlons and running. She competed in several half marathons and sprint and Olympic-distance triathlons.  After college, Kara ventured into mountain biking (Which is how she met her husband, Spencer!), snowboarding, and half-Ironmans.

While she has been active all her life, Kara was still always looking for that extra something. Every sport and activity eventually led her into a rut, which made Kara bounce around from sport to sport, until finally she found CrossFit. The search was over, and Kara’s eyes were opened to an entirely new and better way of training. The challenges, functional movements, constantly varied workouts, and strong camaraderie gained through CrossFit had hooked Kara, and made the rest of her activities more enjoyable and satisfying.

Kara has been involved in CrossFit and Olympic Weightlifting since 2009.  After only her first year of CrossFitting, Kara fell in love with the philosophy of CrossFit and obtained her Level I Certification so that she could share her passion with others.  In May 2012, Kara also became a mother, and setting a great example for her daughter (And other future children) is now priority #1 – Living a healthy, active lifestyle!

Kara’s philosophy is, “Quality Over Quantity!” When you train with intensity and quality, you can achieve a lot more in a lot less time. Kara strongly believes in making every second and every rep count – if you’re going to do it, do it right, and make it worthwhile!  With 10+ years of coaching and teaching experience, Kara finds nothing more rewarding than positively influencing another person’s life, especially in physical activity!

Check out her personal blog, “The Barbell Diaires” at: http://thebarbelldiaries.com/

  • B.A. Psychology, Psi Chi Honors, Dominican University of CA
  • Multiple Subject Teacher Credential, Dominican University of CA
  • Level 2 CrossFit
  • Mobility WOD
  • USAW Weightlifting
  • CrossFit Kids
  • Crossroads Adaptive Athletic Alliance

 

SPENCER PURVES – Co-Owner / Coach

Spencer originates from Hudson, OH, and obtained his B.A. in Economics at Hamilton College in Upstate NY. He was an avid hockey player and runner, and after college Spencer moved to Chicago, where he became involved in triathlons and long distance cycling.  As fun as riding from Chicago to Wisconsin was, the opportunity arose to move to the Bay Area for work. With skiing, mountain biking, and surfing available all in a winter weekend in California, it was the perfect move for Spencer’s busy body.

Once settled in San Francisco, he began training and competing in Ultra marathons and triathlons, including the North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Miler where he qualified for the Western States 100. Though he found these pursuits enjoyable, Spencer was still looking for an extra challenge, something that would push him beyond the norms. He was introduced to CrossFit at the same time as Kara and, like her, fell in love with the constantly varied, high intensity workouts. The training was, and continues to be, an excellent addition to his active lifestyle.

CrossFit also gives athletes a chance to compete in CrossFit-specific fitness, and Spencer has embraced that aspect, as well, by competing in several throwdowns and competitions. Spencer appreciates the aspects of CrossFit, the CrossFit athlete, and the athlete using CrossFit to help their other pursuits. He enjoys working with his clients to reach their goals, whether it be standing on the podium at a throwdown, being able to ski all day and still have energy left over, or simply to keep up with their kids.

  • B.A. Economics, Cum Laude, Hamilton College
  • Level 2 CrossFit
  • Mobility WOD
  • USAW Weightlifting
  • CrossFit Kids

 

IAN KROHNFELDT ~ Asst. Head Coach

Ian moved from Laguna Beach to Santa Cruz to pursue a B.A. of Environmental Studies. He was active in many sports growing up. Whether it was ocean swimming, skateboarding, snowboarding, cycling, hiking or playing soccer, he simply loved being outside.

Years of participating in all types of sports cemented his passion for functional fitness. And finally when he found CrossFit, it was a match made in heaven. He quickly dove head first into the CrossFit mentality of eat well, be active, be happy.

Ian’s positive and laid back attitude makes him approachable and easy to be around, and he’s a great workout buddy!  He especially loves anything with the barbell, and thoroughly enjoys lifting heavy weights.  Ian is passionate about learning, and often uses his free time to listen to podcasts or read books and scientific articles on anything health and fitness related.  He has a wealth of knowledge to share with us, as well as an open mind to engage in meaningful conversations.

  • B.A. in Environmental Studies
  • Level 1 CrossFit
  • USAW Sports Performance Coach

 

JENNY KAWAKAMI ~ Coach

Jenny is currently a student at San Francisco State University in Business, has her AA degree in Health Education, and is a high school graduate from Northgate High in Walnut Creek.

Jenny started CrossFit a little over 4 years ago at Diablo CrossFit, and instantly fell in love with the community aspect, as well as the competition side!  Jenny was a basketball and volleyball player all through high school and college at Diablo Valley College, and is a Hall of Fame Inductee for both sports.  She now gets her competition fix through CrossFit competitions, both individually and team.

Jenny is a natural leader, extremely self-driven and motivated, and loves to see other succeed.  She’s quick on her feet, efficient, and highly adaptable, which make her a very versatile and well-rounded coach.  Her sincere personality and warm smile make her approachable, while her level of ability and performance make her effective and influential.  She practices what she preaches, and brings a whole new level of quality and integrity to our CF707 family.

  • Level 1 CrossFit
  • AA Health Education, Diablo Valley College
  • Current SFSU Student for Business

 

ARIANA MCKINNEY ~ Coach

Ariana started CrossFit at CrossFit Santa Cruz a couple years back, and then moved up here to Benicia, and lucky for us, she found CrossFit 707 to continue her CrossFit journey!  Ariana comes with a Cellular, Molecular, & Developmental Biology background from the University of CA Santa Cruz, and has a wonderful understanding of the human body and athletics.  She is constantly curious and eager to learn, and loves the challenges of coaching and competing.  She brings an optimistic attitude to the table, with an open mind and fun-loving sense of humor.  We are excited and thrilled to have her energy and strong presence in the gym!

  • B.S. Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental Biology, University of CA Santa Cruz
  • Level 1 CrossFit

 

 

JOHNITA LANNI-CRADIT ~ Coach 

Johnita found CrossFit in 2013, and has progressed over the years into a competitive athlete and weightlifter.  She is most impressive in Olympic lifting!  Before CrossFit, Johnita was a competitive Equestrian for many years, which explains her easy transition into weightlifting and CrossFit, especially in squatting. She brings a sharp eye and deep love for lifting weights, and has a way of empowering and inspiring women of all ages and abilities.

Johnita also has a love for animals, and studied Animal Science at UC Davis.  She has a drive for further education and helping people reach their potential, and is currently pursuing a career in Firefighting.

  • Animal Science, UC Davis
  • Level 1 CrossFit
  • USAW Sports Performance Coach

 

PAUL MARTIN ~ Coach

Paul joined Crossfit 707 in November 2010, and realized that competition was just in his blood…Competition with himself, that is!  A self-described type “A” personality, Paul thrives on doing the best he possibly can in every facet of his life.  Competition with himself is just who he is.

Paul enjoys triathlons, running events, water sports, and anything outdoors, and uses his “functional fitness” to live life to the fullest!

Paul brings his enthusiasm for teaching and helping others become the best CrossFitter they can be to each workout.  As a Masters level athlete (age 40+), Paul is especially on the lookout for safety in lifting and encourages workouts to be done as intensely as possible without sacrificing form and technique and risking injury.

Paul is also a Board Certified Head and Neck Surgeon.  Doctor by day, CrossFitter by night, and SuperDad every second!

  • Level 1 CrossFit
  • B.S. Cal State Hayward
  • M.D. Loma Linda University

CHRIS COWAN ~ Coach

Chris is a pastor at Hillcrest Baptist Church in Vallejo, and a mortician.  Let that sink in for a moment.  When first meeting Chris, however, it doesn’t take long for you to see why he is so perfect for those two jobs.  His heart is bigger than the ocean, and his passion for life is deep and real.  This man literally “Practices what he preaches,” and appreciates everything life brings.

Chris was one of our very first clients back in August 2010, when we were just a small group of people working out at the local parks with a few dumbbells and a little stereo.  He was instantly hooked, and has been by our side ever since!  His work ethic in the gym is inspiring, and his energy level is infectious.  You can’t help but be pumped and excited around him.  He has made incredible gains since his first day with us, proving that age really is just a number, and you can do anything you set your mind to.  Chris even finds joy in Masters competitions.

After a few years of CrossFit under his belt, Chris finally took the next step and got his Level I Certification, and is now currently Interning/Coaching at CF707!  Chris is one of those people who just by being around him, it makes you want to be a better person.  We are very fortunate to have such a good man in our CF707 family!

  • Level 1 CrossFit
  • Theology, Golden Gate Seminary
  • Apologetics, Trinity Theological Seminary
  • AA Degree, San Francisco College of Mortuary Science

ROBB TROST ~ Coach

A Milwaukee, Wisconsin native, Robb brings a lot of personality to the mix!  After obtaining his B.A. in Business Marketing, Robb dove right in to the business world making his mark, and is currently a Business Development Director.  He is a loving father of two awesome kids, and husband to our CF707 athlete, Alicia Trost.  He also coaches his son’s basketball team this year!

Robb found CrossFit back in April 2012, and hasn’t looked back since then!  He came looking for a new challenge, something to kick him back into gear…Something that kind of scared him, but in a good way…And, he found all of that, and more, at CrossFit.  After his first workout he was completely sold, and since then, he has gained so much more strength, power, flexibility, and confidence, and has even been training harder this year for competitions.  Robb has competed in individual, partner, and team competitions, including the NorCal Masters his first time this year!

After a couple of years under his belt, Robb finally took the plunge in getting his Level I Certification, and is now finding out what it’s like on “the other side.”  But, if you didn’t know it, you’d think he’s been here for years!  His ease with words, and very likable personality make him very charismatic and fun.  He is very comfortable with people, and his love for CrossFit and helping others is obvious in his actions.

  • Level 1 CrossFit
  • B.A. Business Marketing, University of Phoenix

 

IMG_1104 CARL LITTORNO ~ Coach

Carl grew up in Clayton, CA and is the youngest of 4 kids.  He played sports all his life through school, including basketball, baseball, track, soccer, and football.  After high school, he began his journey to become a firefighter in San Diego at EMT school.  After EMT, Carl went to Paramedic school while working as an LVN with the Mt. Diablo Unified School District.  For 7 years, he worked as a Paramedic with American Medical Response in Contra Costa County and the San Francisco Fire Department.  Carl also obtained his B.S. in Psychology at Columbia Southern University.  In 2009, he accepted a position as a Firefighter Paramedic with the Benicia Fire Department.  He then moved to Benicia with his family in 2012, which is when he joined CrossFit 707!  Today, he enjoys CrossFit, competition, yard work, traveling, and spending quality time with his beautiful two daughters.

With his attention to detail and passion for learning and mastering new skills, Carl is a great addition to our fit fam!

  • B.S. Psychology, Magna Cum Laude
  • Engineer/Paramedic, Benicia Fire Dept
  • Level 1 CrossFit

BRANDEN HALL ~ Coach

Branden started out with us back in 2011, and is one of the biggest transformation stories ever.  He used to be a chain-smoker and junk food, fast food lover!  He could not run 200m without stopping, and when he did a 7 min AMRAP of Burpees, he only completed 28 reps.  Today, he is smoke-free, makes better eating choices, works out at least 3-4 days a week, is an active father of a little boy, and can now do over 90 burpees in 7 minutes!

A Benicia-native, Branden grew up in our awesome little town, and is well-known for his charismatic personality and class-clown ways.  He has prior coaching experience in golf, and regularly plays on weekends still.  Don’t play for money against him, though, unless you like losing. 😉

A people-person by every definition, Branden brings a great sense of humor, a strong understanding of what makes people tick and learn, a passion for CrossFit, and a genuine desire to help others succeed.

  • Level 1 CrossFit
  • Golfer and Private Coach

 

KEITH WASHINGTON – Barbell Coach

Keith found Olympic lifting when he was high school, and then was coached and trained by California Strength.  He now shares his experience and personality with us, and we are fortunate to have such a well-rounded Oly coach.  He can train any athlete, from beginner to elite, and get them to reach their goals.  Whether it’s just to get stronger, or participate in your first Oly meet, Coach Keith has the skills and know-how to get people there.

It’s also a lot of fun to watch him lift, because not only can he lift a tremendous amount of weight, but Keith also has the finesse and speed we all crave to attain!  This is the true Jedi Master of Olympic lifting!  Keith is also currently pursuing a career in Firefighting.

  • USAW Sports Performance Coach