Coaches

ANHS


Lisa H
Lisa Hungerford

Head Coach

anhs@werunockids.org

 

This is my second year as a coach at ANHS. The experience that I had last year was incredible!! I was so inspired by these kids day in and day out. I admire their persistence, motivation and determination to accomplish a goal that very few people will ever take on in a lifetime. I am so grateful to all of the parents for trusting us with your children and giving us the opportunity to be a part of their success story forever!!!

As a coach my goal this season is to dedicate myself to each runner and guide them individually to achieve their specific goals. I am committed to motivate them on their best days and encourage them on the more challenging days. I hope to provide an environment that is an obvious choice for a high school student that wants to be part of a team but might not want to compete at a high school level.

My history with We Rock

In August 2011 a goal of mine for the upcoming year was to run a 5K.  In September of 2011 my 6th grade son and I joined WeROCK and my new goal was to run a marathon. We finished the marathon in May of 2012 and my son and I have great memories and a bond that we share forever.

I was asked to coach the 14/15 season at the high school and without hesitation jumped at the opportunity. I was asked to be head coach for the upcoming 15/16 season and I can’t wait! WeROCK has become my home away from home, my family, my pleasure and at times my pain (yes a little bit is involved in running 26.2 miles).

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!

As a parent runner in  the 11/12 WeROCK season I ran all of the races on the schedule that year with my son. I also ran the Turkey Trot 10K and the Long Beach and Hollywood Half Marathons that year. Last season I coached and ran the same races that I had as a parent. This season I plan to do the same races but I have added the New Years Half Marathon in 2016 and hope to start of the year with a personal record.

Everyone has a favorite WeROCK race and my favorite race is the Coaster Run! How can you possibly had a bad time running through an amusement park without fighting crowds?? I enjoyed that day because two other coaches and I set a goal and ran the race together. It was fun to motivate each other and share the same goal. The three of us crossed the finish line together and accomplished our goal of doing it in less than an hour!!  A good running buddies always makes the races more fun!

 

Christina SepeChristina Sepe

Club Adviser and Assistant Coach

Hello! As a coach and teacher my goal is to bring more awareness to the club on the high school campus.

My history with WeROCK

I started two years ago as a coach and the ANHS advisor on campus.  Last year I didn’t coach but I am looking forward to another year.

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!

I started in 2012 doing the Disney Half Marathon and I got addicted.  To date I’ve completed 11 half marathons and several 10ks and 5ks.

Everyone has a favorite race WeROCK runs and I really like the Southern California Half Marathon.  It’s the 1st half marathon WeROCK does and it’s a nice course.

AVMS

Gina HyltonGina Hylton

Head Coach

avms@werunockids.org

 

Hi all, I look forward to meeting everyone this season as we take this journey together.  My goal as a coach is to bring the love of teamwork, hard work and accomplishment into the hearts of these kids.  I am inspired watching them fight for goals many feel is out of their reach.  As an individual, I want to cross the finish line of the marathon in May with our team.

What is my history with WeROCK you may ask?

I began coaching kids 10 years ago when my son ran the Students Run Los Angeles (SRLA) program.  I have been a WeROCK Coach on and off since the beginning of the program, my youngest son was part of WeROCK’s first year.

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history

I have ran numerous 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons and 1 full marathon.  I look forward to finishing my 2nd this year.

Everyone has a favorite race that WeROCK will run and my favorite race is the Knott’s Berry Farm 10K.  I have a great time running though the parks, there’s a lot to look at and enjoy!

 

ipad 4-3-15 027John Birle

Assistant Coach

I have been a WeROCK parent runner for three years and this is my second year as a coach for AVMS.  My goal for the year is to pass on my love of running to the kids, but most importantly help them reach goals they never thought possible.

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!

I have run the OC marathon with all three of my kids in WeROCK.  I have finished ten marathons and three ultramarathons.

Everyone has a favorite WeROCK race and my favorite race is the Southern California Half Marathon.  It is flat and it the first time the kids figure out they can really accomplish something big.  I look forward to a great year of perseverance and accomplishment for the kids this year.

DJAMS

Lori RobinsonLori Robinson

Head Coach

djams@werunockids.org

 

Hi, I’m Lori Robinson. I’m so excited to be the head coach at DJAMS this year! I have several goals for the team this year. One is that the kids set a personal goal for each race they run and strive to meet that goal. Whether it’s a specific time, or whether it’s to simply finish doesn’t matter. Even achieving the goal isn’t as important as setting it and having something to shoot for.

Another goal is that they have a positive attitude and encourage their team mates all the time, no matter what! Even though endurance running is a highly individual sport, I feel it is so important for us to develop a strong team spirit and a sense of comradery.

A third goal of mine is that the kids are giving 100% effort at every practice and every race. I understand sometimes they’re going to have a bad day or not feel well, but doing what they can with the situation they are presented with tells a lot about their character and drive.

My history with WeROCK?

My son joined WeRock in his 8th grade year. At the time I had been running consistently for several years. I had already run a few half marathons and wanted to train for a marathon. I decided to take the opportunity to become a parent runner and trained along with the team. My son and I both completed our first marathon in May 2012 and we never looked back. He went on to compete on the cross-country and track team in high school and I joined the WeROCK coaching team when my daughter started 6th grade. This will be her third year in the program, my third year coaching, and my first year as head coach. I found my passion for running 8 years ago, and now I’ve discovered a love for coaching that I never expected. I’m so excited to be a part of this amazing group and blessed to be able to lead these kids through the process of training for the marathon.

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!

My very first race was the Disneyland Half Marathon in 2007. I didn’t have any clue how to train for a race and barely finished within the time limit. I set a goal to come back the next year to run the same race again, only better. During that year I learned how to train properly and came back to complete the race much stronger (and faster) than the previous year. By then I was hooked on running. I have since run many races – countless 5K’s, 10K’s and half marathons. I have run 8 full marathons, including 4 ultra marathons. My first ultra marathon was a 40-mile run I organized for my 40th birthday

(that’s what people do to celebrate their 40th, right?!). My longest race and most difficult test of endurance was in May 2015 when I decided to run a 100 mile ultra marathon! It was the most difficult, both physically and emotionally challenging, and yet the most gratifying race I have ever run. I don’t run races for the medals or race shirts. I run to prove to myself that I can do it. I run to see just how far I can go (which I still have yet to find out). But the biggest reason is simply for the sheer joy of running!

Everyone has a favorite race that WeROCK will run and my favorite is by far is the OC Marathon. It’s the ultimate test of endurance for these kids. It represents the culmination of months and months of dedicated training, running in the heat and in the rain, persisting through sore muscles, stomach cramps, and blisters, enduring through long training runs on Saturday mornings while their friends are sleeping in and playing video games. The amount of personal growth they go through during their training is incredible. Seeing the looks on their faces as they cross the finish line of the marathon is worth every moment. It’s an amazing accomplishment, one they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. And just being a small part of their marathon journey is truly something special.

 

Jaime BJaime Barbieri

Assistant Coach

My name is Jaime Barbieri but you can call me Coach Jaime. I am so excited to be a part of the WeRock team this year. My goal this year is to work with the kids to help them achieve their personal running goals. There is nothing more rewarding than watching these kids cross that final finish line.

My history with WeROCK?

My niece was a part of WeRock back in 2011 and that is how we learned about the program. My daughter Shaelynn was in WeRock last year and she is returning for her second year.

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!

I have been running various races over the past 5yrs with my husband and kids. We have run everything from 5k to Marathons. I also enjoy doing the Gladiator Runs as well with my husband.

My favorite race that WeROCK will run during the season?

I can’t wait to run the OC Marathon this season. This will be the first time I have completed this race.

 

11800046_10207375274605038_8569918885675939124_nBrian Barbieri

Assistant Coach

Good day, I’m Coach Brian and I am proud to be here for this years team at DJAMS. I am most looking forward to seeing these amazing kids learn to lean on and rely on their team. It seems like this program erases the prejudice of age and grade level from their brains and instills nothing but admiration and determination to make sure all of their teammates get to their common goal of running the OC Marathon (full or half).

What is my history with WeROCK?

Last year I was a WeROCK waiver running parent, present on Saturday runs and a couple of the races. I got to run the OC Marathon with these amazing kids and my 12 year old daughter. A few years before I got to see my little niece dressed in her orange and black cross the finish line for a race I thought was insanely far for any child to run (2011 OCM). But it was seeing her and her awesome group of WeROCKers that inspired me to get some running shoes and start hitting the pavement myself.

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history

Since then I have done a Disney 5k, many local 5 and 10k races, the Surf City Half twice, the OC Full Marathon, and the Illustrious 2015 WEROCK 20 Mile Qualifying Run.

The WeROCK race I most look forward to is this year’s Santa Run. There are many cool races but this one takes the cake. I mean do I really have to explain, ok I will, SANTA IS THERE!!!! I absolutely love him. Who doesn’t right? I’m getting so super duper excited just thinking about December 12th.

Hankey

Thumps UpAndrea Kooiman

Head Coach

hankey@werunockids.org

Hi!  I’m Coach K and I LOVE to run!  Believe it or not, I like to do other things as well.  I used to be a mobile KJ (Karaoke DJ) and I enjoy singing.  I also have a passion for rollerskating.  My goal for the team this season is for each person to challenge their fears and their doubts.  I would like to see every runner meet or exceed their goal of distance, time or endurance.

My history with WeROCK

My coaching began with SRLA – Students Run Los Angeles back when my son was in 6th Grade at Newhart Middle School.  There I coached with the program for 3 years before co-founding WeROCK.  I learned very early the positive impact that training for a marathon has on the kids that run with us.  For that reason, I will continue to work with our amazing coaches and the surrounding community to assist in growing the program for as long as I can.

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!

I have run over 100 marathon/ultra races.  Although a bulk of my runner has been on the street, I have learned to love and respect the trails.  The fact is, anytime I have the opportunity to lace up my shoes and run outside, I feel lucky.

Everyone has a favorite race that WeROCK will run and mine is the OC Marathon.  As the official WeROCK sweeper, I spend my entire race at the back of the pack.  It is exciting to receive phone calls and text messages about the progress of the runners.  It also allows me a lot of time to reflect on the season and the people that have forever been changed during the year.  Since OC was my 1st and my 100th marathon, it will always hold a very special place in my heart.

 

Newhart

Coach Ryan PictureRyan Tye

Head Coach

newhart@werunockids.org

My name is Ryan Tye and I am currently the Head Coach at Newhart Middle School as well as a WeROCK Board Member.  The 2015-2016 season will mark my fourth year coaching at Newhart and my third as Head Coach.  However, my history with Newhart’s WeROCK team goes much further back than the past four years. I attended Newhart for middle school and was a member of the WeROCK team during my 7th and 8th grade years.  During my time there, my Head Coach was Andrea Kooiman. Some of you may know her as Coach K.  Yes, I have known Coach K for half of my life. The two years I was in WeROCK gave me memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life.  In fact, my best friend to this day ran WeROCK with me during my 8th grade season.  We crossed the finish line of the marathon together and forever cemented a friendship that will never be broken. I may have not known it at 12 years old, but those two years in WeROCK would change my life forever.  It had such a profound impact on my life that after I graduated from high school, I decided to come back and coach during college.

My goal with every team I coach is simple.  Change lives.  The main tactic I use to help me achieve this goal is also quite simple.  If you require kids to do more than what the world typically asks of them, they will eventually reach a point where it becomes normal to give more than what is asked.  Those are the people who will change the world: those who don’t accept the status quo, those who are constantly pushing their limits and challenging others to push their own.

WeROCK gave me lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.  That is our job as coaches; give the kids lessons and tools that they can call upon long after their days as a WeROCKer have ended and it is why I firmly believe that WeROCK is not just a marathon training program.  It is a life-changing program operating under the alias of a marathon team.

BLatson Bio PicBrittany Latson

Assistant Coach

Bonjour! As the newest coach to WeROCK and assistant coach at Newhart, I am very excited to guide the runners to hit their PR, run their first marathon, achieve goals they never thought they could and help them grow overall. Running will change your life in the most amazing ways and I’m so excited to take this journey with these amazing runners.

What is my history with WeROCK?

I learned of WeROCK last year when running a few of the So Cal races after we moved back from NYC. I was impressed with the Mission and Goals of WeROCK and reached out to see how I could get involved. I had the pleasure of coaching for this past summer season, introduced myself to trail running and found a love for trails and more so for the program. I am very excited to embark on my first marathon season with WeROCK as a coach.

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!

I Fell in love with running in New York and within 3.5 years found myself having completed 50+ half marathons, 2 marathons (NYC 2014 and Paris 2015), countless 10K’s 5K’s and 10-milers throughout the tristate area. Needless to say I love to run and I love inspiring others to as well. Future goals for me include Iron Man is in my future. What do you aspire to do? If you set your mind to something you can do it. Believe in yourself, you’ll be amazed at what you can do.

What’s my favorite WeROCK race during the season?

My favorite race WeROCK will run this year is the Chapman 5K. As an alum I’m sad to say I have never had the chance to run it and cannot wait for the experience. Races I have ran: OC is hands down my favorite course. What an awesome scenic route for a first marathon or a PR. See you out there!

Saturday Coaches

Karla AguirreKarla Aguirre

Welcome to one of the most impressive accomplishments that you will undertake in your lifetime: completing a marathon!  There will be sweat and tears, and it will all be worth it to cross the Finish Line with pride in your heart for what you’ve achieved through discipline and perseverance to a task.

My GOAL for the whole team is that each runner BE the encouraging “running-buddy” you would like to have along-side of you – BE that buddy who will support and motivate every runner throughout their experience.

What is my history with WeROCK?

This is my 3rd season with WeROCK, and I’ve loved every step… (Even the ones that start at 3 a.m.!!!)

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history right?

I began to run on my own in the fall of 2008 when my family experienced a life changing loss.  Although I did not enter any official races, the training was my way of de-stressing, and it very soon became my way of reclaiming my life too.  To that end, I wanted to share my love of physical fitness with my students, and in the spring of 2013, I initiated the 100 Mile Club at my school.  My students INSPIRED me to attempt my life-long aspiration to complete a marathon.  I contacted WeROCK that summer, and, in the fall of 2013, I began my first season with WeROCK.

What is my favorite WeROCK race?

Although certainly not the longest in miles, the Knott’s Coaster Run is among my favorite because: 1. it’s fun; 2. I tend to be at a good place in my training and feel more confident about setting a PR goal that challenges me physically and mentally; 3. it’s where my running-buddies and I formed the infamous, unstoppable ‘Beans and Coffee team!!!’

 

Lee Robinson

image1Hi my name is Lee and I am returning to the coaching staff this year.  I love the WeROCK family. I also love to see everyone who starts this program never give up and cross the final finish line.  This is the 5th year that I have been around the WeROCK program.  I have volunteered with various aspects with the program which is a great confidence builder for kids.

 

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!

I ran my first full marathon this past year and completed my first 50K ultra marathon at the beginning of September. I will be running the Long Beach Half Marathon this year and looking towards another ultra marathon early next year.

 

My favorite WeROCK race is…

I am looking forward to the Surf City Half Marathon and the OC Marathon this year to achieve a better time.  I am also looking forward to the Leprechaun Leap 10K in which we will get to run through the Blimp Hangers at the Tustin Air Base.

 

Our Rockin’ Coordinators

RachaelRachael Vargas

Volunteer Coordinator

Hi to all the wonderful parent volunteers, coaches and our inspiring student runners!  As the aid station coordinator, my goal is to encourage all parents to get involved with our Saturday practice runs and cheer on our runners as they achieve a new milestone every Saturday for the next 7 months.  WeROCK is grateful to all of those who volunteer their time, energy and encouraging words.  We couldn’t do this without you.My history with WeROCK

Several years ago, I encouraged my son to join this running program called Students Run LA (SRLA) where I met Coach K as an energetic and passionate parent volunteer with a dream!  My son was not thrilled to run a marathon but wanted to be part of something great so he teamed up with Coach K and provided Saturday bike support to all the student runners including his mom! It was my first marathon. 5 years later, my daughter joined the WeRock team.  I volunteered and finished 3 marathons with my daughter.  She will forever been known as a Legacy Runner at her middle school. What an accomplishment!  Fast forward 3 more years, my daughter moved onto Cross Country in High School but I continued to volunteer as the aid station coordinator and the (unofficial) Saturday sweeper.  This is a wonderful program and I am grateful to be part of this amazing WeROCK family.

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!
Before WeRock, I was proud to be a short distance runner and formed a small running club at my workplace.  We ran during our  lunch hour and participated in local 5ks and 10ks.  With the support of WeRock and Coach K, I have completed 6 full marathons (and counting) and several 1/2 marathons.

My favorite race that WeROCK will run
My favorite race is the Surf City 1/2 marathon.  We are half way through the training program and the crowd is energetic with the Super Bowl Fever!

from the blog

WeROCK: A program that trains kids for marathons, teaches life lessons

June 12, 2015

If you have seen our colorful shirts around the OC and wondered who we are and what we do? There is no better explanation than to hear it from a few We ROCK alumni interviewed …read more

OC Register Interviews Coach K about taking on Badwater for We ROCK

June 12, 2015

As the 2015 Badwater race approaches Check out Coach K’s Badwater OC Register Interview! “The power of continually putting one foot in front of the other is an exercise in discipline and courage, Kooiman said, a …read more

Peter’s Canyon Summer Trail Series 2/3

June 12, 2015

Don’t miss out on this amazingly fun trail race series with a post event BBQ! Register for race 2/3! Get out and hit those hills! Event hashtags: #SummerTrailRun #RenegadeRace #WeRock