Our Amazing Coaches

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Our coaches and staff ARE Momentum Athletic Center

Our coaches are what separates Momentum Athletic Center from any other gym in Colorado. We take extraordinary care in choosing not only exceptional coaches, but also exceptional people! Coaches spend a lot of time speaking into the lives of our children, and it is so important that the message they send is inspiring, encouraging, while helping our youngsters to reach their fullest potential as athletes and as people.

Long history in Parker Colorado

Our owners and many of our coaches have deep connections in the Parker community. Many of our coaches have been born and raised here. This provides us with an appreciation of the kids and the families that live here. We are not only work here but we live and are deeply committed to providing our Parker friends and neighbors with the very best gymnastics and tumbling opportunities available in all of Colorado.

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Brenda Jula
Brenda JulaBusiness Manager
My name is Brenda Jula and I work as the Business Manager at Momentum Athletic Center and have since we opened. I am married to my husband Mike of 19 years. We have 2 children, Lindsey, almost 17 and Garrett 15. Lindsey is the reason I became so involved and know so much about gymnastics. We have been in the gymnastics world since she was 3 years old, with many gyms, competitions and coaches. When she was training for level 8, she decided to do High School gymnastics and cheer instead of USAG JO. This has been a wonderful transition for her and the confidence she has gained through Gymnastics has been an awesome tool for life.

Prior to this, I was a preschool assistant teacher for about 7 years, after being a stay at home mom during my kiddos elementary years. I love being around children and watching them grow in their knowledge through education as well as the everyday skills they learn through activities like Gymnastics.

I look forward to seeing you all around Momentum Athletic Center, it’s a wonderful place!

Kayla Gray
Kayla GrayHead Coach & Xcel Program Manager
Kayla was born and raised in Buffalo, NY, where she began gymnastics at the age of 2 and became a Junior Olympic National Champion on balance beam by the age of 14. She went on to compete at JO Nationals 3 more times during her club career before heading to the University of New Hampshire, where she earned a full athletic scholarship and was crowned team captain her senior year. Kayla’s dedication to both athletics and academics earned her a spot on the EAGL Conference All-Academic Team 4 years in a row. After spending the past 23 years living on the East Coast, her and her boyfriend made the decision to move to the beautiful and adventurous Colorado!

Having spent 20 years as a gymnast and now entering her 3rd year coaching, Kayla has learned so many life lessons through the sport and is looking forward to spreading her passion, love, and knowledge of gymnastics to everyone she works with. No matter what age, level, or ability of an athlete, it is her goal to make gymnastics FUN while helping each gymnast reach her individual potential and achieve her goals!

Paige Betts
Paige BettsJunior Olympic Program Manager and Optional Coach
Hi! My name is Paige. I was born and raised in Sioux City, Iowa. I was a gymnast for 14 years, and competed within the USAG organization for 8 years. Ever since my last year of gymnastics I have been coaching. I have coached preschool, recreational, XCEL, and Junior Olympic (JO) levels 3-10, over the course of the past 11 years.

Throughout high school I coached preschool and recreational gymnastics at my home gym, Siouxland Gymnastics Academy. I then went on to the University of Iowa to study psychology. While away at college I couldn’t give up my passion for the sport, so I landed a coaching position. I coached team XCEL (levels bronze through diamond) for Iowa GymNest, in Coralville, Iowa. After living in Iowa City for 5.5 years, I decided to transfer to the University of South Dakota. I graduated from USD with my Bachelors Degree in Psychology, with a minor in Child & Adolescent Development. I continued to coach working with developmental team kids, as well as levels 3-10 back at my home gym.

I recently moved to Colroado. I am so excited to be coaching for Momentum Athletic Center. I am specializing in the Mojo Stars right now, and I cannot wait to prepare these talented kiddos for competitive gymnastics! My heart will always be with the sport of gymnastics and I am just not ready to give up my passion for coaching young athletes to be their best versions of themselves, physically and mentally.

If you see me around the gym make sure to stop and introduce yourself! I love meeting new people and making connections! I cannot wait to make an impact in your child’s life!

Lindsey Blumenstein
Lindsey BlumensteinPreschool Program Manager and Pre-Team Coach
Lindsey was a gymnast for 15 years in South Florida at American Twisters gymnastics, she competed up to level 9. Once she retired as a gymnast, she began her coaching career in college at the University of Florida. She has coached for over 12 years. She has spent most of her coaching career coaching developmental and compulsory gymnasts. She has been a Head Compulsory Coach, and an Assistant Team Coach throughout her years of coaching. She absolutely loves working with gymnasts at the beginning of the careers to help them develop beautiful gymnastics.

Not only has Lindsey been a coach for many years, she also has a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Central Florida which she received in 2013. Her area of expertise is domestic violence and sexual violence. She was a professor for 5 years at the University of Alaska Anchorage, before taking a job in Lexington at the Univeristy of Kentucky. Lindsey left academia recently because she knew her passion was for gymnastics and she wanted to dedicate her career to helping athletes become the best gymnasts possible.

Lindsey has a black Lab named Riley who is the love of her life!

Megan Wolf
Megan WolfAll-Star Cheer Program Manager
Megan joins Momentum as our All-Star Cheerleading Director. She was born and raised in Naperville, IL and began her athletic career at the age of three.

Megan initially began in gymnastics where she competed through level 4, but quickly switched rolls when was introduced to cheerleading. She fell in love with cheer and competed with the world-renowned ICE Athletics for many years. She helped bring home countless national championships during her time at ICE and traveled all over the country. In 2009, Megan made the tough decision to leave all-star cheer for her high school varsity squad. She helped them bring home three consecutive top five finishes at state.

In 2013, Megan moved west for college and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In Nebraska, the main aspects of cheerleading are actually illegal in the school systems. A blessing in disguise, Megan looked for other opportunities to stay involved in cheerleading and came across Cheer Xpress, Lincoln’s premier competitive program. She began coaching tumbling and prep classes, but quickly became the head coach for multiple competitive teams. Megan was also fortunate enough to aid in coaching Cheer Xpress’s world’s team, which consecutively places in the top 15 year after year.

She graduated in 2017 with a B.S. in Marketing and moved a bit further west to be closer to family. She attempted the corporate world but quickly realized her heart belongs on the mat. Her passion is cheerleading and is so excited to share that with athletes here at Momentum.

Jennifer Barkenhagen
Jennifer BarkenhagenClient Services
Hello, welcome to Momentum Gymnastics! My position here is to greet every customer at the front desk, answer the phones, take payments and help you with any questions you may have in regards to your child. I have been married to my husband Andy for 21 years and we have 4 children. I know and understand gymnastics because 3 out of my 4 children did competitive gymnastics for many years. I love to see the kids compete and do well as individuals and as a member of the team in this sport. So, I understand the long hours these gymnasts put in and the blood, sweat and tears that go with it too!

If you need an experienced mom to talk with, stop by the front desk and say hi!

Audrey Baxter
Audrey BaxterCoach
Ashley Cadena
Ashley CadenaCoach
Hi, my name is Ashley. I am a Junior at Ponderosa High School and
originally from Spring, Texas. I began gymnastics when I was 3 years old and competed to level 7. I began cheering for Woodland’s Elite Cheer Company and my high school in Texas. I moved to Parker last year. I enjoy Cheer, of course, as well as snowboarding, soccer, and 4H. My ambition is to become a Veterinarian.
Lia Cristadoro
Lia CristadoroCoach
My name is Lia Cristadoro and I’ve spent most of my life in Colorado. Growing up I was very passionate about skiing, hiking, diving, track & field, and especially gymnastics. I was a gymnast for 16 years and I competed in both the USAG JO and EAGLES programs up through level 9. I also competed in diving and pole vaulting for a few years throughout high school.

While I was still in high school I began coaching developmental gymnastics classes, advanced preschool, and pre-team. I also choreographed both floor and beam routines for the level 5 and 6 teams. I eventually quit gymnastics and took a break from coaching in order to put my focus on my education. I attended the University of Colorado Boulder where I studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and was a part of the Biology Club, the Hiking Club, and the Photography Club at CU. While I was in school I worked a variety of jobs, but spent most of my time as a freelance photography and also an assistant professor of Biology, Statistics, and Chemistry. I recently graduated in May of 2019 and began to realize how much I missed gymnastics and wanted to get back into it. Now, I am helping coach both the XCEl and JO programs here at Momentum.

When I’m not working, I spend most of my free time enjoying the outdoors. During the summer I climb and occasionally compete in sport climbing competitions, go on camping trips, and volunteer for ecological restoration projects. In the winter I’m almost always in the mountains skiing! If you ever see me around the gym feel free to say hello, I’d love to chat!

Ariana De La Garza
Ariana De La GarzaCoach
Hi I’m Ariana! I was born and raised here in Colorado. I was a gymnast for 12 years, and competed in both the CARA and EAGLES programs here in Colorado. I could not give up my time in the gym so I began coaching soon after the last season I competed. I have coached a wide range of levels including preschool, recreational, XCEL, and Junior Olympic (JO) levels 3-5, over the past 7 years.
Throughout high school I competed for my school’s gymnastics team as well as coaching preschool and recreational gymnastics at Goodson Recreation Center. After graduation I moved to Manhattan, Kansas to attend Kansas State University where I studied Communications and Marketing. Shortly after moving to Kansas I knew something was missing and had to get back in the gym so I began working at Manhattan Gymnastics Academy. I coached recreational, Developmental team, team XCEL, and JO. I graduated from KSU this past spring with a Bachelor in Mass Communications and Marketing with a minor in Journalism.
I recently moved back to Colorado and am so blessed and excited to be able to continue my passion for gymnastics by coaching here at Momentum! I am so excited to help your kiddos achieve their goals and be apart of their gymnastics journey!
Benjamin Grado
Benjamin GradoCoach
Hi, My name is Benjamin Grado and I am so excited to be joining the Momentum Family. I have an extensive background as an Acrobat that encompasses Gymnastics, Diving, Hand Balancing as well as Performance work and I know my unique experiences can provide a fun and exciting environment for your kids to excel in!

I began as a Gymnast at the age of 8. I was definitely born to flip and twist and when my parents put me in Gymnastics, I excelled quite quickly achieving many awards and overcoming many obstacles. Gymnastics really set the frame work for what was to come for me and I know that without the sport, I would not have had the discipline, work ethic, motivation, etc. to push myself through the grit and experience the many opportunities that have been presented to me.

Moving forward, I ended up finding a new passion in Diving as my body was feeling the beating from Gymnastics. I knew I didn’t want to give up the “acrobatic” lifestyle but had to take a step back from what I was most passionate about. I found a whole different way of flipping and twisting with Diving. This is when my interest in not only being an athlete but also being a coach began to fester. I was able to use my Gymnastics foundation and build on it to help both my teammates and myself excel further in this sport. I dove for the University of Arizona and achieved many great accomplishments including the first National Title for the 10 Meter Platform Event at the D1 NCAA Championships. This was by far my highest accomplishment as an athlete and it lead me to a spot on the National Team as well as a spot to compete in the 2012 Olympic Trials. These experiences taught me 2 things. 1, hard work truly does pay off but 2; it takes a village of people who have helped guide and harness your skill set both as an athlete and person to get you to these high levels.

At this point, I moved on to work for Cirque Du Soleil as an Acrobat/Performer for the “O” Show at the Bellagio. Again, I knew I wasn’t ready to hang up my love for flipping and twisting so why not do it as a job? This experience truly shaped my passion for the discipline but also, it rounded my background as an athlete and gave me a better glimpse of how I would serve as a coach/mentor. As my body began to feel the years of competition and performances, I began to realize that I couldn’t leave this sport as it has done so much for me but also, I wanted to help those in my shoes accomplish goals and achieve great experiences for themselves. When the Head Diving Coach positioned opened up at DU, I knew this was my chance to do just that; help younger generations through their passion of Acrobatics and teach them discipline, hard work, dedication, etc. This also showed me what it entails to lead, plan, create and above all, do it while maintaining a fun and healthy environment that makes each individual want to come back for more.

I have loved every part of my life and know that through my experiences as an athlete and coach, I will do everything I can to make sure that I give each individual as much knowledge as I can to help them achieve their goals and expectations.

Hannah Fink
Hannah FinkCoach
I grew up in England doing gymnastics from age 4. The gym was like my second home and family which continued into my coaching career. I began coaching at age 16, with 3-6 year olds and gradually moved on to coaching all age recreational and advanced. My passion is working with children & building confidence which transferred over into my career in counseling and social work. I moved to America in October 2017 to live with my husband here in Colorado.
Maya Layton
Maya LaytonCoach
Hi I’m Maya Born in Colorado but, raised on California. I am in high school and I am a platinum level here at momentum. My love for gymnastics began 4 years ago and since then it has only grown. I hope to inspire many little gymnasts and see their love for the sport grow as well.
Emily Marchitti
Emily MarchittiClient Services
Emily was born in Oklahoma City, grew up in Kansas City and Las Vegas. She has been in Colorado for 18 years now as her husband is a Colorado native. Emily has been married to Joey for 15 years and they have two kids, daughter Molly Jo (Mojo) who is 11 and son Chase who is 8. Molly Jo is on the Xcel Gold team and has a love for gymnastics.

Emily really enjoys working with the kids and parents at Momentum. Swing by the front desk and introduce yourself when you get a chance. She loves meeting new people!

Jessica Rittenhouse
Jessica RittenhouseCoach
Hi! My name is Jess. I was born and raised in Burlingame, California where I competed as a gymnast through USAG for 8 years, and then for my high school Varsity team for another 4 years. During my time on the Varsity team I began to explore coaching pre-school and recreational gymnastics, and occasionally helped coach our Junior Varsity team.

After graduating high school I moved to Boulder, Colorado to pursue a Bachelors degree in Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado-Boulder. I continued to coach gymnastics in California during Summer breaks for my first two years of college, however I soon began working as a Medical Scribe in the Emergency Department at St. Anthony Hospital and therefore stayed in Colorado during the Summer time. I worked in the Emergency Department for about 2 years, however after graduating from college I realized how much I missed working with children and specifically coaching gymnastics.

I recently moved from Boulder to Denver and was thankful enough to hear about Momentum Athletic Center! I will be coaching pre-school and recreational classes at Momentum and am beyond excited to continue my passion for coaching gymnastics! I will be at the gym almost every day of the week, so if you ever have any questions or want to discuss your child, please don’t hesitate come talk to me!

Sofia Robinson
Sofia RobinsonCoach
Sofia is a Chinese-American adoptee and grew up in Grand Junction, CO where she started dancing at two years old. Throughout her childhood she was also involved with choir, volleyball, theatre, and gymnastics. She has performed in numerous ballets including The Nutcracker, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Coppelia. During her high school years, Sofia performed demi-soloist and principal roles in her studio’s productions as well as the local university’s productions. She graduated with her BA in Psychology and Women’s Studies from Goucher College where she continued to dance. Between graduating college and moving to Denver in 2018, Sofia coached at a gymnastics gym in Maryland, was a guest performer/instructor at Interfusion Festival, and moved to Australia where she taught dance and worked for a non-profit that provided residential care for displaced youth. Sofia continues to teach dance and coach gymnastics while obtaining her Masters in Social Work at the University of Denver. She’s super pumped to be a part of the Momentum team, and can’t wait to inspire and grow relationships with all of her students!
Molly Sifers
Molly SifersCoach
Hi! My name is Molly Sifers. I am originally from Kansas City, Missouri and went to college at the University of Missouri, where I studied sociology. After college I moved to the beautiful state of Colorado to get my master’s degree in criminal justice. I’ve done gymnastics since I was 3 years old and have been coaching since 2006. I competed through USAG level 7 and have coached all ages and ability levels from two-year-olds, to team, cheer, boys, high school, college club, and everything in between. Through my time in the world of gymnastics, I understand the time, dedication, and stress the sport can bring but I also understand the passion and love it takes to be a serious gymnast. I truly have a passion for the sport of gymnastics and am excited to join the staff at Momentum!
Makenzie (Kenzie) Smith
Makenzie (Kenzie) SmithCoach
Hi there, I’m Kenzie! I’m currently enrolled as a freshman at the University of Northern Colorado for elementary and special education. I’m originally from Columbus, Ga and moved to Colorado about 8 years ago. I grew up as a competitive cheerleader starting at the age of 6 and was a varsity cheerleader in high school. I am now a part of the cheer team at UNCO. I absolutely love working with children, watching them grow and develop new skills is a huge passion of mine. I look forward to having fun with your kiddos and seeing what kind of impact I can make on their futures!
Amanda Wheeler
Amanda WheelerCoach
My name is Amanda Wheeler. My passion for gymnastics started at age 6, doing it competitively for 4 years. I took a break and then competed in gymnastics again all 4 years of high school. I love the constant challenge of the sport from mentally conquering fears to gaining strength and flexibility. Gymnastics has been a BIG part of my life. And is still part of my life for many reasons. I believe in this sport so much.

I started coaching in 2006. I am so thankful for the opportunity to make a positive atmosphere and impact on the children and have them experience the greatness of the sport like I did.

Jennifer Zick
Jennifer ZickCoach
My name is Jennifer Zick. I grew up in Omaha Nebraska, and just recently graduated from Wayne State College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science where I also played collegiate soccer. I grew up loving the sport of gymnastics. I began as a recreational gymnast for a year or so before deciding to join our competitive team. I ended my gymnastics career at level 7. I then joined the trampoline and tumbling team. I competed through a level 9 and made four national championship appearances. Growing up in the gym I always wanted to be a coach. I was given the opportunity to begin coaching around the age of 15. I began coaching our recreational classes and later began to coach our USAG competitive team.

With nearly 7 years of coaching experience I have found my home. I love to be in the gym and be interactive with all of my athletes. I am very excited to be a part of the team at Momentum, and I look forward to sharing my gymnastics knowledge with them, and building strong, confident athletes.

Michelle Zimmer
Michelle ZimmerCoach
I walked into the Auxillary Gym at University of Denver at the age of 10 and fell in love with a sport. I competed JO until high school. Then I competed for George Washington High School (G-DUB!!) for all 4 years. In college, I began my coaching career. I coached JO levels 5-7 at Fremont YMCA and Nebraska Gold. Moving back to Denver, I continued my career at All American Gymnastics and Dardano’s Gymnastics expanding to levels 5-10. I’ve had the honor to coach a Division I gymnast as well as at two international meets. I left coaching for a bit to get married and have a family. When my youngest daughter “caught the bug”, I took her to Gymnastics Plus where my old coach, Tim Frye, had set up shop. He offered me a job on the spot, but I deferred for a while. Upon his unexpected passing, I knew I had to be back on the floor where my heart was. Life is too short. I began coaching again at Gymnastics Plus shortly after his passing. It was a very hard decision to make to leave GP and move here to Momentum. But I haven’t regretted one second of it.

I graduated from Metro State with a Bachelor’s Degree in both Biology and Sports Medicine. In my spare time, I root for the Yankees and whatever team my son is playing for. I have an amazing husband and three children, Sidni, Ben and Riley.