Coaches/Staff

Stephanie Nickitas

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Owner/Coach

CrossFit related certifications:

  • CF L-1 Trainer
  • CF Aerobic Capacity Ambassador
  • CF Gymnastics Trainer
  • CF Endurance Trainer
  • USAW L-1 Sports Performance Coach

Competition experience:

  • CrossFit Games Southeast Regionals- Team Competitor, 2011
  • CrossFit Games Southeast Regionals- Team Competitor, 2012
  • 1st Place Women’s Rx Team- Fenrir’s Mayhem II, 2014

Previous athletic experience:

  • Former professional tennis player
  • 15+ years of Division I college tennis coaching
  • 4 time NCAA Tennis Champion (2 team and 2 individual titles)
  • 6 time All-American
  • University of Florida Hall of Fame

Sports have been a part of my life since the age of 5 when I first picked up a tennis racket. After a long career of competitive tennis, I entered the coaching world with a passion for helping young tennis players and sharing my past experiences. When a friend in California introduced me to CrossFit, I was immediately hooked. I totally connected with the whole environment- the training, the programming, and the community. It all made sense. Through coaching CrossFit I have the ability to reach even more people striving to reach their fitness and nutrition goals. Whether it is on the tennis court or in the gym, I love being a coach and educator and am excited to be a part of changing people’s lives.


Jack Eisenhut

Owner/Coach

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CrossFit/Business related Experience:

  • United States Marine Corps, 4 years
  • Security Forces
  • BS, Florida State University, Business Administration
  • 18 years, Corporate America
  • Progenex, SE Region Sales Manager
  • CF L-1 Trainer
  • CrossFit experience, 4 years
  • Competitive CrossFit masters athlete
  • 18th place, SE Region, 2013 CrossFit open
  • 1st place, Infidel Throw down, 2012
  • 1st place, WODS of Thunder, 2013
  • 3rd place, Garage Games, Rumble by the River, 2011
  • 2nd place, Garage Games, Survival of the Fittest, 2012
  • Final day qualifier at Crush Games, 2013

Extreme Sports experience

  • GoRuck Challenge, Class 007
  • MegaTransect Ultra, 2011 & 2012
  • Marine Corp Mud Run, 2011
  • Tough Mudder, 2012
  • Warrior Dash, 2012
  • Super Spartan Race, 2012

Before pursuing a career in health and fitness, I spent eighteen years in corporate America. First with Ferguson Enterprises (6 years) and then Viega, LLC. (12 years).

I was introduced to CrossFit in 2009 and like many; I knew I had found something special. In short time, I learned to change the way I viewed and pursued health and fitness. I passionately believe in the life-changing benefits of functional fitness.


Carlos Ruiz

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Head Coach

Certifications:

  • CF-L1 Trainer
  • CF Gymnastics Trainer
  • USAW L-1 Sports Performance Coach
  • NPTI Diploma in Personal Training

Competitive athletic experience:

  •  CrossFit Games Southeast Regionals- Team Competitor, 2011
  •  Crush Games Team Competitor, 2013

I was born in New York City, lived in Brooklyn for a short time and was raised in Orlando, FL. I attended Winter Park High School and later enlisted in the US Army. During my first 4 years I was stationed in Germany, then later deployed to Iraqi for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. I was called back into active duty in 2006 and deployed to Iraqi in support of the global war on terrorism.

After completing my service with the Army, I enrolled into the National Personal Training Institute to begin a career in personal training and fitness. A classmate told me about CrossFit and after doing a little research I was blown away! I wanted to learn as mush as I could, so I contacted a local box where I began to intern and learn everything I could about Gymnastics, Olympic Weightlifting, strength training, running and rowing. I  have dedicated myself to coaching CrossFit since 2008 and am excited to share my experience with the Winter Park community.


Jason Philyaw

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Head Coach

Certifications:

  • CF-L1 Trainer
  • USAW L-1 Sports Performance Coach

CrossFit/Weightlifting Competition Experience:

  • Iron Curtain 2, 2011
  • Sunshine State Games (Olympic Lifting), 2012
  • Summer Crush Games Team Competitor, 2012
  • Raid Games Team Competitor, 2013
  • Iron Curtain 4, 2013

Athletic Experience:

  • Soccer, Baseball and Gymnastics ages 5-14
  • High School Football- Lake Howell High School
  • NAIA Division 2 Collegiate Football @ Graceland University

I first broke into the fitness industry in 2005 when I got a job working at the YMCA where I held several different positions over the course of 3 years. I started as a Personal Trainer and then moved on to Assistant Wellness Director. I was eventually promoted to the position of Wellness Director at the Oviedo YMCA, where I was responsible for the entire staff and operations of the Wellness Department.

I found CrossFit early in 2008. I was immediately intrigued, got my certification and began coaching CrossFit in September of that year. With 8 years of CrossFit experience, and 3 years as a Personal Trainer at the Y; I am excited to impart any knowledge I have picked up along the way, with anyone who wants to learn.


Katie Mercadante

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Coach

Certifications:

  • CF L1-Trainer
  • CF Kids Trainer
  • CF Mobility Trainer
  • CF Endurance Trainer

CrossFit Competition/Athletic Experience:

  • Festivus Games Competitor, Fourth Place Ladies Division, 2012
  • Survival by Burpees Competitor, First Place Ladies Division, 2012
  • Throwback Throwdown Competitor, First Place Co-Ed Team, 2014
  • Endurance Events: 3 Full Marathons, 15+ Half Marathons, Warrior Dash, Ragnar Relay
  • High School Athletics: Softball 3 years, Soccer 2 years, Track 2 years, Cheerleading 2 years

I have been a fitness addict all of my life, participating in high school athletics and collegiate co-ed intramural sports. While earning my degree at the University of Florida, I studied exercise sports sciences to complete pre-physical therapy degree requirements. I spent this time focusing on physical education and adapted physical education and aquatics, learning how to guide children and young adults to become more physically active and safely become fit.

Since graduating college, I became an avid runner and began participating in marathons and half marathons. I was introduced to CrossFit in 2009 while living in Miami, where I was a member of Peak 360. I fell in love with the challenge that CrossFit represented and the competition that happened in each day’s class. With the help and guidance of some great coaches along the way, I gained a passion for all of the aspects of CrossFit from technique to the intensity. This lead me to pursue my CrossFit certification in February 2012. Coaching took my love of CrossFit to a new level, I found that helping others to achieve new levels of athletic accomplishment provided me with an overwhelming sense purpose and an even greater passion for the sport. Since achieving my Level 1, I have attained certifications in CrossFit Kids, Mobility, and Endurance, allowing me the opportunity to lay the foundation for a lifelong love of fitness with our youngest “mini-beasts,” work with athletes struggling with flexibility and agility issues, and analyze and assist with the training of our endurance athletes.


Shannon Dickson

Shannon Dickson

Coach

Certifications/Experience:

  • CF-L1 Trainer
  • Ice Monster Team Competitor, 2014
  • Fenrir’s Mayhem II Team Competitor, 2014
  • War on Wall Street Team Competitor, 2014
  • Crush Games Team Competitor, 2014

I found CrossFit in 2012 and quickly realized that this sport of functional fitness was exactly what I had been looking for.  It is both physically and mentally challenging, while also providing an energetic and motivating climate for everyone. Not only has CrossFit given me the tools to improve my own fitness, it has also given me the opportunity to be a part of a positive and uplifting community.

Coaching CrossFit has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I love being able to help people improve their fitness, and in turn improve their quality of life. I look forward to sharing the knowledge and experience that I have gathered along my journey with the CrossFit Winter Park community!!


Cathy Williams

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Coach

Certifications

  • CF L-1 Trainer
  • CF Gymnastics Trainer
  • CF Olympic Lifting Trainer

Competition Experience

  • CrossFit Games Southeast Regionals – Team Competitor, 2011 and 2012
  • Beast Mode Battle, Masters Individual Competitor 2012, 2nd place
  • Heraen Games, Team Competitor 2013
  • Raid Games, Masters Individual Competitor 2013, 2nd place
  • Fenrir’s Mayhem, Team Competitor 2013
  • Fenrir’s Mayhem, Team Competitor 2014, 2nd place
  • Reindeer Rumble, Team Competitor 2013
  • Crush Games, Team Competitor 2012, 2013 and 2014
  • CrossFit Open and Master’s Qualifier 2015, 48th in the world

I found CrossFit in 2009 and remember my first “introductory” WOD just like it was yesterday. In the early days, you just jumped right into the WOD that everyone else was doing (scaling as needed, of course!).  It was a team WOD that included rowing, box jumps, wall sits, planks, and dumbbell cleans – 5 rounds for time.  I collapsed at the end and thought it was the greatest thing ever!

Like so many others, I was bored my regular fitness routine and was looking for something that would be challenging and produce results. CrossFit definitely fit the bill! I am living proof that age doesn’t matter and that you can continue to build strength & improve conditioning throughout your life.  Without a doubt, I have never been in better shape – mind, body & soul.  CrossFit has given me the fuel and the fire to not only continue to push myself everyday as an athlete but to help train, inspire and motivate and others to do the same.


Andrew Ketelsen

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Coach

Certifications:

  • CF Level 2 Trainer
  • CF Kids Trainer
  • CF Mobility Trainer
  • CF Level 1 Trainer

Competition experience:

  • CrossFit Games Southeast Regional – Judge, 2014
  • WODapalooza – Team competitor, 2015
  • WODapalooza – Team competitor, 2014

Fitness has always been a strong passion of mine. I have always loved to learn new ways to improve my strength and fitness levels. After finding CrossFit in 2011, it was a no brainer that it was the best way for me to improve my fitness. I pursued a certification in CrossFit to enhance my understanding of the methodology and improve the wellbeing of my 3 children.

My children are active in athletics and I wanted to help increase their performance the best that I could. CrossFit became the means to which I was going to do it. I continued on to receive my CrossFit Kids Trainer Certification and I am excited share my knowledge with others by helping both adults and kids achieve their athletic goals.