Our Staff

Zac Pine »

Head Coach & Owner

Zac Pine

Head Coach & Owner

Zac found CrossFit through sport and education. Soccer and rugby would eventually lead him to the original CrossFit gym in Santa Cruz, California. After the first workout, he wanted more and eventually it intrigued him to pursue a degree in exercise physiology.

CrossFit has given Zac the opportunity to teach his passion for human movement and implement the art of coaching. He works on the CrossFit HQ Seminar Staff spreading CrossFit’s methodologies, giving lectures, demonstrating movement, and traveling around the world coaching the Level 1 and Level 2 Seminars.

Studying art studio for his first degree has allowed him to become an anatomy illustrator for CrossFit HQ. The creative process has spilled over into his programming, which he does for competitive athletes as well as clients who are working to obtain a healthier lifestyle.

Family and community was a huge influence to Zac when opening CrossFit Aptos. He feels that when you surround yourself with good people and a healthy lifestyle, everything else in life tends to be within reach.

Contact: zac@crossfitaptos.com

Qualifications:

  • CrossFit Level 3 Coach
  • CrossFit Level 1 & Level 2 Headquarters Coach
  • CrossFit Gymnastics
  • CrossFit Barbell
  • CrossFit Kids
  • CrossFit Anatomy Illustrator
  • USAW Sports Performance Coach
  • BS Kinesiology – emphasis in Exercise Physiology
  • BA Art Studio – emphasis in Glass & Sculpture
  • Internship with Stanford University Football Strength and Conditioning

Heather Pine »

Coach & Owner

Heather Pine

Coach & Owner

Heather was introduced to CrossFit in 2004 at the original CrossFit gym. She had just begun dating this new guy, Zac, who insisted they do a CrossFit workout together on one of their first dates. Luckily, everything went well and both CrossFit and Zac are still a huge part of her life.

Heather has a fitness background consisting of teaching cardio kickboxing and bag training, running, yoga and doing her own thing at a local gym. CrossFit was a great new addition to her active lifestyle. Heather loved CrossFit’s inspiring community and fun challenging workouts.

Heather holds a Bachelor’s of Science in kinesiology, focusing in exercise science and alternative wellness. When she obtained her CrossFit Level 1 Certificate, she began coaching individuals, teaching kids classes and spreading the word. Heather is also a registered nurse and works locally with newborns, pediatric and adult patients. She has a heart for helping people and enjoys educating and teaching individuals tools they can use to create healthy and positive changes within themselves.

With CrossFit, Heather’s life has been enriched with good people, inspiration to keep learning and improving, a love for healthy cooking, and an amazement in the human body. CrossFit helped Heather stay active and feel great through three pregnancies and she is a great example of how to stay fit and safe during pregnancy. She looks forward to creating a great community in Aptos and getting more kids, older individuals and pregnant/postpartum women more involved with CrossFit.

Contact: heather@crossfitaptos.com

Qualifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1 and 2 Trainer
  • CrossFit Kids Trainer
  • CrossFit Barbell
  • BS Kinesiology- emphasis in Exercise Science & Wellness
  • BSN- Nursing

Michele Mootz »

Head Coach

Michele Mootz

Head Coach

Michele started training at the original CrossFit gym in Santa Cruz, California, in 2004 and quickly became inspired by the challenge and culture that defined the CrossFit program. In 2006, she became a Level 1 trainer, giving her the privilege of learning from many of the original coaches and founders of CrossFit and arming her with the tools needed to coach many future CrossFit enthusiasts.

From 2008-2011, Michele was an original partner/owner of an affiliate in Santa Cruz. She enjoyed the dynamics of starting and running a CrossFit gym and the many different experiences and challenges it presented her.

Michele spent 13 years in physical therapy before becoming a full-time trainer, but continues to enjoy utilizing her knowledge of rehabilitation and movement into her CrossFit training and coaching. This combination has allowed Michele to merge her love of fitness with her firm belief that CrossFit can inspire a life of health and wellness for all.

Concurrently, Michele is a CrossFit HQ Head Trainer. In that capacity, she travels throughout the country as an instructor at the CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 Seminars teaching future CrossFit trainers the elements, foundations and philosophies of the CrossFit program. Michele continues to be inspired by the strong sense of community and shares the infectious dedication she sees in the people she meets while traveling the country.

Contact: michele@crossfitaptos.com

Qualifications:

  • CrossFit Level 3 Coach (CFCC)
  • CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 Headquarters Coach
  • CrossFit Nutrition
  • CrossFit Olympic Lifting
  • BS Health Sciences/ Minor in Chemistry
  • LPTA State of California

Megan Combies

Coach

Megan has been in the fitness industry for more than 16 years and has taught cardio kickboxing, step aerobics, yoga, strength training, aqua aerobics and more. She’s also done personal and small-group training. She’s incredibly passionate about helping others and creating a fun and supportive atmosphere for everyone.

She began dabbling in CrossFit in 2009 by watching videos on CrossFit.com—think Zac doing the 400-m runs and 50 air squats and Michele as one of the “flying ladies”—but was determined not to drink the kool-aid until the day she stepped into her first CrossFit box in 2010.

She was hooked right away when her first coach, Pat Barber, aka “Manimal,” aka Taz Barber’s hubby, of CrossFit Santa Cruz made her feel like she was already a part of the community. The atmosphere that CrossFit fosters, was exactly what she was looking for and she knew right away that this was where she wanted to be—never mind that the workouts were insane and she loved it!

Her goal for our athletes is to foster a supportive, fun, educational environment and for everyone to feel successful. We are a community of people that are passionate about living a healthy life and helping others do the same.

Qualifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1 and 2 Trainer
  • CrossFit Kids Trainer
  • CrossFit Weightlifting 
  • CrossFit Mobility
  • 200-Hour Registered Yoga Teacher
  • BS Kinesiology—emphasis in Exercise and Fitness Specialist 
  • MS Exercise Science—emphasis in Sports Psychology

Samantha Ritchie

Coach

Growing up Samantha never considered herself an athlete. She played recreational soccer and a season of volleyball, but never played any high-school sports. While in college, she lived a fairly active lifestyle going on hikes, playing in the intramural volleyball league on campus, and going snowboarding, but never specifically trained for anything. After a breakup, she took up long-distance running to help cope with overwhelming emotions. She soon developed a love for running and eventually fitness. Samantha found CrossFit unexpectedly and immediately knew she would love it. Right away she recognized that she would love to coach CrossFit, too, so when the opportunity presented itself to get certified as a CrossFit coach she jumped at it.

Samantha loves being a CrossFit coach because it allows her to play a role in helping people get healthier and realize their true potential.

Contact: sam@crossfitaptos.com

Qualifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • CrossFit Weightlifting

Kony Fillippou

Coach

Kony found CrossFit when she moved from her homeland in Greece to Aptos after marrying an amazing guy and following him to the other side of the world. Since a very young age, she’s had a talent in almost any sport she played. She started with gymnastics and spent most of her school year on a basketball court and helping her school and college win four consecutive championships. She then started playing on the women’s pro league basketball division in Greece, but stopped so she could focus on her studies in Industrial Design, Computer Administration and Film Production, eventually earning her BA.

After working some years in creative departments in the advertising industry, she always felt as if something was missing in her life and felt compelled to help others in need which took her to Denmark. She volunteered in a drug-rehabilitation center. She soon took an executive post and stayed for seven years. In 2009, she moved back to Greece and started working in an alternative/holistic clinic close with doctors who treated patients through exercise and nutrition only.

In 2010, after getting married and having an awesome son, they decided to move back to where she first met her husband on a business trip to start a new adventure, find CrossFit, get her Level 1 Certificate and start coaching. She was excited about the opportunity to be mentored by Zac, Michele and Heather. While in Greece, she attends Olympic Weightlifting and gymnastics classes with the coach of the National Greek Gymnastics team.

Qualifications:

  • CrossFit Level 2 Trainer

Bruce Edwards

Coach

Bruce is a certified Level 1 CrossFit Trainer, certified in 2010. Bruce is a CrossFit OG (Old Guy) and started CrossFit under CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman in 1999 when CrossFit was founded in Santa Cruz.

Bruce found that Greg’s prescription of CrossFit and sound nutrition helped relieve his stress, lowered his blood pressure, and helped control his cholesterol. Bruce emphasizes fun and safety in his workouts.

Qualifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

Jason Boudreault

Coach

Jason lives in Aptos with his wife and three kids, two active boys and an adorable little girl. He has always lived an active lifestyle competing in pole vaulting in high school and playing football as an adult. He was a gym rat who looked up to his older brother who competed as a bodybuilder in Canada.

He began to get disinterested in the gym life and looked for other ways to remain fit. He began running and spent a lot of time exploring Nisene Marks State Park and running 5 k’s, 10 k’s, half marathons and full marathons. His older brother soon told him about this crazy workout program that he was doing called CrossFit. Jason saw the transformation it made in his brother and son, and he decided to give it a try.

From that point forward Jason was hooked. He loves being able to share what CrossFit has done for him and hopefully inspire others. He feels that getting to be part of a person’s journey toward a better, healthier, and stronger self is a true honor!

Qualifications:

  • Crossfit Level 1 Trainer

Logan Vanderpool

Coach

Growing up in Santa Cruz as an avid dancer and year-round softball, basketball and volleyball player, Logan has been an athlete her entire life. After graduating from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, in 2009 and moving back home to Santa Cruz, Logan reconnected with local fitness-industry friends and was swayed by their adamant recommendations that she “HAD TO TRY CROSSFIT!” She was instantly hooked and competed in her first CrossFit competition—the regional qualifier for the Games with the CrossFit 831 team—merely months after learning the Olympic lifts. She solidified her commitment to this amazing fitness program by becoming a Level 1 trainer in 2010 and began her coaching career at CrossFit 831.

Logan spent the first half of 2016 solo traveling through Central and South America and truly experienced how broad the CrossFit community reaches visiting more than 10 gyms through Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Peru. She has returned home more excited than ever about coaching CrossFit and supporting the local Santa Cruz/Aptos Community to continually strive to improve fitness and health.

Logan has had the amazing opportunity to coach at a number of gyms throughout the years including Studio 831, CrossFit Santa Cruz Central, CrossFit West/CrossFit Ready in Santa Cruz, and Sin City CrossFit in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is passionate about providing beginners the support they need to become confident CrossFitters, as well as pushing the seasoned veterans to master their fitness potential.

Logan is extremely excited to be part the talented staff at CrossFit Aptos and part of the enthusiastic community here.

Qualifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Coach

Taz Barber

Coach

Growing up, Taz was the kid who played every sport her school offered. You could say fitness was her life. Then in 2007, a fellow sports-science geek stumbled across a few CrossFit videos online and coerced her into giving it a try. She did the workouts on her own and thought the whole thing was really silly.

But somehow she kept coming back to it. At the time, she was following sports-specific training for sprint kayaking, but threw in some CrossFit as an experiment. She got stronger in the first three months of CrossFit than she had in the previous four years of regular strength training. She was hooked. A few months later, Taz and her friend opened the very first CrossFit affiliate in New Zealand.

Today, she coaches and writes programming for the business she started with her husband, Pat, Warmup And Workout. She is a wonderful wife and mother who enjoys cooking, gardening, and playing in the ocean with her sons, Oakes and Arrow.

Qualifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Coach
  • BSc in Sport Science – University of Auckland
  • BA in Psychology – University of Auckland

Laura Bruner

Coach

Laura is a Certified CrossFit Trainer (CF-L3) and Certified Nutrition Consultant. She was introduced to CrossFit in 2010 when she was teaching high-school English and Strength and Conditioning in San Jose, California. After just a week of training with a few other teachers in the morning at the school’s gym, she quickly fell in love with the program, excited for a change from her years as an endurance athlete in college. She then went on to work for CrossFit HQ, helping bridge the gap between CrossFit and education, and helping to bring CrossFit to schools and educational programs to affiliates across the country.

Laura also worked alongside Zac on the CrossFit HQ Seminar Staff for two years and now works behind the scenes on the Certified CrossFit Trainer (Level 3) credential. She also offers one-on-one and group nutrition consulting, providing discounted rates to CrossFit Aptos members.

CrossFit has changed Laura’s life and health in more ways than she can count, bringing lifelong friendships, sustained health and strength, and a new passion for helping others to do the same.

Contact: laura@myradicalroots.com

Qualifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 Coach
  • Certified CrossFit Trainer (Level 3)
  • CrossFit Kids Trainer
  • USAW Sports Performance Coach
  • Certified Nutrition Consultant
  • Owner of Radical Roots, LLC
  • BA – English

Charlyn Lopez »

Coach - Legends

Charlyn Lopez

Coach - Legends

Charlyn Lopez was born in Costa Rica. She is from a rural town on the Caribbean side of the country. She studied public relations in college, and always had a love for fitness and dance. Charlyn also spent time practicing martial arts, soccer, tennis and swimming.

In 2006, she became a certified Zumba instructor. After a successful career in modeling in Central America, Charlyn opened a modeling academy in Costa Rica in 2007, and was an important role model to many young girls aspiring to be public figures. She met her husband in 2002, but it wasn’t until 2009, when they decided to live together in California.

In 2012, following a beautiful Costa Rican wedding, Charlyn and her husband decided to call Capitola home. Also in 2012, she received her personal training certification thru ISSA and decided to specialize in seniors and weight loss. In 2015, Char took her first CrossFit class at CrossFit Aptos and was instantly hooked. She has found in CrossFit the best possible path to ultimate physical fitness and health, combined with the most amazing community and support.

After participating in CrossFit for nine months, she decided to become a Level 1 coach.  In 2016, with the help of Zac, she created a new class—Legends—which brings her previous experience with senior boot camps to CrossFit. Legends offers a great start for people who are initially intimidated by CrossFit.

 

Qualifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Coach
  • Personal Trainer certified by International Sports Sciences Association
  • Certified Zumba GOLD Instructor

Tammy Green »

Coach - Kids

Tammy Green

Coach - Kids

As a young girl, Tammy loved sports and played as many sports as she could. She played softball, soccer, basketball and was on the swim team. In high school, she became more serious about soccer. In her senior year, she qualified for the Women’s Olympic Soccer team. The month before her planned trip to Europe for training she was in a serious auto accident. Doctors told her she would be lucky if she could ever run again. Her Olympic dream was lost.

During her college years she focused on getting stronger and rehabilitating. Soon, she was enjoying recreational sports like surfing, bicycling and eventually running. She joined a local globo gym, but grew weary of spin and kick-boxing classes.

In 2004, a friend recommended that she check out this small gym called CrossFit. She was skeptical, but thought she’d give it a try. As so many others have experienced she was hooked immediately!

Also in 2004, she graduated from nursing school. As a nurse she has held a variety of different positions from staff nurse on the medical/surgical unit to management. Currently, she enjoys working in the Emergency Department at Dominican Hospital. Her schedule allows her to spend a lot of quality time with family and the apple of her eye, her son Liam.

Liam is fun, outgoing, and loves to exercise! In fact, he was her motivation and inspiration for finally getting her CrossFit Level 1 certificate, as well as her CrossFit Kids certification. Exercise with Liam is fun and always a game. She loves being able to introduce kids to living a fun, healthy and active lifestyle!

Qualifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
  • CrossFit Kids