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Athlete Profiles

Athlete Profiles Coolibar Athletes

Meet the Coolibar Sponsored Athletes for 2014

Coolibar - Meet the Athletes

Each year, Coolibar proudly sponsors a group of athletes who are uncommonly passionate in pursuit of their chosen sports, and also for personal excellence and healthy outdoor living. Our 2014 Coolibar Sponsored Athletes are some of our finest yet. We’re proud to introduce them today. Stay tuned – you’ll hear much more from and about them throughout 2014!

Stesha Carle

Stesha Carle, 2014 Cooilbar Athlete

Winner of nine international medals, Stesha Carle has participated in rowing races all over the world. Stesha is a native of La Habra, California and rowed for the Long Beach Junior Crew in high school. She was recruited to the University of Michigan, where she earned a degree in Motion Science. Following college she trained with the women’s US National rowing team in Princeton, NJ for six years. Currently Stesha trains in California for SoCal Scullers, with a goal of winning gold at the 2016 Olympic Games. Stesha is a project coordinator for Fastech, a rowing machine instructor for Roworx and a personal trainer.  She enjoys running, hiking and exploring sunny California.

Stesha credits rowing with changing her life. Also, her priorities regarding sun protection changed after her father’s surgery to remove melanoma from his cheek – important in a sport that involves being on the water every morning.

Mekia Earle

Mekia Earle - Coolibar Athlete 2014

Born and raised in Honolulu, Mekia Earle has always maintained a love of the outdoors and fitness, as well as a high standard as a healthy role model to the younger generation growing up in Hawaii. She began playing beach volleyball at a young age, and attended college on an athletic scholarship in the Pacific Northwest. Fitness plays a major role in Mekia’s life. She holds a masters degree in Kinesiology and teaches girls physical education for grades 5 – 8 at Punahou School on Oahu; she also coaches and does color commentary for high school volleyball programs and works out every day to stay fit.

Mekia says that almost everyone who grew up in Hawaii has been affected by skin cancer directly or indirectly. As a wife (her husband recently had skin cancer removed from his neck) and a mother of two children, she is committed to imparting knowledge, awareness and understanding about healthy lifestyles and being smart about the sun.

 Jim Webster

Jim Webster, Long Range Rifle Marksman, Coolibar Athlete 2014

Jim Webster grew up in the Catskills of central New York, where the surroundings and his dad instilled in him a great love and respect for the outdoors. During many fishing outings he learned how to read the water, to spot changes in the environment and most of all what it means to be a conservationist. These skills translated into the patience, observation and practice required to become a marksman, as well as the respect for equipment and the responsibility to firearms safety. He says his dad’s insistence on reviewing the range rules lessened his youthful curiosity about firearms and at the same time broadened his respect for them. Since 2011 Jim has specialized in long range shooting competitions. He has won seven gold medals in 2012 and 14 more in 2013. He is the 2013 NY State F-T/R Long Range champion, and plans to compete in the US Nationals in Arizona in fall 2014. In the near future Jim hopes to open his own marksmanship academy for students of any experience or shooting discipline, with a consistent focus on safety and responsibility.

Jim lives in New York state with his wife Molly and daughter Katie (both very goodmarkswomen in their own right) and enjoys hiking, escaping to the beach and fishing with friends in Rhode Island…all good tests for Coolibar’s complete line of UV protective clothing.

Valerie Stewart

Valerie Stewart - Coolibar 2014 Sponsored Athletes

Valerie grew up a self-described tomboy on a big wheat farm in Washington State. She waterskiied on the Snake River, rode horses bareback, and found plenty of potentially dangerous fun. However, Valerie found no outlet for formal sports until she was 40 years old, with an eight-month-old baby, and began snowboarding.  Soon hopelessly addicted, Valerie competed in the Lake Tahoe division of USASA (United States of America Snowboard  Association) and medaled at every competition; she went on to compete and medal at the national level for the next six seasons.Valerie is the owner of Pow Productions, a video production company that has produced two international snowboarding videos, “Hips That Rip” and “Outlaws to Olympians;” the latter received an award at the 20th Annual Telly Awards.

Valerie belongs to several groups that kayak the rivers, lakes, and bays of northern California. She also enjoys yoga. She says, “When I’m physically active, I feel free, happy, strong, capable, confident, and young.”

Trey Seibold

Trey Seibold, Tennis - Cooilbar Athlete 2014

Born and raised in Florida, Trey Seibold picked up a tennis racquet during college and has never looked back; he has been a professional tennis instructor for the past 25 years.

In addition, Trey participates in triathlons and races surf skis. He’s placed in every race that he competed in this year. His goal is to constantly improve in every aspect of his personal and professional life.

Trey lives in Fort Lauderdale with his wife and three stepchildren. Trey works and trains outdoors seven days a week, so sun protection extremely important. Six months ago he discovered Coolibar and has been wearing it ever since. Coolibar is not only protecting him from the sun, keeps him cool and feeling comfortable since he wears it up to 11 hours! Trey wants to share the importance of sun protection to everyone he works with.

Jerry Leonard

Jerry Leonard, Coach, Coolibar Athlete 2014

Jerry Leonard is a three-time Louisiana state power lifting champion and the athletic director at Salmen High School – his alma mater – where he has been a high school football coach, biology and physiology & anatomy teacher for over 20 years.

He grew up in south Louisiana and spent a great deal of time outside, playing sports and enjoying the outdoors. Jerry is an avid golfer and fitness enthusiast. When he is not outside for work-related activities, he’s usually outside enjoying recreation with his family.

Jerry says Coolibar is a great partner for him to enjoy his time in the sun and protect himself from sun damage. Jerry says, “I like the idea of being able to wear cool and comfortable clothing in the Louisiana heat while being fully protected. Coolibar has given me the ability to enjoy my time outside, do my job, and limit my exposure to the harmful effects of the sun…much to the approval of my dermatologist.”

Leslie Jackson

Leslie Jackson, SUP, Coolibar Athlete 2014

Growing up in SoCal, Leslie Jackson always thought of the beach as her “happy place.” Today, it’s her gym. A not-so-typical mother of two in Carlsbad, California, Leslie began standup paddleboarding (SUP) in early 2013 and quickly graduated to SUP racing. She has a passion for fitness, the ocean and the outdoors, and incorporates SUP into her other pursuits including interval or cross training and yoga.

Her inspiration for activity likely comes from the medical equipment business she owns with her husband, which for many years has served people with disabilities. Recently the business has broadened into custom and adaptive recreational equipment, including the development of an adaptive paddleboard for people with disabilities.

Leslie also shares the joy of sports with her kids, ages 9 and 11 (she’s also an unabashed soccer mom) and trains them in the basics of standup paddleboarding.

Rich Early

Rich Early, softball, Coolibar Athlete 2014

As an eight-year-old in Phoenix, Arizona, Rich Early remembers accomplishing his first athletic goal: getting picked after school to play with the older boys on a real baseball field. Today, he spends winter months in the Pacific Northwest playing indoor tennis and working out in his home gym specifically to stay in shape for the sport he still loves: softball.

By itself this is another impressive accomplishment. A few years ago, Rich developed a sensitivity to UV rays. Sunscreen caused his eyes to itch and water. He was forced to quit playing tournament ball for several years. Coolibar clothing to the rescue – Rich was able to resume the sport this past May.

Rich’s team finished 2nd in the 65 age bracket at the Senior Winter Nationals games in Phoenix last November, as his family watched him play for the first time in more than 50 years. Rich uses his upcoming softball season, which will conclude at the Huntsman Senior Games in St. George, Utah in October, as inspiration as he pushes through his winter workout program.

Kaitlyn Price

Kaitlyn Price, golferA native Floridian, Kaitlyn grew up in the outdoors playing at the beach, soccer field or golf course. Although she played many different sports growing up, she found her true passion was golf. Playing and excelling in countless junior and amateur events gave her the opportunity to play collegiate golf at The University of Central Florida. A recent graduate with a degree in Public Administration and Sports Business Management, Kaitlyn is currently preparing to follow her dream to be a professional golfer.

Kaitlyn has realized the importance of skin protection from her mother who is a two-time melanoma survivor. Along with golfing, Kaitlyn enjoys cycling and boating.

 

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Athlete Profiles Coolibar Athletes

Meet our 2013 Sponsored Athletes

Last year, Coolibar athletes inspired us get outside! Staying active and following their passions, they ran marathons, competed in international windsurfing meets, mastered adventure race courses and more. They also showed us how easy it is to keep your skin healthy while staying active outdoors. Now, we’re excited to introduce our 2013 Coolibar Sponsored Athletes, a group of incredible motivators!

Ashleigh Baird

Ashleigh Baird

Born and raised in central Florida, Ashleigh grew up spending weekends playing on beaches, exploring fresh water springs and sailing around the Florida Keys – all the while spending countless hours studying the natural world.  The underwater realm was her first love and these early experiences helped form a passion for exploration, and a desire to make a positive impact on the environment, ultimately leading to the choice to become both a freediver and an architect.  Ashleigh continues to develop her skills as a freediver with hopes of breaking a national record in the fall of 2013. Read Ashleigh’s story >

John Chase

John Chase

As a kayaker and part time instructor, John spends a lot of time on and in the water teaching entry level kayak skills courses, leading tours, as well as paddling for fun. John is also a full-time fitness manager, personal trainer, father of two daughters, and husband. Being active, he’s had many amazing life experiences: standing six feet from a herd of deer while riding a mountain bike, watching the sunrise alongside his daughters from 11,000 feet above sea level, and witnessed the absolute silence of the winter woods after a big snowfall. John also maintains a blog as a Personal Trainer along with other sites where he posts content on topics that encourage others to lead a healthy life. Read John’s story >

Holly Finley

Holly Finley

Holly started playing disc golf June 2011 and played for four short months before moving to Africa for a modeling contract. Unable to play in Africa because of no readily available courses, Holly planned out her year for the 2012 season. Upon returning from Africa, she promptly entered into her first tournament in February and won first place. She then went on a winning spree, playing in 30 events during the 2012 season, taking home 16 first places and touring around the United States as an amateur player. Read Holly’s story >

Sarah Gay

Sarah Gay

Sarah is a working wife and mother of two young children ages 16 months and 3 years.  The outdoors has always been a major part of her life, as have many different sports.  After her first sprint distance tri in 1998, she was hooked on triathlons. Even from the start, she dreamed of completing an Ironman at some point. Today, she is training for her first half Ironman distance tri in June 2013. Read Sarah’s story >

Chad Hannon

Chad Hannon

Nine years ago, while sitting on the couch having a cigarette, Chad made the decision to change his life. He threw out the cigarettes, and got on his bike. Today, at 41, he’s 55 pounds lighter and nine years without a cigarette. He runs endurance events of all kinds, his favorite being adventure races. Chad’s daughter Madeline, age 10, even runs with him on a regular basis. Read Chad’s story >

Krista Kennedy

Krista Kennedy

Krista is a rare fifth generation native of Las Vegas, Nevada. A single mom, Krista loves the outdoors and playing in the sun. From an early age she has enjoyed many sports and activities including gymnastics, dance, swimming and hiking the trails at beautiful Red Rock National Park and the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. Most recently she has found a passion that combines her love of the sun, water and exercise–stand up paddle boarding or SUP. Read Krista’s story >

Gene Meade

Gene Meade

Gene is an ultra runner, fitness instructor and Vice President of the North Carolina Road Runners Club. As a testament to his passion for running, in 2012, he competed in a Marathon, five 50K races, one 100K race, a 212 mile relay race and two 24 hour running events. Now, his goal is to run two one hundred mile races, his first in April. Read Gene’s story >

Ally Murray

Ally Murray

On April 22, 2013 Ally will run from Galveston, Texas until she reaches her hometown in Minnesota. Besides being a marathoner, she’s a wife and mother to two amazing sled dogs. Just before her qualifying race for the Boston’s Marathon in 2008, she suffered two strokes and three traumatic brain injuries after a car accident. Just recently, Ally learned there is now a relationship between brain injury and brain cancer. Her mission is prevention, and taking all the necessary steps to live a healthy life and help others do so as well.  Read Ally’s story >

Carol Philips

Carol Philips

Carol is a pioneer of big wave bodyboarding for women. She was the first woman to compete against the men at the Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore (Oʻahu). She founded the World Championship of Women’s Bodyboarding in Memory of Don and Josie Over in 1990. She was the first woman in the world to hold a permit to run a contest at the Banzai Pipeline. Carol was also featured in the book “North Shore Chronicles” and was in the movie Blue Crush.  She is the owner of the North Shore Surf Girls – Surf School on the North Shore of Oahu and spends four to six hours a day in the sun teaching surfing. Read Carol’s story >

Sevve Stember

Sevve Stember

Sevve started climbing shortly after he could walk, although he doesn’t remember much of it. One of the first climbs he did outdoors he recalls as life changing. As he climbed Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies at Shovel Point above the Great Lake Superior, he didn’t know it, but a whole new world had opened up to him: the vertical one. From that day onward, he would surround himself with climbing. Read Sevve’s story >

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Athlete Profiles Coolibar Athletes Inside Coolibar

Meet Our 2012 Sponsored Athletes

We heard from more than 100 athletes in our search for the 2012 Coolibar Athlete Team. We then had the difficult task of narrowing down our list to an exceptional group that we hope will inspire others through their actions. Now, we’re proud to introduce our 2012 Coolibar Sponsored Athletes.

John Barker

John began competing in triathlons in 2007 and immediately took a liking to the sport. However, in 2010, he had to put his long term goal of completing an ironman on hold after donating a kidney to save a stranger’s life. Now, two years later, John shares how he’s getting back into training after his life changing experience. Read John’s story >

Molly Baross

Molly is a Master’s synchronized swimmer. Initially, Molly joined her current team, the Unsyncables of La Mirada, to help arthritic conditions and keep in shape. Now, she competes nationally at least once a year. Preparing for the competitions takes lots of practice, endurance and conditioning to be strong enough to hold your breath and do the complicated movements. Currently, Molly is preparing to compete in Riccione, Italy at the Fina World’s Aquatic Championships in June. Read Molly’s story >

Kristie Cranford

As a certified personal trainer, Kristie coaches others on how to be healthy on the inside, as well as the outside. As a melanoma survivor she’s passionate about sun safety, especially since becoming a Mom. Running is her passion, whether it is on a trail or the city streets. Now she’s taking her passion for running, and sun protection, to reach her goals of finishing an ultra marathon, become a USA Track and Field Masters All American, and reach as many people as possible with the message of sun protection. Read Kristie’s story >

Chad Grigsby

Chad is a professional angler on his 10th year as a full-time pro on the FLW Tour, the top level of tournament bass fishing. He holds seven top ten finishes on the Tour and one win. He spends more than 100 days a year on the water during practice and tournament days, sometimes up to 15 hours! Read Chad’s story >

Elena King

Elena is a Class A Member of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Division and a graduate of the University of Iowa where she was captain of the golf team for three years. She is an accomplished player with many individual titles both as an amateur and a professional. Now, blending her experience playing and coaching golf, she’s Director of Instruction through her company, Experience Golf, offering a comprehensive approach to the game including overall performance and player development. Read Elena’s story >

Marion Lepert

Marion is passionate about windsurfing and racing, traveling across the world to compete. What’s more is that she is doing this at age 16! After training hard, learning from top sailors, and finishing in the top five in three world championships in 2011, her new goal is to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games. Read Marion’s story >

Tania Prymak

Skiing is a large part of Tania’s life. After traveling to a ski resort in Oregon where elite US ski cross athletes were training, she knew it was something she had to do. Even though she has only two seasons of ski cross racing under her belt, she’s titled 2011 USASA Woman’s National Ski cross champion and the USSA Revolution Tour Champion. Tania’s serious about training, despite her setback of having kidney disease, and hopes to qualify for an Olympic spot in the future. Read Tania’s story >

Sara Snyder

Sara is an avid nature photographer, outdoor explorer and long distance hiker. At this very moment, she is on a 2,663 mile trek from Mexico to Canada via the Pacific Crest Trail. She’ll be living outdoors from April to October 2012, in face of all of mother nature’s elements. Read Sara’s story >

Peter Urban

Peter is a tennis guru, having played competitively for almost 30 years. He’s a USTA and CMITA league playing with a 4.5 ranking. He also enjoys staying active outdoors with surfing, skiing and running. In 2011, Peter discovered skin cancer on his back, but he hasn’t let that stop his passions, including finding the time to write a book on tennis! Read Peter’s story >

Jeremy Van Ek

Jeremy—finance professional by day, proud father by night and weekend and adventure racer in any spare time he gets. Adventure racing is an outdoors multisport team competition. Disciplines usually include trail running, mountain biking, paddling and special challenges. Races also range in length anywhere from four hours to 10 days! Read Jeremy’s story >

Coolibar Athletes will share their stories with us throughout their season, so check The Coolibar Blog frequently for updates!

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