STAFF

our skilled
team leadership

  • Sharma Phillips
    Sharma Phillips LEAD COACH

    Sharma Phillips infectious and energetic personality promotes a high level of enthusiasm, inspiration, and strength to her leadership as a lead coach.  In addition, her strong athletic background and experience preceded her membership with RFWTT. Prior to joining the team, Sharma has been an accomplished runner and organized an all-woman’s cycling club at her local bike shop. In 2010, Sharma became a member of the RFWTT as well as assistant coach for the team. At the time, the RFWTT swim coaches taught her to swim, and it started her journey with triathlons.

    Sharma is a certified Ironman triathlon coach, certified personal fitness instructor and group fitness instructor.  She is the owner of TRI Valley Training, which is a club that focuses on long distance races and events. Personal accomplishments are completing five marathons (including Boston), all distances of triathlon. (Sprint, Olympic, 70.3 and a full Ironman).  She has completed several notable trail runs (Golden Leaf and Imogene Pass) and many more.

    Sharma’s love for athletics comes from a passion to push her own personal boundaries.   She receives deep enjoyment from setting goals and working toward them as well as helping others achieve what they think is impossible.  This is where her love for the RFWTT stems.  Helping others see new potential in themselves and giving them to the tools to succeed.  This is what the team means to her and she is grateful to be one of the head coaches.

  • Carla Westerman
    Carla Westerman LEAD COACH

    The RFWTT is fortunate to have Carla Westerman as a lead coach with her strong athletic background, experience, and history with the team.  Her leadership is set apart by the motivating spirit she embodies, helping those around her reach their full potential. Her ‘can do’ attitude rubs off on everyone. She helps her team members believe they are capable of more than they originally thought. For many on the team, she is the voice telling them to run a little faster, swim a little harder, and bike a little farther. Her motto is “KEEP MOVING!”

    Carla’s experience includes a USAT Level One Coach certification. She originally started on the RFWTT in 2008 as a beginner triathlete, needing to learn how to swim. With the help of the RFWTT team swim coaches, Carla went on to complete her first sprint triathlon and found a true love for the sport. Carla has since completed many Sprint and Olympic Distance races, as well as two Half Ironman distance races, and in 2016 completed her first Ironman Triathlon at Ironman Louisville Kentucky.

Assistant
Coaches

  • Jeannette Chiappinelli
    Jeannette Chiappinelli Assistant Coach

    Jeannette Chiappinelli has lived in the valley for 20 years, and participated with RFWTT since 2012. The team inspired her inner athlete and transformed her perspective on life. Not only has the team helped expand her athletic capabilities, but also inspired lasting friendships. The team is more than a group of women, it becomes an extension to ones family. Along with the inspiration of the team, Jeannette’s determination, striving for excellence, and work ethic has led to second place wins in her age group and completion of a half-marathon. Her personable nature, approachability, and commitment as a team player makes her a great contributor to team leadership as a coach.

  • Jessie Johnson
    Jessie Johnson Assistant Coach

    Jessie Johnson started her triathlon training back in 2013 with the RFWTT. With some hesitation and some friendly nudging from others to sign up, she decided it was time to jump in and try something new. She has completed seven triathlons thanks to this wonderful group of coaches and teammates. Not having much experience in swimming and biking prior to joining this group, she has learned so much.

    Jessie offers a strong history and experience in running. She was fortunate to have some amazing friends in middle school who inspired her love of running and encouraged her to join the cross-country running team. This childhood experience has followed her to adulthood. She moved to Snowmass Village, CO in 1994, and met her husband, Erik, at the end of the Basalt Half Marathon in August 1996. Jessie, her husband and two daughters have lived in Glenwood Springs for the past 12 years. She has completed many local running races, completed eight marathons, having qualified for Boston Marathon three times, and seven triathlons in both the sprint and olympic distances. The RFWTT is excited to have Jessie’s strong background incorporated in the leadership team.

  • Sherrie Setterberg
    Sherrie Setterberg Assistant Coach

    Sherrie Setterberg has a life long passion for the sport of triathlon because of the inherent variety and challenge it offers. Her first triathlon was in 1989 at the Glenwood Triathlon. Since then, she has competed in many sprint and olympic distance triathlons and is a 70.3 Half Ironman finisher. She is also a 2-time USAT Age Group National Championship qualifier. Sherrie has been a member of the RFWTT since 2010. The team has been a meaningful and valuable source of comradery, inspiration, education and support. Moreover, she treasures the network of women who are ready to pair up for not only workouts and races but also coffee and fun times.

    She hopes to bring insight to other athletes in achieving sustainability in multisport training and competitions. She focuses on strength and fitness derived from physical and mental preparation. Most importantly, she cherishes meeting new fellow athletes and offers hearty encouragement on their journey to navigating this enriching sport of triathlon.

  • Nancy Zeigel
    Nancy Zeigel Assistant Coach

    Nancy Zeigel joined the RFWTT in 2012 when her daughter wanted to find something to do together to honor her aunt whom had passed away from breast cancer.  Saying “yes” was one of the best decisions of my life.  Nancy grew up as an athlete playing volleyball, basketball, tennis, softball…anything with a ball involved.  She had never swam a lap, ridden a bike up a hill or even run a mile for exercise.  This team has reignited Nancy’s inner athlete, renewed her passion for fitness and health, inspired her to be a better person every day and most importantly has given her friendships and a family of sisters who mean the world to her.

  • Margo Fishman
    Margo Fishman Assistant Coach

    As a child, I was called a “tomboy” with my many athletic strengths. Throughout high school, I played volleyball, basketball, tennis, and gymnastics. Also, I participated as a junior varsity and varsity cheerleader for the boy’s football and basketball teams. In my first year of college, I played volleyball as a setter and continued playing mixed doubles beach volleyball for many years. Later I developed my love of running, which led to my completion of 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, and two full marathons. Last year, I ran the Avenue of the Giants Marathon, in the California redwoods, at the age of 70.

    Before moving to Carbondale in 1997, my husband and I traveled many exotic adventures, including Nepal, Switzerland, Alaska, Chile, Costa Rica, Canada, and Italy. During this time period, we ran together and added hiking, biking, and river rafting to our athletic interests.

    In 2011, I joined the Roaring Fork Women’s Triathlon Team. Since joining the team, I have completed and placed in numerous Sprint and Olympic triathlons and have qualified several times for Nationals. Nothing has compared to the joys of being part of this team. The support, care, instruction, and professionalism shown by the coaches have been outstanding. The teamwork between team members and among coaches is astounding. My best friends and closest relationships have developed while participating with the many women who have been on the team. I hope to be an inspiration to new members, demonstrating one can continue enjoying competitive sports far into the golden years.

  • Nettie Avery
    Nettie Avery Assistant Coach

    Nettie Avery began competing in Triathlon in 1992 after the birth of her first son. She became a student of the sport and coached herself to compete in the Tri Glenwood Triathlon for 8 years. Then, to aid in rehab after a skiing accident, she joined the Roaring Fork Women’s Triathlon Team in 2000. She has been a member for most of the next 20 years. While she loves the thrill of competing in triathlon, she rather enjoys the process. In our adult worlds, it isn’t often that we get to play and with Triathlon we are allowed to play. The bonus of the RFWTT is organized training along with camaraderie of teammates-supporting each other’s journeys. Nettie has completed over 30 triathlons and several half-marathons.

  • Sydney Pena
    Sydney Pena Assistant Coach

    As I am brand new to the Valley, I have lived close by in Grand Junction for the past 6 years. This is where I swam and competed for CMU swim and dive team (competing in races mainly distance from the 500 to the mile), and then graduated with my bachelors in Exercise Science. When I was done competing in swimming, I was in search of a new sport in which I would be able to let my competitive side out. I have competed in multiple sprint triathlons, and I am signed up to compete in my first half ironman this summer of 2020.
    In 2017 I became the assistant coach for the CMU Varsity Women’s triathlon team as well as the Swimming and Diving team. The second year of coaching the triathlon team placed second at nationals, and the swim and dive team won their conference which was the first ever for the sport. On top of coaching the varsity sports, I was able to coach the age group team for Maverick Aquatics and teach swimming classes for CMU. These experiences challenged me to broaden my coaching abilities and be involved in as many aspects of coaching as I could. I have been fortunate to teach kids how to swim that are as young as 3, to a master’s athlete competing in the CrossFit Games, and even to college students taking their first swimming class.
    My love of coaching all ages and abilities comes from the pure job of watching individuals conquer their fears and push themselves way beyond what they could have ever imagined. Being part of a team like this where everyone is there to push themselves to make not only themselves better but everyone around them is something really special.
    I hope to bring some insight not only in the swimming side, but the overall positive experience in being part of an all-women’s team and how truly amazing and rewarding it can be to be involved in something bigger than yourself. Being a part of a swim team for more than 10 years, and then being able to coach different swimming and triathlon teams, I want to be able to share the positivity and gratitude I was able to gain from my own experiences to help others. My certification are Level 1 USA Triathlon Coach and Level 1 USA Swimming. Along with triathlons, I enjoy CrossFit, hiking, paddle boarding, and yoga. I am also in love with traveling and have been able to travel with my sister to 11 different countries in Europe.

Swim
Coaches

For most people, the swim is the hardest challenge. Our team’s success would not be possible without the below swim coaches. We have many success stories of team members who did not know how to swim and with the help of our swim coaches, were transformed and able to complete the sprint distance open water swim by the end of the season.

  • Judy Haynes
  • Howard and Mary Jay
  • Sydney Pena
  • Kathy Westley
  • Tesia Zuba

  • Sydney Pena
    Sydney Pena Assistant Coach

    As I am brand new to the Valley, I have lived close by in Grand Junction for the past 6 years. This is where I swam and competed for CMU swim and dive team (competing in races mainly distance from the 500 to the mile), and then graduated with my bachelors in Exercise Science. When I was done competing in swimming, I was in search of a new sport in which I would be able to let my competitive side out. I have competed in multiple sprint triathlons, and I am signed up to compete in my first half ironman this summer of 2020.
    In 2017 I became the assistant coach for the CMU Varsity Women’s triathlon team as well as the Swimming and Diving team. The second year of coaching the triathlon team placed second at nationals, and the swim and dive team won their conference which was the first ever for the sport. On top of coaching the varsity sports, I was able to coach the age group team for Maverick Aquatics and teach swimming classes for CMU. These experiences challenged me to broaden my coaching abilities and be involved in as many aspects of coaching as I could. I have been fortunate to teach kids how to swim that are as young as 3, to a master’s athlete competing in the CrossFit Games, and even to college students taking their first swimming class.
    My love of coaching all ages and abilities comes from the pure job of watching individuals conquer their fears and push themselves way beyond what they could have ever imagined. Being part of a team like this where everyone is there to push themselves to make not only themselves better but everyone around them is something really special.
    I hope to bring some insight not only in the swimming side, but the overall positive experience in being part of an all-women’s team and how truly amazing and rewarding it can be to be involved in something bigger than yourself. Being a part of a swim team for more than 10 years, and then being able to coach different swimming and triathlon teams, I want to be able to share the positivity and gratitude I was able to gain from my own experiences to help others. My certification are Level 1 USA Triathlon Coach and Level 1 USA Swimming. Along with triathlons, I enjoy CrossFit, hiking, paddle boarding, and yoga. I am also in love with traveling and have been able to travel with my sister to 11 different countries in Europe.

Administrative
Staff

  • Jackie McMillan
    Jackie McMillan Travel Coordinator
  • Gloria Farmer
    Gloria Farmer Web Designer
  • Jill Wilson
    Jill Wilson Administrator
  • Taylor Smith
    Taylor Smith Photographer

Contact Us

   Have Questions? Contact Our Staff

what
experts say

  • “The Gifts of Grit, Grace and Gratitude! The Roaring Fork Womens Triathlon Team was one of the greatest gifts I have given myself yet! Before joining I had never swam a full lap across a pool, or ever run a 5K, let alone any race for that matter. I always considered myself an outdoorsy girl, but never an athlete. Thanks to the help of this team, I have ignited a light and fire within and a thirst to find more of me . If you're looking for something to help you break out of your shell, this just might be the thing!”

    Jashine Wise First Year Tri-umph 2019
  • "Carla and Sharma, I just wanted to tell you how happy I am that I signed up for this team. I was a bit apprehensive because I am not in great shape, and I wasn’t sure I could keep up and fit in. I am so glad I didn’t let my fear stop me. I was worried about today, our first long run. I knew, if I had to, I could easily walk for the balance of the hour after I couldn’t run anymore, but I wanted to push myself to run as much as I could. I knew it would be awful. I was dreading it. In the past “training” on my own, I’ve always just tried to do a short run as fast as I could make myself go (a mile or 2 or 3). And I hated it. Always, I was glad I had done it, but I hated actually doing it. Today was the most fun 4 mile run/walk I’ve ever done. My legs are tired, but I don’t feel like my lungs are bleeding. I feel energized for the rest of my day. I am actually looking forward to my own practice run this week and next week’s group run. I have to admit, the whole heartrate thing sounded fine and all the last 2 weeks – but I had no idea what a revelation it is! Now I can actually enjoy my run and be making progress towards my goals, instead of feeling like I didn’t push hard enough and getting down on myself for walking a minute. I love the long slow distance! I love that I can apply discipline and make progress without killing myself. I look forward to getting more and more distance under me in that hour as my fitness improves. Jeannette is wonderful! I’ve been struggling and plugging away on my swimming. Kathy has been awesome. She is so kind and encouraging. On Monday she pushed us, made me try to do something I didn’t think I could do, and now I know I can do it! I am so pleased to be adding swimming as an activity I can do – forever – to help me stay active and fit after I’ve crossed the triathalon finish line. Yay! I still have a long way to go. I was convinced after the orientation I can really do this, but I knew I was going to have to work hard and stay committed. What really sunk in today is that your guidance and support are going to make this process enjoyable. Wow! I am not just going to survive this summer, I am going to have a wonderful time while I exercise, and learn so much. It is going to be tough at times, but the coaches are going to gently push me to do more than I ever thought I could do. You are all not only patient and enthusiastic, but you have so much knowledge to share that will help me for the rest of my life to stay engaged and active. I am so grateful to you, all the coaches, the many ladies who have clearly put so much into this program for so long, and my new supportive tri-sisters. What a great decision it was to sign up."

    Jamie First Year Tri-umph 2019
  • "Carla and Sharma, I can’t express my gratitude or thank you enough for all you have done for me and so many women! Thanks for the nudging and lessons you taught me to get me to the finish line! I especially love how you embrace the fact that everyone is so different and letting us all run our own race and being proud of who we are. Not having to be the best and the fastest....but just being who we are. You are both very inspirational!"

    Laura First Year Tri-umph 2019
  • I do want to take a minute and thank you . This has been the coolest experience of my life. I feel like, not only have I been inspired, but I’m inspiring others. I have loved every minute of it and I am so grateful to all of you and all that you do. I have never been surrounded by women that make me feel like I can do anything, and that is how you and my team mates make me feel. I feel pretty, I feel strong, I feel capable, I feel limitless and I feel alive when I am around you and the team. You have created such a beautiful thing and you inspire me to be a better person. You have changed my life and I am so very, very grateful.

    Janelle First Year Tri-umph 2014
  • Nancy, I feel GREAT about the training. My heart rate has decreased quite a bit doing the same pace as four weeks ago. For instance, walking up the hill this week, my HR was the same as it was during our parking lot walks last month. My swimming time has also improved greatly as I have learned the right way to breathe! I feel that both my strength and my endurance have improved dramatically. I have gained so much confidence doing this training and feel better about my body, my health and my abilities than I have in years. I forgot how FUN it is to work with a team — I love it! I so appreciate all the work you and Judy put into it!

    Leslie First Year Tri-umph 2014
  • You Rock! You both are so inspirational and motivating. I wouldn’t be where I am in triathlon without you! Thanks, Kelly

    Kelly Second Year Tri-umph 2013
  • Nancy and Judy I want to you know that you do an exceptional job of pulling this all together. It was very well-organized and very well-run, and I will highly recommend it to any potential triathlete I meet! I enjoyed the knowledge that I can run long(er) distances than I’ve ever tried to run before. Not something I really want to know because now I don’t have any excuses, but now I also don’t have any excuses! You chose exceptional people to be your assistant coaches, too. Special kudos to Caryn, Heidi, Sharma and Carol. They were extremely supportive to me personally. Thanks, Laura

    Laura First Year Tri-umph, 2013
  • It was a fantastic summer– one of the best things I have done in a long time! I loved the camaraderie from the participants and the coaches was amazing and unexpected. I have new friends, workout buddies and a new outlook on life. I learned about balance. If I tried this on my own, I would have tried to go to extremes in both exercise and nutrition. The training kept me in check and offered me a new perspective. This has been applied to other areas of my life as well. My husband keeps commenting on how I have positively changed both physically and emotionally. I already miss the trainings and the group on a whole. I cannot thank Nancy and Judy enough for your support, advice, teaching, encouragement and inspiration. Lynn

    Lynn First Year Tri-umphs, 2013
  • I’m a pretty quiet person and not very comfortable in crowds. By the end of the summer I felt a part of something that was much bigger than I had imagined. I gained confidence in myself and comfort having others around me. The whole experience was fabulous. Linda

    Linda First Year Tri-umphs, 2013
  • I felt so prepared and was so pleased with the whole experience. I loved every minute and wouldn’t change a thing! Something I gained but didn’t expect to gain from my Tri Experience this summer was the mental as well as physical self worth. I have always been athletic and sports oriented but I never approached it from a mental standpoint. The visualization was amazing! This was very therapeutic for me. Just what I needed to get through the summer! I just want to thank you both so much for all the support, advice and training you gave me over the summer. I have been struggling with finding myself over the last couple of years. This experience and the energy and support I got from the two of you and the team was exactly what I needed! Sandy.

    Sandy First Year Tri-umph, 2013
  • I was surprised at how many amazing friendships I gained, and how much triathlon training, preparation and doing it relates to real life. It is such a wonderful analogy. Always have a plan B. I want to know how much you made this summer incredible for me, I have so many fond memories and skills that I will take with me forward into what is about to be a very busy fall. Thank you!! Tina

    Tina First Year Tri-umph, 2013
  • It was wonderful to be around strong, fit women. I enjoyed having a community to be a part of. What seemed impossible at the beginning of the summer was very much achievable by the end. And I learned a healthier way to get there, without pushing too hard or doing too much. Thanks again for a great season! Teka.

    Teka First Year Tri-umph, 2013
  • The Tri Team was an incredible experience for me. I understand how it is life-changing for so many…what a great service Nancy and Judy are providing! It’s easy to see how much thought and plain work goes into your leading the team every day of the entire season. I hope you are having time now to do just what you want to do for yourselves. I’m planning on being back next year…I didn’t discover until the day of the Tri itself that I am competitive! That was both enlightening and funny! Thank YOU so very much! Best, Judy

    Judith Second Year Tri-umph, 2013
  • I was so proud of my black body-marked numbers on my arm from the Tri For the Cure and was very disappointed that they washed off in the shower yesterday. I decided to rewrite it this morning (rookie)! I was asked by my husband if I rewrote the numbers which I denied but was busted because I wrote the 6 backwards! I am very proud! Thank you so much for such an AMAZING JOURNEY! I am still on my TRI HIGH. Thanks again. I actually feel really good today not too sore and very pleased for what I accomplised on my first TRI ! Sincerely, Not a Tri-Baby Anymore!! Jennifer # 796

    Jennifer Markovich First Year Tri-umph 2012
  • Nancy and Judy, I had a great race and decided that I do really like being a triathlete. I wasn’t sure before the race that I’d do another one. Katie and I were getting ready Saturday evening and wishing that we’d bought those snazzy timer chip ankle bands. Katie said, “well, we can order them from Amazon tonight.” I said “We’ll see, this might be my last race, let’s wait until tomorrow.” I guess we’re ordering them! I had a great race and decided to complete instead of compete, even with myself, and it made it very enjoyable. Thanks for all the tips and tricks. I think I used most of them and have the others tucked away for future use.

    Janet Earley Third Year Tri-umph 2012