Our Coaches

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JESSICA MANFRO

OWNER / HEAD COACH

DEVIN ABKAS

COACH

JESSICA MANFRO

JESSICA MANFRO

Owner / Head Coach

My name is Jessica Manfro, I am the Owner and Head Coach at CrossFit Peekskill. I began my CrossFit journey in 2010 when I unwillingly took my first CrossFit class, and the experience changed my life. Soon after I knew it was more than just a hobby for me, I needed CrossFit to be a bigger part of my life, but also to be a part of the others’ CrossFit experience as well. I wanted to learn it all and share everything I had learned. A year and a half later, I became a Level I CrossFit Trainer and began with a part-time coaching job. As I grew as a coach and expanded my certifications to my Level 2 and Kids, I also grew in my coaching opportunities. In 2017 I was offered the opportunity to open and run a Crossfit box. I am always striving to grow myself as a coach, and taking every opportunity to learn a new skill or technique that I can share with my athletes. I also have set goals for myself as a competitive athlete and compete in worldwide competitions. I have competed in the CrossFit Games Masters Qualifiers 4 of my 5 eligible years and finished second place at Wodapalooza in Miami in 2019.

As the Owner of CrossFit Peekskill, I want to create an atmosphere which encourages a supportive and welcoming community. Also as a coach, I want to enable as many people as possible to believe that they can be a better version of themselves and can accomplish so much more than they initially believe. I am constantly learning new things and sharpening my coaching skills, so I can keep my athletes not only safe and supported but inspired, engaged and excited about fitness!

I feel very fortunate that I am able to spend my life doing something that I enjoy so completely.
When I am not in the gym – I am off camping, hiking and in the Fall carving lots of pumpkins. I like to use what I work so hard for in the gym and to get outdoors and explore!

I look forward to meeting you and getting you started on your journey!
 

Education/Certifications

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer (CF-L1)
  • CrossFit Level 2 Trainer (CF-L2)
  • Kids Crossfit
  • CPR/AED and First Aid
DEVIN AKBAS

DEVIN AKBAS

Coach

I was introduced to CrossFit when I was in early high school, around 2013.  My dad and I took a trip up to the Reebok Headquarters in Massachusetts for the Northeast CrossFit regional that spring, and we were immediately hooked on the sport.  The next spring, we noticed that a local gym was opening up, CrossFit Peekskill.  We reached out to the owners online and decided to come in for an intro class.  Over the next few months, we fell in love with the gym, the CrossFit community, and prioritizing our health and fitness.  I went to the gym throughout high school, while also competing on my high school swim team.  The summer after I graduated, I decided to get my Level 1 CrossFit Certification so I could pursue something that I was passionate about, helping people have the same amazing experience with CrossFit that I had.  After a few months of shadowing and learning how to coach, I started training people in January of 2018, at the same gym that I started my CrossFit journey, CrossFit Peekskill. In addition to coaching, I am a full time student at Pace University pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Math, and I work as a Certified Lifeguard during the summers. 

Education/Certifications

  • CrossFit Level 1 Trainer (CF-L1)
JULIANA ZEOLLA

JULIANA ZEOLLA

Coach

My name is Juliana Zeolla.  I have been doing CrossFit since 2016 and have been a coach at CrossFit Peekskill since 2017.

I have always been athletic and have always played sports, my favorite being ice hockey.  Unfortunately, due to a knee injury from when I was 15, as I got older doing sports and working out got very tough and my knee could not handle it.  I had completely given up and stopped working out for a handful of years.  Then I decided I needed to do something so I tried CrossFit and it has been true love ever since!  Being taught to scale things properly showed me I can workout even with an injury and I love being able to pass down that knowledge as a coach.

When I’m not at CrossFit I love playing video games and playing with my dogs.

Education/Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1
ZACH SAWYER

ZACH SAWYER

Coach

Since I was a child in Indiana, I have always been involved in sports and outdoors. I played baseball, basketball, football and wrestled, and I continued playing intramural sports with my Fraternity in college. After college I moved to the west coast. I spent 6 years in California, before moving to New York at the end of 2012.  With a cross-country move, a new job, and a new home, I let my fitness go. I started trying going to the typical “Globo-Gym”, but I wasn’t into it.

In early 2013, I walked in my first CrossFit “Box” after seeing 2012’s CrossFit Games broadcast on ESPN. The workout was horrible, and I loved every minute of it. 100 Thrusters with a 3 Burpees EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute). I scaled the weight to just the bar and it took me almost 40 minutes, but there I was surrounded by people at had never met, cheering me on as if I was on their team and they’d known me for years. That feeling lit a fire inside of me to learn everything I could about “The Sport of Fitness”, CrossFit.

Since 2013, I have taken both my Level 1 and Level 2 Trainer’s courses, as well as visited boxes in places like Las Vegas, NV, Rapid City, SD, Greenville, SC, Evansville, IN (My Hometown), and even Rome, Italy. These experiences have made me the person and coach that I am today. My goal every day is to make athletes better, whether it’s helping someone through a technique, watching someone smash a goal, or when an athlete hits that first Rx workout, if they leave class just a little bit better, it was a good day.

Education/Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1
  • CrossFit Level 2
EMILY MONIGAN

EMILY MONIGAN

Coach

My name is Emily Monigan and I have been a member of CFP since 2018 and a coach since 2019. Fitness wasn’t always a part of my life. I played sports throughout high school and was a part of the intramural ultimate frisbee team in college but outside of the occasional team workouts, I wasn’t concerned about fitness, nutrition, or finding balance within my lifestyle.  That all changed my senior year of college in 2015 when I realized just how unhealthy my habits were. Fast forward 4 years since that realization and fitness and nutrition are cornerstones in my life.

After being introduced to CrossFit by a member of CFP, I knew this was where I belonged. I am constantly inspired by the community around me and am always excited for the Workout of the Day. Working out is now something I look forward too and something I schedule into my day. I am constantly looking for new ways to push out of my comfort zone and that is in part to the strength, mental fortitude, commitment to myself and passion I have built from being a member of CFP. After a little more than a year of being a member, I decided to become a coach to give to other athletes all that CFP and the other coaches here have given me.

Since beginning my fitness journey, I have completed 2 half marathons, countless Tough Mudders and Spartan races, a CrossFit competition, a Weightlifting Competition and I am currently training to run the NYC Marathon this fall. Outside of CrossFit, I am a full-time employee with the American Red Cross, and I can usually be found at Starbucks, on a hike, or reading.

 

Education/Certifications:

  • CrossFit Level 1
  • Schwinn Cycling MPower (with power) Instructor