Coaches

Metropolitan Gymnastics has a strong and supportive international coaching staff – Russian, Chinese, American – that balances technique with artistry, individual with team success, professionalism with a family feel, and hard work with fun.  We blend our varied expertise as former gymnasts, professional coaches, and certified judges to create a powerful competitive team program with and provide leadership for our recreational programs.

WOMEN’S JUNIOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT COACHES:

Head Coach: Yulia Hancheroff

Coach Yulia is a co-owner of the gym as well as the Women’s Team head coach.  She grew up in the Soviet Union and started gymnastics at age 5.  Coming from an artistic family, she trained at the school of Olympic Reserves in Scherbinka, just outside Moscow. She learned here both as a student, and later as a coach.   Yulia was on the USSR National Power Tumbling team and was Pan-European champion twice in a row. She continued her life in sport by taking a Sports Medicine degree at Moscow State University. She has over 30 years of coaching experience in gymnastics acrobatics, and dance. Over the years she has developed many State and Regional and Western National Champions. She is also ranked as a national USA choreographer. When she is not hosting local, state, and regional meets, she has an active acting career as a member of the Screen Actors Guild.  You can also find her cheering on her daughter as an outstanding competitive ballroom dancer.

Optional Bars and Vault Coach: Guennadi Komissarov

Coach Guennadi is a co-owner of Metropolitan Gymnastics and is the Optional Girls Uneven Bars and Vault coach.  Guennadi graduated from the Belorussian State Institute of Physical Culture in 1984. He has coached National Russian Team Members, Poland’s Girls National Team, and took his team from Colorado to the National Elite Competition in 1996.  When not climbing exceptionally high ladders to add neon lights to the American flag that light up at march-in of meets, Guennadi can be found in the amazing bar training area he designed and adds to on a regular basis.

Optional Beam/TOPS and HOPES: Cathy SutherlandCoach Cathy

Cathy was inducted into the Washington State Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2014.  She has been coaching level 2 through Elite gymnastics in the Northwest for over 30 years and has coached 6 gymnasts to the National Training Team. She started gymnastics at the age of 15 at which time her coach immediately started her coaching the younger team members. 3 years later she received a full gymnastics scholarship to the University of Washington.  Cathy Coached Newport high school to two state championships before joining Metropolitan gymnastics.  Coach Cathy’s specialty at the optional level is the balance beam. “I love the coach/athlete relationships that are developed over years and watching girls progress.  In addition to learning to be competitive gymnasts, I want them to learn that the benefits of gymnastics are so extraordinary.  With their gymnastics career behind them, their discipline and work ethic instills confidence (especially for young women) that they can go and do anything.  This is something important to treasure.”  Cathy is an award-winning aerialist, has a daughter who is a singer and her family has created a festival in which they perform together nationally and internationally.

Compulsory Team Director: Elia Castleman

Elia came to Metropolitan from Seattle Pacific University where she served as a collegiate and Club team coach.

 

Compulsory Team Coach: Vanessa Hahn

Vanessa came to Metropolitan from California.  She is the Level 2 program director and coaches most compulsory levels.  Vanessa’s background in ballet is an important asset for our developing gymnasts.

Compulsory Team Coach: Aimee Hentschel

Aimee recently joined the Metropolitan coaching staff and works with Pre-TOPS and Levels 2 and 3.

Women’s Level 7/8 and TOPS Coach: Donny Gallegos

From the age of three, gymnastics has been Donny’s life’s passion. As an elite gymnast, he trained under top coaches from Russia.  His work ethic, dedication, and loyalty have been central to his success and influence his development of aspiring gymnasts.   Donny has been the head coach at Holy Names Academy since 2012 leading them to consecutive League, District, and State championships.  In 2015, Donny was the head coach for the Washington State High School National team.

Level 1 Coach: Maryanna Peterson

Maryanna started gymnastics at the age of 3 as a Metropolitan gymnast. She competed for us for 13 years before competing at Seattle Pacific University.  In addition to coordinating and coaching our Level 1 girls, Maryanna coaches all levels of the Boys’ Club Team and continues to rock out in our recreational program as well.

MEN’S JUNIOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT COACHES

Men’s Team Head Coach:  Max Soifer

Max is a former Metropolitan gymnast graduating from Stadium High School in Tacoma, WA in 2013. After high school Max went on to compete for the University of Washington for four years, serving as captain his senior year. To finish off his competitive career, Max competed for Team USA at the 20th World Maccabiah games winning Silver with the team and Bronze in the All-Around and Pommel Horse. Following his competitive career, Max joined the staff at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana for the 2017-2018 season where the team won the 2018 Big Ten Championship. After his stint at Illinois, Max Spent a year at Springfield College working toward his master’s degree in athletic administration while coaching their Men’s gymnastics team. Max also has nearly a decade of coaching experience along with years of judging experience and is so excited to be back at home coaching the next generation!

Men’s Program Director/ Lv 6 & 8 Coach:  Eli Richardson

Eli came to Metropolitan Gymnastics from Houston, TX, and adds an enthusiastic and motivating presence to the gym. As a competitive gymnast, he had a career spanning almost 20 years. At Texas A&M University, he was men’s team captain and club president and led the completely student-organized A&M Men’s Gymnastics club to 3 collegiate club national titles, 4 individual all-around national titles, and 13 event titles from 2008-2013. Throughout his career, he was able to coach and volunteer at local high schools and club programs in the Texas gymnastics community. After 4 years of corporate life as a successful Industrial Engineer in Texas, he returns to his roots for a career as a boys team coach here at Metropolitan.

  Level 7 Coach/Club Team Director: Brett Brown

Coach Brett came to us from Colorado and is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable coach.  Brett coaches Level 7 boys and also directs the Club team program.  His philosophy is to coach each athlete to his fullest potential.  As the coach for the JD team in the last quad, his athletes were undefeated as a team in local, state, and regional competitions.

 

Mens’ 9/10 Assistant Coach: Donny Gallegos

Coach Donny has joined the Men’s team coaching staff and models his own strong work ethic.  His conditioning is “legendary” and his attention to detail on Floor and Vault are particularly valued.  From the age of three, gymnastics has been Donny’s life’s passion.  His aptitude for gymnastics allows him to understand and develop aspiring gymnasts.  As an elite gymnast, he trained under top coaches from Russia.

Compulsory Head Coach:  Corey Wood

Corey is the head coach of our compulsory boy’s program.  He also runs our Pre-Team program for boys.  Corey joined Metropolitan in the midst of the pandemic and brings his expertise in the development of young athletes.  Corey is also in charge of our Future Stars program.

Compulsory Coach:  Jocelyn Soltz

Coach Jocelyn is a former collegiate gymnast (University of Pennsylvania) and brings her gymnastics knowledge and experience to her role as assistant Level 4 Coach.  Coach Jocelyn is the parent of two gymnasts and provides a bridge for parents and athletes entering the competitive arena.

 

WOMEN’S XCEL COACHES:

XCEL Program Director/ Coach: Shirlene Chambers

Shirlene is a former High School gymnast and a graduate of the University of Washington. After graduation, she taught High School business classes and was also a dance instructor at a dance studio. Shirlene started coaching at Metropolitan Gymnastics in 2000 as a coach and then director of the compulsory team. She is now the director and head coach of Metropolitan’s highly successful Xcel team. Her goal for the program is to keep growing, improving, and having fun.  Not only are her athletes “having fun” they regularly qualify and medal at State, Regionals, and Nationals.

XCEL Coach: Emily Wood

Coach Emily works with all levels of Xcel in some capacity.  She is the head coach for Bronze, team coaches for Silver and Gold, and assists as needed with Platinum and Diamond.  Her enthusiasm and attention to detail make her an invaluable asset to our program.

XCEL Jr. Coach: Alia Near

Alia has joined the Xcel coaching staff as a Junior Pro.  She has earned her position through her skill and leadership as a competitive JO and Xcel gymnast.  She offers the athletes she coaches insights of a currently competing athlete in levels to which they aspire.

MEN’S CLUB TEAM COACHES:

Club Team Director/Head Coach: Brett Brown

Coach Brett came to us from Colorado and is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable coach.  In addition to directing the Club team program, Brett coaches Level 7 boys and assists Xcel girls on bars.  His philosophy is to coach each athlete to his fullest potential.  As the coach for the JD team in the last quad, his athletes were undefeated as a team in local, state, and regional competitions.

Boys Club Team Coach: Maryanna Peterson

Maryanna coaches all levels of the Boys’ Club Team.  She started gymnastics at the age of 3 as a Metropolitan gymnast, competing as a JO gymnast for 13 years before competing at Seattle Pacific University.  In addition to coordinating and coaching our Level 1 girls, Maryanna continues to rock out in our recreational program as well.

 

METROPOLITAN TEAM ADMINISTRATORS:

Office Manager: Kyoko Peterson

Kyoko is the heart of the front office and manager extraordinaire.   She has been with Metropolitan since her daughters MaryAnna and Kristina started with the gym over 15 years ago.  In addition to serving as our office manager, she also organizes and runs awards, coordinates volunteers, and manages other responsibilities for both girl’s and boys’ meets.

 

Teams Administrator/Safety Champion: Karen Zediker

Karen has returned to Metropolitan as the administrator for the Teams programs and serves as the USAG Safety Champion.  She brings with her 20+ years of experience as a men’s coach and judge combined with her 30+ years career as a professor of Communication and educational consultant.  Karen continues to serve the men’s gymnastics community through the Iron Cross Foundation and as a member of the WGJA board.