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MEET THE COACHES

 

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Jay Taheny

Owner/Head Coach,

CF-L3, TRS-L2, PN-1

Jay Taheny was born in Upper Sandusky, OH but grew up in southeastern KY.  At age 18, he moved to Richmond, KY to attend college at Eastern Kentucky University and has since called Richmond home.  Jay served for 25 years in the KY National Guard, with one deployment to Afghanistan, but has recently retired and now manages the gym full-time.

 

Jay first started CrossFit in August 2013.  Like many others, he was drawn to the competitive aspect of CrossFit but quickly realized the immense health benefits associated with the regimen.  He earned his L1 and CrossFit Kids certification 2014 and began coaching soon thereafter.   Jay has since gone on to earn multiple CrossFit credentials including CF Gymnastics, Weightlifting, and the highly coveted CrossFit Level 3 Trainer Certification.  He has also completed The Ready State 102 Mobility Course and is a certified nutrition coach through Precision Nutrition.  Outside of the gym, he holds a Master’s Degree in Executive Leadership from Liberty University and supports multiple philanthropic organizations in the Richmond area.

“CrossFit is so much more than a workout routine, it is a holistic health program.  Members of our gym have daily workouts programmed for them, but they also have nutrition and mobility coaching and access to a top-tier supplement line.  Additionally, they are part of a gym community that pushes you inside the gym but also routinely conducts social events outside of the gym.  It really is a community of highly successful individuals that supports and encourages one another to achieve goals inside and outside of the gym.”

 
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Allison McCann

Allison McCann is an Ohio native, but has resided in Richmond, KY for the majority of her life.  Allison’s fitness background began in a dance studio, where she trained and taught well into her 20s.  In 2014, Allison completed her first CrossFit workout and was immediately hooked. Shortly thereafter, she decided she wanted to continue coaching and has since earned her CrossFit Level 2 Trainer certification.  With 8 years of experience in competitive CrossFit, she brings a wealth of knowledge to the coaching team.  Outside of the gym, Allison holds a Master’s Degree from Eastern Kentucky University and is currently employed as the Assistant Director of Fitness and Wellness on campus.  Here is what Allison has to say about her CrossFit journey:

“CrossFit has offered me so much more than fitness alone.  I’ve gained a lot of confidence, made some incredible friends, and learned how to overcome mental battles as well as physical.  I’ve learned I’m capable of much more than I ever imagined.  Most exciting is the fact that I get to help our members overcome their own physical and mental hurdles as well.”

CF-L2

 
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Jana Milam

Jana Milam, originally from Jacksonville, Alabama, moved to Richmond in 2015.  She has 2 amazing children, ages 20 & 17.

 

Jana’s fitness journey began after the birth of her second child. She was the heaviest she’d ever been in her life and had developed high blood pressure.  Jana took the very intimidating first step and tried a CrossFit class in 2014.  She quickly saw that she, and anyone for that matter, could do CrossFit and fell in love with the CrossFit methodology.  Jana initially pursued a slightly different coaching route, becoming a Certified Personal Trainer in 2016 and training at the local YMCA before coming to CrossFit Cygnus and earning her Level 1 Trainer credentials.

“The hardest part for me was stepping through the door. Trust me. Step in & you will see that you CAN reach your goals. You can get fit and healthy with my help!”

CF-OL1

 
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Brandon Jones

CF-L1

Brandon was born and raised in Richmond, KY.  He graduated from EKU in 2017 with a degree in Parks and Recreation Management.  Brandon’s athletic background began with sprint triathlons and cross-country in high school.  He then transitioned into CrossFit and Spartan Racing, placing in the top 50 in the 2017 Spartan Race World Championship.

 

Brandon began doing CrossFit in 2013, using it to improve his overall fitness and to become a more well-rounded athlete.  He earned his CF L1 in the summer of 2018.  He served as Co-Owner and Head Coach of CrossFit Solafide in Clarksville, TN before moving back to Richmond and joining CrossFit Cygnus in September 2020.  

 

Brandon brings an immense amount of knowledge and experience to the CrossFit Cygnus coaching staff.  His years of training with world-class endurance athletes, coupled with extensive experience teaching and coaching CrossFit, makes him a very well-rounded and knowledgeable part of the CrossFit Cygnus team.

 
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Jake Reitz

CF-L1

Jake is originally from Columbus, OH but has resided in Richmond since 2017 while attending Eastern Kentucky University.  He has since finished his studies and is currently working full-time at a local philanthropic organization.  Jake has a diverse athletic background, having spent several years in high school playing football and wrestling and on the rugby field at EKU.

 

Jake began doing CrossFit in 2015, using it as a way to improve his athletic performance in high school sports.  He worked extensively with Graham Holmberg, winner of the 2010 CrossFit Games, before earning his CF L1 in 2019.  Jake is also a certified personal trainer and holds a certification in one-on-one coaching through Two-Brain Coaching.  He officially began coaching in August 2020 in his hometown of Columbus before joining us at CrossFit Cygnus in October 2020.

“I personally believe that everyone has an immense amount of natural athleticism and can excel in the sport of CrossFit.  I don’t expect someone to come in a have crazy fast Fran time or be able to snatch 300lbs, but my biggest goal in coaching is to show people that they have the ability to start something and improve every day.  With a good attitude and proper motivation, anything is possible.”

 
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Chris Shearer

CF-L1

Chris was born and raised in Winchester, KY.  Always having the desire to serve his country, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps after graduating high school and served 5 years on active duty as an aircraft mechanic.  He deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom before leaving the Marines and returning home to work as a lead helicopter mechanic with Lockheed Martin.  Chris is married to his junior high sweetheart Holly and has two amazing girls Olivia and Lucy.

 

Chris started CrossFit in 2015 as a way to get back in shape following years of not working out after leaving the Marine Corps. After the first class, he was hooked. Chris has been coached by several CrossFit games athletes and learned both the functional and competitive sides of CrossFit. Chris and his wife joined Cygnus in December of 2020 and in July 2021, earned his CF L1 and started coaching. Outside of CrossFit, Chris is a Olympic distance triathlete and routinely competes in local endurance race events.

"CrossFit is the closest thing I've found to the esprit de corps I experienced while in the Marine Corps.  As an athlete, I love the feeling of getting my butt kicked during a rough workout or hitting a PR lift in front of cheering classmates. As a coach I love watching my athletes grow stronger and gain confidence!  Nothing makes me happier than hearing an athlete say I didn't know I could do that! Do. Or do not. There is no try!"

 
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Clark Lawson

Burgener Strength Weightlifting Level 1

Clark was born and raised in LaFollette, TN and moved to Richmond, KY in August of 2020.  He is currently a junior at Model High School.  Clark began doing CrossFit in 2016 as a way to lose weight and since then has grown to love the sport.  Clark gravitated to the Olympic lifting side of CrossFit and has competed in several Olympic lifting competitions, including some at the national level. Clark holds a Burgener Strength Level 1 Certification for the Olympic lifts and plans to earn his CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and USAW certifications once he is old enough to meet the minimum age requirements. Currently, he assists coaching the CrossFit Kids class alongside Coach Jana Milam and the Barbell Club class with Coach Jake Reitz.

“Ever since I stepped into CrossFit Cygnus, I knew this was a special place.  Not many CrossFit gyms are as welcoming and inclusive to the “young folk” like me but here at Cygnus, me and other teens have flourished because of all the support and encouragement the coaching staff and fellow member bring.  CrossFit is not exclusively for adults, CrossFit is for all ages.  Whether you are 8 years old or 80, CrossFit is designed for you. Cygnus has become my second home and I can’t wait to spread my love and excitement for the sport to everyone at the gym, young and old.”