Our coaches will help you FEEL Amazing

Meet the team that’s dedicated to making your goals a reality.

our story

Paul Austad began CrossFit in 2010 at a 24 Hour Fitness before joining the Nela CrossFit Atwater Village community in January 2011. He started coaching in order to get people fired up about making healthy life choices and decided that the Nela community, which has a unique background, was the perfect way to do that. When Paul is not coaching or doing muscle-ups at Nela Athletics, he spends more time at Nela Athletics while occasionally hanging out with family and friends. Paul has his L1, L2 and CrossFit Kids certifications.

Paul Austad | OWNER

meet your support team

Lily Rigual

Level 2 CPT

Lily Rigual developed a passion for exercise when she began working in the fitness industry over ten years ago. She specializes in toning, Soccer specific strength and conditioning, older adult fitness, youth fitness, TRX, and Boot Camp style HIIT training. Lily loves being a personal trainer because of the opportunity to positively affect her client’s lives by empowering them not only physically but mentally as well. In her spare time she enjoys camping, hiking, playing soccer, cooking, eating pizza and Cuban food, dancing salsa, watching movies, and spending time with her pup, Mila. Lily is a Level 2 CPT.

Jahi Olatunji

CrossFit Level 1 Certification

Jahi Olatunji began CrossFit in 2014 in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. CrossFit helped fill the void of competitive sports as well as a being part of a team after basketball. Jahi felt the changes it has established in his life, not just physically but mentally more than anything. Being able to coach gives him the opportunity to help motivate and change the lifestyle for individuals. His favorite movements involves muscle ups and anything upside down. On his free time you can find him going out the way being a foodie on his cheat days. Jahi has his CrossFit Level 1 certification.

Wes Mendelson

CrossFit Level 1 Certification.

Wes Mendelson began his CrossFit journey in November 2013 after being encouraged to join by his wife for over a year. Wes was heftier in his twenties and turned to running and CrossFit as a way to keep the pounds off. He now lives a healthy lifestyle and enjoys spreading the happiness that comes along with self confidence amongst his NELA peers. In 2018 he decided to try his best to give back to the community by leading classes as a coach. Outside of the box, Wes enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife, Charley and pet pitbull, Bleu. Wes has his CrossFit Level 1 Certification.

Sarah Spring


I was convinced into trying CrossFit by two of my friends who coached back in Michigan in 2012. It became a passion of mine instantly and I got my L1 and nutrition certification and started coaching shortly after.I grew up playing sports; track, soccer, and lacrosse through high school and played basketball in college. I was always more interested in the conditioning and movement aspect than the actual sports. I moved from Michigan, to Portland OR, to Phoenix AZ, to LA and am fortunate to have coached in each place I’ve lived. In my free time I love being outdoors, hiking, long boarding, playing frisbee, mountain biking, and going to the beach. I plan to go back to school to study addiction science while I continue to coach and enjoy my passion for fitness. Helping others establish, work towards, and reach their health and wellness goals through CrossFit is extremely rewarding to me and am happy and excited to be part of the Nela community.

Cristina Sandoval

CrossFit L2 and Olympic Lifting

Cristina Sandoval began coaching in 2013, two years after she joined the sport. She loves to see new members reach milestones in their health and fitness journey but also reminds members on the importance of rest and recovery. Cristina’s favorite movements are the Bear Complex and when she gets a Bar Muscle Up, that will also be her favorite movement! As a full time mental health provider, Cristina uses her time at the gym to de-stress and catch up with like minded friends who focus on their health. Cristina is certified in CrossFit L2 and Olympic Lifting.

Beret Malmgren

CrossFit L2 Certification

Beret Malmgren has been CrossFitting since 2007. She got certified to coach in April 2015 because she wanted to take her CrossFit experience to the next level. She received her CrossFit L2 certificate in 2019. As a teacher by profession, it seemed natural to combine her two passions: fitness and teaching. Beret enjoys all the press movements: strict, push, and jerk. And does burpees for fun. She has used functional fitness as a means of recovery from shoulder surgery and carpal tunnel. #fitoverfifty and better than ever. When not at CrossFit, Beret is a performer and lifetime learner. Beret has her CrossFit L2 certification.

Gabe Castro

CrossFit L1 certification

Gabe Castro joined the CrossFit community in August 2012. He began coaching in January 2016 because he felt as though, as a teacher, he could communicate effectively with athletes and motivate them to reach their goals. With family and coworkers turning to medicine to help them improve their health, Gabe looked for other solutions to health issues and finds exercising and eating well to be excellent healers. In workouts, Gabe excels at deadlifts and double unders. After leaving the box following his usual 5:30 a.m. workouts, Gabe focuses on his students and daughter. Gabe has his CrossFit L1 certification.

Justin Sevakis

L1 Certification

Justin Sevakis started CrossFit in November 2011, a 30-something pudgy nerd who hadn’t intentionally exercised a day in his life. Six months later, his life changed entirely, becoming a CrossFit and fitness junkie, which continues to offset his deep love of eating. He is passionate about motivating new athletes, meeting them where they’re at, and working with them to stay on track. Justin is still a nerd: he’s very active in the anime community and owns a small video production company. He got his L1 certification in late 2017.

Lauren Hill

CrossFit L1 Certification

Lauren Hill started her CrossFit journey in 2011 after a recommendation from an Ultimate Frisbee teammate. Having always played team sports (soccer as a kid, rugby in college, & ultimate frisbee now), CrossFit seemed like the next best challenge that also came with an amazing community of people! She decided to start coaching in 2015 because she thinks it’s pretty awesome to see people succeed in things they never thought possible before CrossFit. Her favorite movement is foam rolling, but you can also find her on the beach playing ultimate frisbee or watching cat videos on Instagram. Lauren has her L1 certification.

Kyle Lampi

OPEX CCP Associate Coach, CrossFit L2, Gymnastics, and Weightlifting L2 Certifications
Precision Nutrition Certified Coach

Kyle Lampi moved to LA from Nashville where he lived for the past 15 years. He is originally from Vegas and moved to Nashville for music. Kyle found Crossfit back in 2013 and immediately fell in love with exploring fitness and the human body. Kyle has been coaching for the past 6 years and loves the lessons he has learned about himself and how to help others through the process. He recently received his OPEX CCP and is eager to bring a more individualized approach to fitness at Nela! Kyle is a OPEX CCP Associate Coach and has his CrossFit L2, Gymnastics, and Weightlifting L2 certifications.