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DJ Bennett Juniors/Seniors

Hello! My name is Dixon Bennett, and I am one of the coaches for our Junior and Senior Seahawks! I am an Active Duty Corpsman living here in Japan, but I’m originally from Las Vegas, Nevada. I went to school in Vegas and swam competitively all four years of high school as well as one year while attending UNLV. During college, I was able to return to my high school as a Co-Coach for the swim team, and enjoyed every moment of it. 

Since then, I have gone from lifeguarding to teaching lifeguarding and BLS with the American Red Cross, to now being a Medical Responder with the Navy. Currently working on my Dental degree, but coaching this team is the most gratifying way to use my free time. I get to give back to those in the Navy family that give up so much to support us sailors and help create as normal of a lifestyle as possible for them. If you see me on the pool deck, feel free to come say hello!

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Emma Juniors/Seniors Coach

Hi all!

I am Emmerick Thompson, I am 24 years old and grew up in Chicago, Illinois! I moved to Japan August 2021, and after a long year of not knowing where my life in Japan would take me I found YJSST and began coaching Red/Green. Growing up I competed in many different sports , but mainly swimming and triathlon. I swam competitively from age 8-15 with HWSA out of Palos, Il, and can say the team helped foster my love for the sport! I am currently enrolled in college at Arizona State University and hope to complete my Early Childhood Education degree Spring 2024!

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Khristian Red/Green

Welcome to the team!
Bio coming soon!

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Leah Head Coach / White/Blue

Welcome to the 2023-2024 season! We are looking forward to a great season!

My name is Leah Zang and I’m the new head coach and will be coaching the White and Blue teams. A little about me: I was born, raised, and educated in the Pacific Northwest. I have a master’s degree in teaching and have taught elementary school in VA and CA. I currently work as a Financial Analyst for a government contractor. I have been married for 13 years and have two kids who will be awesome cheerleaders at the swim meets �� I was on the swim team in high school and have coached four years of high school swimming and 8 years of a summer swim league. My family and I got to Japan in March '23 and have just been getting settled and exploring our new home!

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Matt 0600 Mornings

My name is Matt Keller and I am coaching morning swim team practice from 0600-0700 every Monday and Wednesday. Practice will focus on a combination of technique, endurance, starts, and turns. The typical distance is around 2000-2500 meters, so primarily geared to the older kids but all ages are welcome.

You may know me either as one of the swim officials, or because I have 3 boys on the team. My background includes swimming at the youth and collegiate level. Look forward to working with your kids!

Best regards,

Matt Keller

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Sally Red/Green

Hi everyone! I'm Sally Baxter, mom of Raymond, Maria, and Shelly who are currently on the swim team. I am very happy to be part of the YJSST coaching team. 

I swam competitively in my younger years but then spent high school and college focused on another technical sport - pole vaulting. I ultimately pole vaulted at the NCAA Division I level and (briefly) made the Duke University top 5 all-time records list for women's indoor pole vault and served as team captain for the track and field team my senior year. I have really enjoyed getting back into swimming as my kids have joined swim team. 

When I am not coaching or managing my kids' activities, I do cataract surgery as a Red Cross volunteer at the hospital and am a faculty member in ophthalmology and biomedical informatics at the University of California San Diego. Working with the YJSST swimmers has been very rewarding, and I look forward to continuing to support the team through the rest of the season!

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