Coaches and Board

This team would not be possible if not for the incredible efforts of the Coaches and the Board. These people embody everything that Cal Tri is about and are responsible for turning 150 people into a wonderful, close-knit family and a destructive, dominating team.

Head Coach: Dean Harper

Dean completed his first triathlon in August 1981. He won the first race he entered and has been hooked on the sport ever since.  He competed as a professional triathlete from 1982-1986 alongside the early legends of the sport—Dave Scott, Mark Allen, Scott Molina and Scott Tinley. He won the first Wildflower triathlon in 1983, and again in 1986.  He won the first USAT Long Course championships in 1983, was 8th in Hawaii in October 1982 and won several other pro races in those years. He was on the first cover of Triathlete Magazine and graced its cover one other time.

Dean started practicing law and raising a family beginning in 1987 and only competed a few times in the next 15 years, but followed the sport during those years and never gave up his subscription to Triathlete Magazine.  He began competing heavily again as an age grouper in 2003 and competed in around 80 races from 2003 to 2010. During that time, he was ranked as the top male athlete in my age group in the country 3 times. He once held 10 Tri-California age group records (including Alcatraz, Wildflower, Pacific Grove and Treasure Island), won his age group in the Long Course National Championships in 2004, the Short Course Nationals in 2008, and the Short Course World Championships on the Gold Coast in Australia in 2009. He competed in several Ironman races, winning his age group in Arizona in 2005 and was third in his age group in Hawaii in 2008.

Dean has 3 children who all swam for D1 schools, with 2 of them, Greg and Shelley, highly successful members of Cal Tri who posted the fastest swim times at Collegiate Nationals in 2013.

He has coached on and off during his years as a competitive triathlete, but is now focusing on being the best coach he can be.

Assistant Coach: John Dahlz

John “JD” Dahlz is currently a pro triathlete, the most famous John F the world has ever known, and a 28th year undergraduate pursuing a University of California, Berkeley degree in Triathlon with a double minor in Nutrition and Pacing. Recent race results suggest that he is well on his way in his studies, and will be soon pursuing advanced work in these fields. This past summer, JD placed 1st in the world-renowned Ironman Vineman Triathlon in addition to winning many other races around the California racing circuit. When you couple this with his puppy-dog personality, smile, and half Indian-half Korean genes, it is not surprising to find that JD has a massive network of connections, mostly female, in the multisport community, and they are very proud of him even when they have to patiently wait for him to recover in the med tents.  As a result of all this, El Jeffe, as he is affectionately (or infamously) known, has quite the reserve of triathlon knowledge to disperse amongst his subjects.

Besides his blossoming career in the world of pro triathlon, he is our lovely, dedicated coach. Whatever your goals may be, whether it is to one day try pacing with JD himself (he’ll bite, trip, and claw you to win – watch yourself), or just keeping fit, he is here to help you reach them. He is extremely approachable, but if you are ever nervous about meeting him, bring him a platter of Nabisco products and he’ll spend the first ten minutes telling you how awesome you are and how much he loves you.

From a slightly more factual, biographical standpoint, our coach is from South San Francisco, an alumnus of St. Ignatius Prep, and a UC Berkeley graduate with a B.A. in Political Science (in addition to those aforementioned minors) in 2008.  He is an accomplished triathlete, and his accolades include the 2009 Collegiate National Champion, a U23 National Team Member in 2006 and 2007, a U23 World Team Member in 2006 and 2007, a USAT Elite Development Team Member in 2008, and he trained at the Olympic Training Center from 2006-2007.

When he is not training, he loves reading, movies, playing the sax and coaching high school swimming. This year, he hopes to help the team “foster triathlon and working out as a lifestyle” and “win WCCTC and National Championship team titles”.  Most of all, when asked what he would like the team to know, he replied, “I heart Cal Tri <3 ;)”


Assistant Coache: Seth Davis

Seth Davis is coming up on his 13th year being a Coach for CalTri, having taking the reigns in 2000-2001 after informally coaching some fast kids he met on the track and happened to be on the team. Before he knew it, Seth was coaching swimming, brick, off track runs and destination runs and eventually had no choice but to accept an official coaching role. He has been an integral part of the team’s growth from a small club sport of 20 members to a team of nearly 200. One can be sure of Seth’s all-around awesome nature as a coach and person when considering the fact that he also coached Team in Training – the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society for a few years before coming to us.

Seth’s athletic story doesn’t just stop there, however. He was a former NCAA D1 collegiate runner at the agricultural offshoot of Berkeley, and where we still import all our whole milk for the Gallon Challenge from (but that’s a whole different story…) – UC Davis. He finally released his inner desire for multisport and triathlon in 1989. As if that wasn’t enough, Seth also played Water Polo on the University of San Diego club team while attending Law School there… it kinda goes without saying at this point that although he has tried hard to conceal himself in mortal form, Seth is really a superhuman on duty for the betterment of mankind here at Berkeley and on Earth.

You will find Seth at numerous team functions, including his signature Thursday Track practice. As much as you’d love to, don’t tempt him to actually run with us or you’ll find yourself trailing in the carnage he leaves behind him as he tears up the competition. I need not remind you that Seth still runs the occasional sub-3:00 marathon and has qualified for the Xterra World Championships. His ultimate goal is to get a black shirt at the Dipsea race which he has run 12 years in a row.

When Seth gets tired of all of us hooligan collegiate triathletes, he balances a day job as the Managing Partner and owner of an international executive legal search and career coaching firm. He lives near Montclair in Oakland with his wife Jill and his beaming, seven year old son Sawyer who ran 800 meters in under 6:00 minutes when he was four. Make friends with Sawyer by saying “hi” when you see him at Track, because it won’t be long before he’s barking intervals and splits with the megaphone at you!

2012-2013 Board

  • President: Kristen Curry
  • Internal (Training) Vice President: Lauri Takacsi
  • External (Racing) Vice President: Rory Runser
  • Treasurer: Ben Khoo,
  • Sponsorship Chair: Louie Cao, Stephanie Scannell
  • Public Relations Coordinator: Lauren Capelluto
  • Apparel Director: Katherine Velicki
  • Social/Recruitment Chairs: Giorgia Willits, Spencer Pace,
  • Education Director: Carly Clusserath
  • Volunteer/Fundraising/Alumni Outreach Coordinator: Camila Rico,,
  • Secretary:  Kendra Paskvan,
  • Web Master: Elena Ouyang,