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Your Support Team

We are dedicated to helping develop our athletes and challenging them to pursue excellence in all facets of their daily life. Not just full of knowledge and brains, this group of fun-loving individuals realizes that life is meant to be enjoyed and that sports are part of that enjoyment.

Coaching Staff

support Staff

Mark Bio
Triathlon Coach

Mark Saroni

Head Coach, Founder, CEO

  • MS Kinesiology

  • USA Triathlon Level 2

  • Professional Triathlete

"Winning is a Mindset, Not a Spot on the Podium"

Coaching Highlights

  • Coached athletes to qualify for World Championships at Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Xterra, and ITU Age Group Worlds.

  • Multiple Senior Games National and State Champions in Cycling and Track & Field

  • San Antonio Express News "Girls Swim Coach of the Year"

  • 2x TAPPS State Swimming Team Champions

Mark Saroni is an accomplished endurance athlete and the founder and Head Coach of Paragon Training. Saroni has been involved in triathlon since 2003 and has been coaching fellow athletes toward their goals for nearly as long. Saroni's unique coaching style and knowledge is built on his educational background, as well as years of experience racing in the endurance world. He attended The University of Texas at Tyler where he graduated with a Bachelors's and Master's degree in Kinesiology, while also competing as a Division III Track and Cross Country athlete. After college, he moved to San Antonio to train and race as a professional triathlete. He began full-time coaching at the same time and soon realized that his greater passion was in taking the knowledge he'd gained on the race course and in the classroom to assist others in achieving their goals. He "retired" from a professional career to dedicate his time and energy to developing athletes. Whether it's one-on-one coaching, group workouts, consulting, or through pre-built training plans, it is Saroni's mission to provide resources for endurance athletes that help them in their own pursuit of excellence.

Racing Highlights

  • 2021 Ironman Waco Overall Champion

  • 2019 Ironman 70.3 Waco Overall Champion

  • 2019 Ironman 70.3 Lubbock Overall Champion

  • 2018 Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake Champion

  • 2017 Ironman Coeur d'Alene Overall Champion

  • 2017 Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake Overall Champion

  • 2017 Cat 3 Texas State Time Trial Champion

  • Professional Triathlete 2012-2015

  • 3x Kona Qualifier

  • 7-Time USA Triathlon All American 

Coach Amy
Triathlon Coach

Amy Higginbotham

Triathlon Coach

  • USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach

    • Emphasis in long course​

  • US Masters Swim Level 1 Coach

  • Certified Spinning Coach

  • BS, emphasis Health Science and Exercise Science

Or email: amy@paragontraining.org

Coaching Achievements

  • IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship Qualifier

  • 2xs 70.3 1st place AG

  • Marathon 1st place AG

  • ½ Marathon 1st place AG

  • IRONMAN Top 10% Finisher

  • Multiple 1st triathlon finishers

  • Multiple 1st Ironman and Ironman 70.3 Finishers

  • ​Ödessey Swim/Run 2nd Overall Female

Amy has a BS from Columbus State University with an emphasis in Health Science and Exercise Science.  Before finding running and triathlon, Amy worked in group fitness and corporate fitness with organizations such as AT&T.  Amy transitioned to a management career until the birth of her son. Amy has been active in triathlon since 2008 but found the drive to be competitive over the last several years, resulting in podiums at multiple events, including qualifying for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. Amy has worked as a strength coach and cycle instructor for more than 5 years. Seeing people in her classes transform, through hard work and effort, Amy’s passion for coaching and triathlon continued to grow as she became a certified USA Triathlon Level I triathlon coach, with an emphasis on long course racing and a US Masters LI Swim Coach.  Amy approaches all things with genuine enthusiasm and energy and works tirelessly to help athletes achieve their own individual goals and personal successes.

As a military spouse and mom, Amy fully understands the demands placed on athletes in their daily lives.  Amy works hard to balance sport and life and integrates that mindset into her training.  Amy channels her 13+ years of triathlon and running experience into each of the athletes she has the privilege to work with.

Racing Highlights

  • IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship 2021

  • USAT National Championship qualifications and appearances - multiple years

  • IRONMAN Bronze All World Athlete - multiple years

  • 3x IRONMAN Finisher (1st was 14 months after having her son at 42)

  • 20x IRONMAN 70.3 Finisher

  • Multiple podium finishes in all distances to include AG wins in 70.3 and Olympic Distance

Krista
Triathlon Coach

Krista Neugebauer

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

  • BS Nutrition and Foods

Triathlon Coach

Racing Highlights

  • 2019 Kerrville 70.3 – 1st AG

  • 2018 Coco Half Marathon - 3rd AG

  • 2017 Octoberfest Sprint - 1st AG

  • 2016 Tour De Gruene Team Time Trial - 2nd Overall

  • 2015 Marble Falls 70.3 – 1st AG

  • 2015 Octoberfest Sprint - 3rd AG

Krista is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and athlete. She graduated from Texas State University, with a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Foods and completed her Dietetic Internship through the University of Houston in 2014.  Over the years, she has worked with athletes as well as individuals struggling with various medical diagnoses. Her passion is working with athletes to help fine tune nutritional needs so they can excel at the sport they love. 

 

Ever since Krista was a little girl, she loved running and sports. In college, she realized how much joy she felt when running and began racing. She completed her first marathon, the Nike Women’s Marathon in 2012, and her first triathlon, Texas State Sprint Triathlon in 2014. The challenge of completing a full Ironman was the pinnacle of dedication, sacrifice, and hard work, which became her new athletic challenge. In 2016, she completed Ironman Texas and 2017, Ironman Chattanooga. Her racing slowed from 2018-2020 with the birth of her two sons, but she is excited to competitively race again. 

 

Racing various distances and applying nutritional knowledge has helped her experience the importance of nutrition and how the duration and intensity can impact nutritional needs. Whether you are a novice or avid athlete, she is qualified through education and experience to help you reach your goals.

Roberta
Triathlon Coach

Roberta Gonzalez, RN, MSN, APRN

Triathlon Coach

  • Master of Nursing (MSN) with minor in Nursing Education

  • Nurse Practitioner in Wellness and Diabetes Care

  • USAT Level 1 Coach

Or email: roberta@paragontraining.org

Coaching Achievements

  • Mentored and assisted multiple 1st triathlon finishers

  • Mentored and supported multiple IRONMAN 70.3 finishers

  • Provided advice on training, nutrition, and racing tips to 6 Ironman finishers

 

 

Racing Highlights

  • 2 Full Marathons - 2012, 2013

  • Multiple Half Marathons

  • Multiple Century Rides

  • Two 50k Trail Races - 2021

  • Olympic Triathlons (9)

  • 70.3 Triathlons (5)

  • 3x IRONMAN Finisher - IRONMAN Texas 2018, IRONMAN Arizona 2019, IRONMAN Chattanooga 2022

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”

 

Roberta has a master’s degree in nursing from The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. A Nurse since 1999 and a Nurse Practitioner since 2010, Roberta has extensive experience in Emergency Care along with specialized training in Wellness and Diabetes Care of children and young adults. These years of experience have assisted Roberta in obtaining advance knowledge of sports physiology, nutrition advice and treatment of chronic health conditions. This training has also allowed her to assist triathletes in understanding the physiological demands of endurance performance. Encompassing this knowledge, Roberta has helped many triathletes with questions and common sports injuries throughout her triathlete career.

 

Roberta started her own health journey after having multiple health issues. With a strong family history of autoimmune diseases, and being overweight, Roberta took charge of her health by hiring a personal trainer in 2001. She lost over 50 pounds and found a love for strength training, running, group exercise and healthy eating. These changes in her life are the key to her success in triathlon and endurance sports. She believes that we all have an athlete in us, and every person is capable of achieving their physical health goals. This is one of the reasons Roberta is passionate about coaching and supporting athletes of all levels.

 

Roberta joined the world of triathlon, by completing her first Sprint race at the age of 44! She quickly fell in love with triathlons and has continued to improve her race times with a consistent training process which has led her to be a 3x ironman finisher.


Roberta has worked extensively with community partners and has developed strong relationships in the running, cycling and triathlon community in San Antonio. She has assisted in organizing popular events, such as the Mighty Mujeres Time Trial, the Annual Rapha Women’s Ride. She volunteers at Ironman races any time she can. Roberta was a founder and President of a local triathlon training club which has over 45 members. It is aimed to bringing triathletes of all levels together for safe and supported group workouts; such as swims, rides and runs, that allows athletes to train to achieve their race goals. Roberta is always the biggest cheerleader and supporter of teammates come race day, she will be there for you come rain or shine!

Her passion for triathlon has led her to become a USAT Level 1 Triathlon coach so that she can support and train athletes of all levels and abilities.

Ivan
Triathlon Coach

Ivan Rodriguez

Triathlon Coach

  • Bachelor's in Civil Engineering

  • Licensed Professional Engineer
  • Ironman Certified Coach

Or email: ivan@paragontraining.org

Racing Highlights

  • 4th Place Overall Olympic Distance CapTex 2023

  • 10th Place Overall Olympic Distance CapTex 2022

  • 4 x 70.3 Finisher

  • 10th Place Overall Rock n Roll San Antonio Marathon 2022

  • Boston Marathon Qualifier

“You don’t have to train; you get the opportunity to train!”

With a respectable background as a licensed Professional Engineer in Texas, Ivan brings a blend of precision and perseverance to everything he does. Ivan holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Texas Tech University and has worked in numerous infrastructure projects throughout the great state of Texas over the past 5 years.

Beyond the world of engineering, Ivan is a seasoned triathlete with a journey that began at the young age of 13. Ivan has nearly a hundred triathlons under his belt, ranging from super sprints to 70.3 distance, with a full Ironman coming up soon. This wealth of experience and knowledge makes Ivan a great resource for athletes under his guidance. While triathlons have been a significant part of Ivan’s life, he has recently embraced marathon running as a central focus over the past year and a half. The challenges and rewards of long-distance running have added a new dimension to his athletic pursuits.

In Ivan, you'll discover a dedicated engineer, an avid triathlete, and a coach who understands the value of discipline and determination. Ivan finds community and friendship through group runs and rides, connecting with like-minded individuals who share a love for fitness. This genuine connection highlights his philosophy that fitness is not only about physical endurance but also about building lasting bonds and having fun at it!

Alli
Triathlon Coach

Alli Saroni

Web Design and Team Paragon

  • PhD Anthropology

Racing Highlights

  • 2022 3rd Overall CapTex

  • 2021 3rd AG IRONMAN Arizona

  • 2021 Kerrville Quarter Champion

  • 2017 IM 70.3 World Championship

  • 2017 18th USAT Collegiate Nationals

  • 2014 IRONMAN World Championship

Alli has been competing in triathlon since she was 13 years old growing up in Iowa. She did sprint triathlons for the first 5 years, and they were a great complement to cross country and track in high school. She took a big step into longer-distance endeavors when she biked across the country, Canada to Mexico, starting the day following high school graduation. That was her first up-close experience in Texas and all the heat and sunshine the state had to offer (along with the hugeness of Texas—half of the days riding across the country were spent getting across Texas).

Ultimately, grad school brought her back to Texas in 2015 and she joined the UTSA Tri Club, where she met Mark Saroni and went back to trying to get faster rather than go longer. A big highlight was placing in the Top 20 at USAT Collegiate Club Nationals for the Olympic. 

Triathlon Coach

Annie Schawe

Assistant Swim Coach, Admin Assistant

  • BS Environmental Science

Annie Schawe has been involved in swimming for almost 20 years, whether it was summer league, club swim, high school swimming, or coaching swimming. In college, she wanted to branch out a bit without abandoning her signature sport, so she joined the UTSA Triathlon Club. She stuck with the club throughout her college experience, but decided that she wanted to stick with sports that were not on land. She coached the Paragon Homeschool swim team during and a little after college. After she graduated with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science, she received a U.S. Masters Swimming Nationals time cut in the mile swim. Annie moved to the great Midwest and worked a season as a Park Ranger for the National Park Service, and now she is back and ready to help athletes on their pursuit of excellence!

Coach Caleb
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