Our Coaches

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.

Mark Saroni
Head Coach
  • MS Kinesiology

  • USA Triathlon Level 2

  • USA Swimming Level 2

  • USA Cycling Level 3

"Winning is a Mindset,

 Not a Spot on the Podium"

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 subpar 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.

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

Racing Highlights

  • 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 

Personal Records


1500 - 4:16

5k - 15:46

8k - 26:21

10k - 33:16

Half Marathon - 1:10:15 


Olympic Distance - 1:54:07

Ironman 70.3 - 4:03:06

Ironman - 9:14:30


1650 - 20:07

Jerett Gordon
Jerett Gordon
Triathlon Coach

Jerett has been a triathlete for over 15 years and a coach for over 10 years. He is a biomedical engineer by background and enjoys building and improving things. He applies the engineering mindset of continuous improvement when coaching athletes, but he also likes to have fun and seeks to always care for athletes as individuals. He enjoys working with athletes of all abilities, but especially likes working with experienced athletes who are frustrated with a lack of progress and want to transform from mid-pack to great front-of-pack. Jerett has been very happily married to his wife Jessica for 9 years (they met on a group bike ride, and he proposed to her at a marathon) and they have three active kids. He understands how to integrate endurance sports into athletes’ busy lives. Jerett also enjoys homeschooling their kids, developing mobile apps, completing extreme challenges, and building random stuff (water balloon launchers, indoor bike trainer rocker plates, etc).

Personal Achievements

  • Ironman AWA Bronze

  • ITU AG Triathlon World Championships qualifier

  • Consistently top 10% triathlete in AG

  • Ironman Finisher, Ultramarathon Finisher

  • Half Ironman PR:  4:32

  • Half marathon PR:  1:22:54

  • USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships finisher

  • Still getting better:  improved racing performances 5-11% each year for the past 5 years

  • Alma Mater:  Georgia Tech, BS Biomedical Engineering, Cert in Exercise Physiology

  • Graduate:  University of Texas at Austin, MS Technology Commercialization


Coaching Achievements

  • Coached hundreds of endurance athletes in a range of sports from swimming, cycling, running, ultrarunning, duathlon, short course and long course triathlon

  • 2x Ironman 70.3 World Championship Qualifiers, one who went from average to top of AG

  • Multiple Ironman finishers, including one who started sports when she was 54 years old

  • Proudest moments as a coach are when he helps an athlete overcome a weakness and achieve what they previously thought was impossible.

Personal Records


Half Marathon - 1:22:54


Ironman 70.3 - 4:32

  • BS Biomedical Engineering

  • MS Technology Commercialization/Entrepreneurship

  • Ironman Coach

Caleb Manifold.JPG
Caleb Manifold
Assistant Swim Coach
  • Tactical First Aid/CPR/AED

Caleb Manifold is entering his senior year of high school as a dual credit student at Northwest Vista College. Caleb has been swimming with Paragon Training's homeschool swim team for the past 6 years. He currently holds the team record for the 17&18 men’s 100 FLY and plans to swim throughout college. Caleb has teaching experience during his tenure of being a Black belt Juinor Instructor at Tae Kwon Do.


Personal Records:

  • 50 Y FR 22.77

  • 100 Y FR 49.64

  • 100 Y FLY 54.37

  • 100 Y BK 57.87

  • 200 Y BK 2:07.99

Christian Larsen
Assistant Swim Coach


  • Biola University - studying Film & TV

  • San Antonio Christian High School


My name is Christian Larsen. I started swimming when I was a freshman at San Antonio Christian High School (SACS) and fell in love with it. I swam all 4 years in my high school career and helped bring home the State Championship in 2019, senior year. Personally, I finished 3rd in the 50 freestyle and 2nd in the 100 freestyle. I wanted to continue swimming in college and found Biola University. At the time of writing this, I will be a sophomore at Biola University. I am studying Cinema & Media Arts, which are fancy terms for Film & TV. I am also on the swim team as well. Biola is a NCAA Division 2 team in the Pacific West Conference. 


The St. Patrick's Sprint Triathlon was my first triathlon. After swimming with Coach Mark Saroni he told me about these things called “triathlons” that consisted of swimming, cycling, and running. I decided to try one out and ended up loving it. I placed top 100 out of 700 people, and placed 7th in my age group. In 2019, I raced in the Kerrville Triathlon (Olympic distance) and placed top 3 in my age group.  



  • NCAA Division 2 swimmer

  • Won TAPPS State Championship 2019

  • Placed 2nd & 3rd in individual events in TAPPS State Championship 2019

  • Placed top 3 in age group at Kerville Triathlon 2019