Our coaches will help you FEEL Amazing

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

our story

Mehdi has been coaching CrossFit since 2011. He is a Certified CrossFit Trainer (L3) and is the co-owner of CrossFit South Arlington. During his coaching career, he was the founder and head coach for The Last Pull weightlifting club, the Competition Director for the CrossFit Games Atlantic Regionals and the personal trainer for several competitive CrossFit Games athletes and teams. Mehdi is currently focusing his energies on growing CrossFit South Arlington to help people of all fitness levels find their path and reach their health goals.

“My wife and I are completely in sync. We both agree that I make the best decisions and I know she backs me up 100%.” – Mehdi E.

Meredyth has been coaching CrossFit since 2012 and has completed her CrossFit L2 certification. She’s also coached olympic weightlifting under Olympian, Cara Heads Slaughter. As a kid and young adult she was involved in swimming, tennis, hiking, whitewater rafting, dance and cheerleading. She’s a former elementary school teacher, and behavior analyst. Meredyth specializes in moving people toward healthier lifestyles. She enjoys training people who want to be better versions of themselves and believes wholeheartedly that CrossFit is a medium that transforms people in amazing ways. Meredyth is the co-owner and Director of Training at CFSA. These days you can find her helping athletes in the roles of personal trainer and CrossFit group class coach.

‘Whatever my husband says probably needs to be run by me first.” – Meredyth E.

Meredyth & Mehdi El-Amine

meet your support team

laken summerville

Coach & Asst. General Manager

Laken has been training and coaching CrossFit since 2012. She holds an L-2 certification and specializes in coaching competitive athletes. Her passion for coaching comes from witnessing the internal and external transformation that is attained when an athlete realizes their potential and reaps the rewards of their hard work. As both a coach and competitive CrossFit athlete, she considers herself more of a generalist with a focus on consistency and mental fortitude. Laken believes in hard work, determination and a never-give-up mentality to accomplishing goals.

“You’d be surprised what your body can endure…just cry less.” – Laken S.

Deonte Mason

Lead Coach & Personal Trainer

Deonte has been coaching athletes one on one since 2011 and joined the crossfit community in 2015. He played collegiate basketball and tries to relive his glory days every week in the Arlington Men’s Rec league. Deonte has completed the L-1 Crossfit certification and L-1 USAW Weightlifting Certification. Deonte most enjoys the community and friendships he has developed by being involved with CrossFit.

“Strive for progress, not perfection.” – Deonte M.

Edith Heggs

Head Coach & Personal Trainer

Edith has been coaching one on one athletes since 2013. Her specializations include rehabilitation, adaptive athletes, and women’s fitness. Edith’s passion is helping her clients move pain free and find happiness through exercise and living an active lifestyle.

“Trust the process and enjoy your journey” – Edith

Michelle Smyth

Coach & Nutrition Program Manager

Michelle has been training and coaching CrossFit since 2014 and holds an L-1 Certification. She manages the Foundation Nutrition Program at CFSA. Michelle rowed for Penn State and ran marathons before finding CrossFit. She loves helping athletes identify and crush their health, fitness, and life goals.

“I handle every stressful situation like my dog. If I can’t eat it or play with it, I pee on it and walk away.” – Michelle S.

Patrick Krissek


Patrick has been training at CFSA since 2014, but began coaching in 2016. He has his L-1 certification. Patrick enjoys working with both new and experienced athletes and he is a firm believer in the power of consistency to have a positive impact on the lives and performance of his athletes. He fully subscribes to the tenet of movement quality over movement quantity and is passionate about introducing newcomers to the sport of CrossFit.

“’You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take — Wayne Gretzky’, Michael Scott” — Patrick K.

Nate Naidas


Nate has been coaching CrossFit for nine years. He has a Level 1 certification. He was the founder and head coach for Redrum Barbell Club, CrossFit Impavidus Endurance Team, and CrossFit Montgomery Endurance Team. Nate has a passion for helping athletes identify their potential in and outside of the gym. He believes with the right mindset and focus on quality of movement, athletes can accomplish any of their goals.

“I do not sleep…I wait. It’s a ninja thing.” -Nate N.

kerry johnson


Kerry began CrossFitting at CrossFit Chicago in February 2009, competed a bit in her early days at olympic lifting meets and CrossFit competitions, judged at a few National CF competitions and even sang the National Anthem at Regionals at Navy Pier!). She has her L-2 certification. She coaches middle school and 15s/16s club volleyball team in her spare time and has coached CrossFit all over the country. She lives with two brilliant, loving, hilarious, kind, strong, independent and absolutely amazing daughters, Aria and Felicity, ages 6 and 4 respectively. She likes to play with her kiddos, sing, play volleyball, cook, and lift heavy things. She coaches with a strict eye on form and technique and want to help you become stronger, fitter, faster, healthier and happier.

“I am stronger than I should be, more powerful than I am supposed to be and I endure greater than I will allow you to see.” – The Smith Family ‘Credo’ – Kerry J.

Chris Santaniello


Chris has been training and coaching CrossFit since 2011. Chris has his CrossFit L-1 Certification, and was a DIII College Football player and CrossFit Mid-Atlantic Regionals 2014 Team member. Chris specializes in coaching Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, gymnastics, and conditioning with the mindset and approach of a power sport athlete.

“I’m not perfect, but I’m damn close!” – My dad

Sara VanDenHeuvel


Sara has been an athlete at CFSA since 2011 and joined the coaching staff in 2017. She enjoys working with CFSA’s newest athletes and welcoming them to our community! Sara is a proud Wisconsin-native and a connoisseur of bubbly water with partiality for LaCroix pamplemousse.

“I start looking forward to my morning cup of coffee when I go to bed the night before. ” -Sara V.

tricia anderson


Tricia has been training at CFSA since 2013 and was thrilled to begin coaching after completing her L1 Certification in 2017. Tricia’s inner athlete was discovered through the practice of yoga and she finds her greatest impact in helping athletes activate untapped potential through movement.

“Badassery is a state of mind.” – Tricia A.

Kirsten Barbato

Customer Success Specialist

Kirsten is a full-time mom to an adorable 17 month old girl, Annie, and an even bigger fur baby, Birdie. She is a part-time CFSA customer success specialist, spin instructor, amateur cook, and sweat life enthusiast. Any given day you can find her sipping coffee in some sort of luon, luxtreme, sweat wicking material, and kicking butt. (Usually at a kids gym, park, or the library but that is neither here nor there!)


CrossFit Level 1 Certification
CrossFit Level 2 Certification
CrossFit Level 3 Certification
Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT)
CrossFit Football Certification
CrossFit Endurance Certification
CrossFit Gymnastics Certification
CrossFit Barbell Certification
CrossFit Olympic Lifting Certification
CrossFit Kids Certification
CrossFit Mobility Certification
USAW Certification

Our vision

To create an inclusive space where anyone is empowered to pursue their personal health and fitness goals and guided in their journey to become the healthiest, happiest version of themselves.

Our mission

To help people get healthy. Now and 30 years from now.

To guide athletes towards well-rounded general fitness. Help a friend move, play with our kids, run a marathon, we want to do all of it.

To offer professional fitness and nutrition services that produce results through sustainable behavior change and smart goals.

To establish relationships with our clients built on trust, positivity and mutual respect.

Our philosophy

We believe in fun. We believe that, to be effective in a long-term sense, what we do here has to be enjoyable. It has to be engaging.

We are the segue into a more healthy, active life. That responsibility means introducing clients to new activities and habits, making them comfortable with working out in any environment, and giving them attributes they can display with pride.

We love general physical preparedness. Strength, speed, endurance, stamina, power, balance, accuracy, coordination, agility and flexibility. We want to work on ALL of them. Our daily workouts prepare you as best as possible to be a great all-around athlete. The point is not to be great in the gym, it’s to be ready and capable everywhere outside it.

We believe in hard work and professionalism. Our own hard work will be recognized by our clients and friends, and will encourage them to work hard in the face of challenge. We sweat the details, take ownership of our work and put our clients first in all our interactions.

We believe in the long haul. Continual progress is necessary for self- actualization; consistency is the driving force. We set milestones and celebrate not only when they’re reached but when the unsexy work is being done in the form of small daily steps. And then we reach further.

We don’t take ourselves too seriously when we workout. We’re comfortable in our skills, and can joke about our weaknesses. It’s always easier when you’re the best!

We believe client results are enabled first and foremost by a relationship of trust and mutual respect. A coach listens with empathy and deeply cares for their athlete and their individual physical and emotional needs.

We believe in science. We believe in ongoing education. Teaching, Behavior, Sport, Medicine, Psychology, Nutrition, Kinesiology, to name a few. We’re committed to the peer review process, the application of cutting-edge science, the debunking of myths, and the benefits of active debate and discussion.

We believe and stand for inclusivity. We welcome members into our community without discrimination, regardless of sex, age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, national origin, color, marital or familial status, disability, or religious affiliation.

Above all, we believe in ourselves and our clients!