Gaviatas Coaches


Crystalia Blake

Head Coach

Crystalia Blake started synchro in Virginia in 2008. She swam competitively for four years, and learned in her second year she had the talent for coaching, from there she began assistant coaching as well as competing. In 2014, after a serious injury, she began her own team, the Aqua Angels at the age of sixteen. Other coaches saw her talent, and that’s when she started helping the College of William and Mary’s synchro team with choreography and figures. Crystalia moved to Florida after three successful years with the Aqua Angels to continue her physical therapy education. She is excited to continue spreading her passion of the sport to a new generation of athletes through the Gainesville Gaviatas.


Grace Downey

Senior Assistant Coach

Grace Downey swam on the Gainesville Gaviatas for 12 years, receiving three different awards including The Gainesville Gaviatas High Point Award, The Northwest Florida Association Athlete of the Year, and made the Northwest Florida Association All Star Team. She moved to be a swimmer on the UF Synchronized Swimming Team for 4 years, ranking top 6 at Collegiate Nationals for Solo, Duet, and team (all four years). In 2016-2017, she coached the North Florida Summer Synchro Camp. She also has coached some of the Gaviatas camps and novice seasons, and the UF Synchro Team. Grace graduated from UF with a BA in Visual Arts Studies with a focus in Printmaking and a Minor in Chemistry. She now works in Gainesville as a Graphic Designer for Irving Publications (produces Giggle Magazine and Wellness360 Magazine) and Hello Branding (a branding and promotional product business).

Zaira Goodwin

Assistant Coach

Zaira Goodwin


Jen Murphy

Novice Conditioning Coach

Jen Murphy developed her chlorine addiction at age 12 when she joined Greater Columbus Swim Team of Ohio, and never fully recovered, having worked as a lifeguard, head lifeguard, pool manager, swim instructor, and coach, anything to be near a pool! In addition to coaching with Gator Swim Club, Jen is currently the conditioning coach for Gator Water Polo and works in aquatics at the YMCA. Jen swims with the GSC Masters group and is a member of GSC’s Open Water Team. Outside of swimming, she also pursues photography and volunteers with the Boxer Aid and Rescue Coalition.


Aleida Wells

Jr. Assistant Coach

Aleida Wells started synchro in 2014 with the Gainesville Gaviatas and swam for five years, four of them competitively. She is currently a junior at Eastside High School, and hopes to pursue something in the linguistic or artistic fields after she graduates. This is her first year helping out in a coaching position on the team, and is excited to learn the ropes and be a part of the swimmers’ journey. 

Kathy Canev

Jr. Assistant Coach

Katherine Canev joined the Gaviatas in fourth grade and swam competitively for four years. Now she has returned because she loves the sport, even if she doesn’t compete anymore.

Are you interested in joining our synchro coaching team?

If so, we’d love to hear from you! Please contact us here.