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Morgan Farris

– Owner/Head Coach/Personal Trainer

Certifications

CrossFit Level 1 (CF-L1)

CrossFit Level 2 (CF-L2)

Cameron Church

– Coach

Certifications

CrossFit Level 1 (CF-L1)

Cameron is a Charlotte native attending school at UNC-Chapel Hill. He began coaching in September of 2015 while pursuing a degree in Public Relations and a future job in the medical field. Cameron was a multi-sport athlete in high school before beginning CrossFit, which he found to be the perfect combination of fitness, competition, and community.

When not teaching class or in class, Coach Cameron is busy on North Carolina’s campus as a member of the UNC Cheer team, student government, several pre-medical organizations, and a fraternity he helped found. He prides himself in his passion for everything he does including showing the old guys how the new school runs.

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Chase Edwards

-Coach

Certifications

CrossFit Level 1 (CF-L1)

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Michael Essman

– Coach

Certifications

CrossFit Level 1 (CF-L1)

Mike began Crossfit back in 2009 while he was playing collegiate soccer. His first workout was Helen, and he was immediately hooked after he was done gasping for air. He competed in the New England Sectionals in 2010, earning a qualifying spot for Regionals. He took a brief (6-year) hiatus from Crossfit during his college soccer career, which included studying abroad in England where he completed Master’s degrees in Global Health Science and Medical Anthropology at Oxford University. His work included public health policy as well as evolutionary perspectives on human diet. He is now pursuing a PhD in Nutrition Epidemiology at UNC Chapel Hill, with a research focus on public health policies for obesity and diabetes prevention.

He believes that Crossfit should be for everyone, regardless of whether you are a competitor, trying to get a beach bod, or just trying to move better. Regardless, we have to resist the state of the human population depicted in WALL-E.

When he’s not at the gym, you can probably find him at Chipotle, Med Deli, or walking around Chapel Hill listening to podcasts.

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Alex Edwards

– Coach

Certifications

CrossFit Level 1 (CF-L1)

Alex was born and raised in New Bern, NC and spent most of her time playing competitive volleyball and softball. She then went to Meredith College in Raleigh where she continued her softball career. In 2012 she made the USA South All-Conference First Team for her position at shortstop. She was also later named to the USA South 50th Anniversary softball team for ranking in the top-ten all-time at Meredith in slugging percentage, runs scored, doubles, home runs, RBI and assists. She graduated in 2013 with a BS in Exercise and Sport Science with a concentration in Health and Wellness. During her senior year and after graduation, Alex worked at the Athletic Performance Center in Apex as a speed and agility coach as well as a softball hitting instructor.

She was first introduced to CrossFit by her college strength and conditioning coach. In 2014, after returning from a year overseas, she joined her first CrossFit gym in Winston-Salem, NC and was instantly hooked. Alex has a particular interest in Olympic weightlifting and all of her favorite workouts involve lots of barbell. She moved to Chapel Hill in 2016 to pursue her MD at the UNC School of Medicine. When not at the gym she enjoys spending time with her husband Chase, watching good movies, playing golf, and going to as many professional baseball games as she can.

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Hayden Marino

– Coach/Personal Trainer

Certifications

CrossFit Level 1 (CF-L1)

My journey into fitness started with my father taking me to a bodybuilding gym. I liked it initially but I felt like my competitive nature was never really satisfied. As the workouts seemed to become more of an obligation and less fun I started to look for something new. A friend dared me to try my first CrossFit workout and it hit me like a ton of bricks!!! As I lay on the floor in a pool of sweat I knew this was going to be my thing. Very shortly after joining my first box I registered for my Level 1. It was one of the greatest experiences of my entire life. The Level 1 motivated me to work hard not only physically but mentally as well. One of the best aspects of coaching is that I have the chance to give back to the community that has given so much of itself to me.

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Kendra Knowles

– Personal Trainer/Coach

Certifications

CrossFit Level 1 (CF-L1)

CrossFit Level 2 (CF-L2)

CrossFit Aerobic Capacity Certification

Freestyle Connection Movement Seminar with Carl Paoli

USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach

CrossFit Goal Setting Course with Greg Amundson

UNC-Chapel Hill, BA


I have always been active in sports and exercise, and I swam and played tennis competitively through high school and college. I also ran recreationally until a knee injury led me to CrossFit. Although I was both reluctant and intimidated at first, I quickly noticed the benefits and confidence that I gained from CrossFit. Since overcoming that barrier in 2010, CrossFit has become a huge part of my life. I started coaching boot camps, then CrossFit, Barbell Club, and Endurance classes. I also had the opportunity to direct a CrossFit affiliate gym for 4 years. As a result of those experiences, I discovered that the most rewarding aspects of coaching and personal training are witnessing others’ personal and athletic growth. Additionally, I have worked with a wide variety of athletes including average folks wanting to better themselves, college athletes, pregnant women, new moms, seniors, and most recently, at-risk youth in middle and high school. Outside of coaching and personal training, I am studying for a Precision Nutrition Certification and I enjoy spending time with my family, mountain biking, and gardening.

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Matt Cialdini

- Personal Trainer/Coach

Certifications

CrossFit Level 1 (CF-L1)

Bioforce Conditioning

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Kelsey Trimmer

- Coach

Certifications

CrossFit Level 1 (CF-L1)

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Jason Roberts

- Coach

Certifications

CrossFit Level 1 (CF-L1)

Jason’s main athletic pursuit growing up and throughout high school was basketball. In college, he moved to longer, more endurance-focused activities like mountain biking, road cycling, and running half and full distance marathons. After moving to Oregon for graduate school, Jason began running ultra distance mountain races. He developed a strong aerobic engine, but began to feel bored with just running.

Upon moving back to North Carolina in 2015, a few friends who were CrossFit trainers convinced Jason to try some workouts. He immediately noticed the sense of community and camaraderie that everyone talks about with CrossFit. Many of the movements (handstands, jumping rope, bar and ring work, even burpees!) felt like play. As a bonus, in just one hour, he found he could work on mobility, strength and get humbled in a workout. Besides this, he’s enjoyed the way CrossFit’s functional movements help him move through life more easily. He loves the balance of friendly competition, community, and support in the box and is very excited to be among the many knowledgeable coaches at CrossFit Chapel Hill. When he’s not coaching or working out at CFCH, you can find him working on mental health in his therapy practice, drinking coffee, reading, and hanging out with his wife, Blaine, and daughter, Ruby.

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Hayley Church

Boot Camp Coach

Hayley is a Neo-Natal Intensive Care Nurse at UNC and bootcamp coach for our CrossFit Chapel Hill team. She grew up in Charlotte, NC, as a dancer and danced competitively through college at UNC. There she fell in love (twice), first with her husband, Coach Cameron, and then with his interest in CrossFit. Hayley found that CrossFit Chapel Hill helped blend a competitive outlet, a fun community, and a continuation of challenging fitness endeavors for her. Now, she loves to cheer on PR’s and make CFCH feel like home for those wanting to give CrossFit a shot for the first time.