MEET the staff
Tabor Cowden has been involved in the sport of gymnastics for his entire life. As a competitive gymnast he won numerous state, regional, and national titles. With his father leading the way as his coach, he received a full ride to Penn State University in 1991. After a serious injury in which he broke his neck, he ultimately graduated from Cal Berkeley where he helped lead the Bears back to a NCAA team championship in 1997. He has the unique distinction of competing for both Penn State and Cal in a NCAA team championship in the 90’s.
Tabor has coached at all levels and continues to work with both boys and girls. He currently coaches the Rocky Mountain Pride, the Evergreen Cougars, and his JO club team at Pinnacle Academy in Evergreen, which he owns. His children, Treyce and Taya are both competitive gymnasts and he is very proud to be both a loving father, husband and a coach to his children. Tabor has also served as the state director for men’s gymnastics since 2019.
Mary Anne Sullivan
Mary Anne Sullivan has been a gymnast since she was 8 years old, training with the Denver University Head Coach starting in the DU recreational program and quickly moving up the ranks, reaching the highest level within a few months. After a short break, she returned to high school gymnastics and received MVP 3 out of her 4 years. In college Mary Anne continued her athletic career, but transitioned to lacrosse where she was awarded All-American her senior year. As an adult, Mary Anne is an avid marathon runner, including the Boston Marathon in 2017.
Mary Anne returned to gymnastics as an adult when her three children gained interest in the sport. Already a fitness instructor, she began coaching and is now the Head Coach for the Pinnacle Academy Silver’s Team. Mary Anne’s coaching style is to teach athletes how to physically and mentally work hard inside and outside of the gym, perform to the best of their abilities and have a strong work ethic. She believes that physical and mental strength provide one with the freedom to pursue anything!
Xcel Program Director
Casey Lesieur, 29 years old from Rhode Island, has shown her passion for gymnastics and cheerleading her entire life. She began gymnastics at 8 years old at Rita Bealieu and later competed level 10 at Aim High Academy. While competing in gymnastics, she broke her right wrist and developed a dead bone. The doctors told her that her gymnastics career had ended due to this permanent injury she had sustained, but she never gave up on her aspirations. She continued to condition and build her strength so that she could perform gymnastics and cheerleading one-handed. She won 2nd place at Regional’s (one-handed) and placed 4th on floor at Senior Nationals. After slowly training for the other events, she competed in Division III gymnastics for Rhode Island College and placed 4th all around at ECAC’s. She transferred to Syracuse University and received her BFA for Environmental & Interior Design while competing in Club Gymnastics and DI Cheerleading. At Syracuse, Casey placed 4th all around at NAIGC Nationals and 5th on floor. She earned MVP honors from 2008 to 2013.
Currently, Casey has been continuing her education in Graduate School online with Liberty University, studying Exercise Science, and will earn her Master’s Degree in December 2020. She is a tremendous personal trainer and coach. Casey always goes above and beyond in everything she does. Not only is she certified in personal training, but she also teaches group fitness classes and has numerous certifications. Outside of fitness, Casey has her USAG Certification for teaching gymnastics as well as USASF for teaching all levels in stunting and tumbling in Cheerleading. With four years of experience on the Boston Celtics Green Team, Casey was able to open up her own gym. She co-owned New England Tumble Force and taught at the Exeter-West Greenwich High School for Competitive Cheerleading for the past three years, in addition to coaching for the past 13 years. Prior to that, she was the Xcel Gymnastics Director at Blaze Gymnastics in North Syracuse, NY.
Leila started gymnastics at age 10 in England, where she was born & raised. Upon moving to the U.S. in 1996, she won numerous USAG Level 9 & 10 state and regional titles. She also competed high school gymnastics, winning three consecutive all-around county and sectional titles while captaining the first place team. Leila went on to compete Division 1 gymnastics for the University of Pittsburgh from 2001-2005, with a four year full scholarship, captaining the team both her junior and senior year. She capped off her gymnastics career at the NCAA National Championship as an event specialist on beam, qualifying to nationals with a win on the event at the NCAA Northeast Regional Championship.
Leila was thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Pinnacle coaching staff in October 2016 and has absolutely loved the ‘culture’ of the Pinnacle family and the way we train our young athletes. She’s had a blast getting to know the girls’ Xcel team members and thinks that nothing beats the feeling of those breakthrough moments when an athlete overcomes a fear or learns a new skill with you by their side coaching. Leila has worked as a marketing and communications manager for large accounting firms in Denver for over a decade, which she still does full time. She lives in beautiful Golden, CO with her awesome husband and four crazy & adorable sons.
I am a mom of 2 daughters, ages 9 and 6. My youngest is a gymnast at Pinnacle and loves it!! We have lived in Evergreen for the last 5 years. I work full time, as a Physician Assistant in orthopedic surgery, and absolutely love helping out with coaching girls gymnastics, at Pinnacle a few days a week. I started gymnastics at the age of 4 and started competing in gymnastics by age 6. I continued competing, through to the Elite level at the age of 14. I was trained by Olympic, Russian and Romanian Gymnasts, and was competing along side USA's Olympian, Dominique Dawes just before I retired. One of my last competitions as a gymnast was my National Competition in North Carolina. Gymnastics was a huge part of my life as a kid and I love being able to share my experience and my love of gymnastics with other gymnasts!
Jennifer has been a certified USAG instructor at Pinnacle Gymnastics for the past year. She coaches pre-school through advanced girls gymnasts. Jennifer competed as a high school gymnast and has advanced her own gymnastics skills as an adult gymnastics student on and off over the last few years. Jennifer's love of the sport is evident in her expert instruction and positive interactions with her students.
Arden Burns is a senior at Evergreen High School. She did gymnastics for eight years and finished off her time in the sport as team captain of the EHS gymnastics team in 2021. She loves working with kids and sharing her love for the sport with her gymnasts. This fall she plans to attend the University of Tennessee Knoxville to study pre-med!