KJ grew up swimming, playing basketball, riding her bike, and hiking through Briones Regional Park from her neighborhood in the San Francisco East Bay. After swimming only during her summers, she was recruited to swim for Tufts University in Massachusetts. As the team’s backstroker, she broke the school record in the 50 backstroke her freshman year and still holds top-10 time performances. It was during those summers spent with her “rec” team that she discovered her love for coaching, as a member of the coaching staff and ultimately the head coach of a youth swim team. After trying her first triathlon, she knew the sport was a missing link and jumped in to the deep end.