Mallee Sato

Head Trainer & Owner

Mallee Sato owns CrossFit Imperial Valley because she is passionate about CrossFit and believes in the efficacy of the program and it’s ability to improve lives both inside and outside of the gym.

Within the gym, Mallee enjoys working with athletes of various skill levels.  For the past three years, she has spent countless hours programming each workout that has been completed at CrossFit Imperial Valley and the former CrossFit Amundson and posted on the website.   Her unique ability to create workouts and keen attention to detail is the backbone and structure of the fitness program at CrossFit Imperial Valley.  Mallee’s greatest joy comes from watching her athletes gain strength, grow more fit, increase their health, and ultimately change the way they live their lives.  This is the primary reason she teaches CrossFit.

Mallee also works for the CrossFit Headquarters Seminar & Training Department as the Department Assistant & Travel Coordinator.

“I did not grow up playing team sports or being overly athletic.  However, I was always interested in the physical demands associated with challenging the body through physical activity. I  ran mostly, surfed a little and swam in the ocean.  I took dance lessons and even spent a few years learning Thai Kickboxing.    It was not until I started CrossFitting in 2007 that I felt like I had truly found a sport that I could continue to do for the rest of my life because it was fun as well as challenging both physically and mentally.  We are all athletes and CrossFit was what I needed to bring this out in me.”
Mallee Sato

Naldy Robles
Brianna Burgun


Brianna Burgun attended her first CrossFit workout in Mallee’s garage gym while a Junior in high school in the fall of 2009.  Her brother Brian Burgun was already hooked on CrossFit and convinced her to give it a try.

It was a super small group of us, maybe 5 of us outside Mallee’s garage. I remember we were warming up on the street and I kept thinking what the heck was I doing here! I was the only girl and definitely intimidated at first.  Mallee took us through our movements, briefed the workout and after completing my first CF WOD I felt exhausted but great at the same time! I never stopped after that! 

Brianna worked at the CrossFit Imperial Valley front desk for a few years before she decided she wanted to be a CrossFit trainer.  The healthy lifestyle that CrossFit had lead her to adopt was a way of living that she wanted to teach and share with others.

I’m a trainer because I truly love it. I love the way it makes me feel when I can help someone accomplish a goal, especially the goal to live a healthier lifestyle.

Since becoming a trainer, Brianna has taken over the Fundamentals program at the gym, teaching all the beginner athletes who join the gym.  In addition, she is instrumental in CFIV’s Nutrition Challenges, helping to organize the Challenges as well as serving as an expert advisor to her athletes.



Kristi Messick
Cortney Eyer


I had always been curious about CrossFit after seeing my friend Brian Burgun’s pictures and hearing his stories about the crazy workouts they did, but I didn’t think I could do it.  He finally talked me into going to a free community workout in January 2011.  I remember looking at the WOD that consisted of deadlifts with a dowel, pushups, and squats, and I thought “That’s it? They must make it easy for the visitors.”  That day, I was humbled by a dowel and movements that I thought I knew how to do. I remember mid-workout my partner who was a current member of the gym was pushing me and encouraging me to finish the WOD, and I was thinking “Oh my gosh, what am I doing here? I’m never coming back!” As soon as I finished and walked out of the box, I had the best workout high I had ever felt. I was so sore the next day, I could barely walk, and I fell in love. I signed up the next week, and haven’t stopped since.  As a member at CFIV, the coaches taught me to push beyond what I had previously thought was my physical and mental limit.  And as a result, I now appreciate that everyone is capable of accomplishing so much more than they think possible.

In the middle of college and needing a job, I decided to sign up for the CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course in June, 2012.  I was so excited to gain more knowledge on CrossFit and living a healthy lifestyle. I started interning at CFIV shortly after, and have been teaching classes since October, 2012. I love teaching others about CrossFit and will continue my education in CrossFit, health, and fitness for years to come. What I love most about CrossFit is the unique supportive community that you can find no matter where you go. I also love the concept of relative intensity and that any grueling WOD can be scaled to each individual’s skill and ability level. That is the beauty of CrossFit.