Nov 202012


USA Swimming has published the list of the 2012 Scholastic All-America Male and Female Teams, and this year’s male team includes three TNT swimmers who are among a total of five swimmers from all of Central California Swimming, based on this past academic year. Information, including the team lists can be found by clicking on the USA Swimming Scholastic All America Team link which will take you to the USA Swimming site.

Congratulations to:

  • Nathan Rhea, a Senior at Tulare Western making the list for the second time.
  • Colin Landweer, a Senior at Lemoore High making the list for the first time, and
  • Christopher Nolan, a Junior at Corcoran High School making the list for his first time.

Athletes are eligible for the Scholastic Academic All America recognition if they have maintained a 3.5 grade point average or higher during their sophomore year or later, and who have also attained the minimum time standard

 Posted by at 21:51
Nov 262009

Eight year old Prescilla Jazmine Niayesh along with her father participated in a competitive scouting effort in search of models to represent the cross section of kids, coaches and parents that make up USA Swimming. The family traveled to Southern California on Sunday of the Gobbler meet after being notified of their selection. Congratulations to both – look for them in upcoming publications from USA Swimming.

 Posted by at 00:08
Jun 212008

Eleven TNT members made it all the way to Half Dome this summer. The youngest was 11-year old Christopher Hansen. Although the hike was very challenging, not one person turned back early. The following individuals of TNT made it all the way: Alex Ellis, Suzanne Ellis, Megan Eppler, Stephanie Eppler, Alex Hansen, Ben Hansen, Christopher Hansen, Karen Hansen, Sam Hansen, Zach Hansen and AJ Reid.

A swimmer had asked, “How was the hike?” Beside the obvious response of painful, exhausting, time-consuming, and all those other inconveniences that come with reaching a worthwhile goal, from my perspective the hike was an amazing accomplishment.
Oftentimes success at a meet includes the number of swimmers who can make finals. This is true even at the most advanced teams in college swimming, and at their most advanced meet. Besides the spectacular view, what made our hike to Half Dome most rewarding for me was the fact that no one, NOT ONE PERSON, turned back early. This is like going to a meet, and having 100% of the athletes making it to finals.

The dynamics of a TEAM help provide support for achieving even the most difficult tasks – in fact it’s a necessity. The lower the goals, the less important the team; the higher the goal becomes, the team becomes more important in lending support and establishing expectations – even if the expectations are not verbalized. This support and expectation helps the group achieve.

dome-base.JPG    dome-group.JPG     dome-nevada-group.JPG

 Posted by at 02:50
Jan 092008

On December 27th of 2007, Robert Mattes had passed away. As with many others, I’ll remember Bob because of his selflessness in working with people in general. It was truly an honor and privilege to have his involvement with the TNT program. Bob and his wife Elaine were awesome parents to have on TNT. In fact, Bob is the primary reason the name is as it is. It was his suggestion from working with Scouts with his son Sean, that the name reflect something that was in this geographical region that included Lemoore, Hanford, Tulare and Visalia (at that time the four towns from which TNT swimmers came). He suggested the Tule Indian Nation. This conversation took place on the way back from a meet in Pacific Swimming.


Bob, Elaine, Sean and Melinda were with me at Kings Swim Club when I coached there in Lemoore and Hanford. They made the commute to practice on a regular basis. I could sense the commitment level of Melinda while she was very young. The family came with me a short time after I left Kings Swim Club and came to Tulare Swim Club. Bob went on to become the designated coach of the Corcoran High School swim team which brought it back to life. It was a great thing to provide Melinda the opportunity to compete in high school. Before Bob made it happen, the high school team was dormant – there was no active high school team at the time. Bob arranged that the team travel to Tulare and train with me. That was a great experience that I’ll never forget. What a neat group of kids. To this day, the team remains active – thanks to the rebirth that Bob contributed to.


I cant say how rewarding it was for me to see Melinda coaching at Juniors when it was in Bakersfield a few years ago. It was just as rewarding to have been invited to her wedding only a few months ago, and see that she continued coaching, and that she had married Mark who she coaches with. It was neat to see so many of their swimmers running around during the wedding. And once again, just like Rachel and Ramie Denning’s weddings, it was neat to see the TNT swimmers, now adults, have such a strong bond after all these years.


His caring personality is reflected strongly in all the members of his family – and is in itself a great legacy to have left behind. He and Elaine have done a phenomenal job in raising their children. He will definitely be missed. I’m glad to see other TNT entries into Bob’s Guestbook:

 Posted by at 04:29
Dec 292007

The 2007 year for TNT was a heck of a transition year. Even though we had some of the fastest kids ever on the team (three swimmers ranked 2nd, 12th, 16th etc. in the nation with Olympic Trial, Junior National and Senior National qualifiers) our team was really small. A couple of years prior to 2008, TNT numbers had been down rather low. When once we could see over 60 kids in the pool, we went down to about eight regularly. With the influx of many very talented Summer League swimmers from local summer teams (representing Tulare, Visalia, Hanford and Corcoran), 2008 will be an interesting year.

 Posted by at 02:26