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Coaching Staff

Neil S Walker

Head Coach - Sr. Racer

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Neil Walker is an alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a 25-time All-American and two-time NCAA individual champion. Neil began his career in his hometown of Verona, Wisconsin. Swimming under Verona Aquatics Club coach Randy Trowbridge, Walker set state records that he still holds to this day. Recruited by several schools, including Florida, USC, Auburn and Arizona, he decided to make his mark under head coach Eddie Reese at Texas. 

Neil finished his collegiate career as one of the most decorated athletes in Texas history and as one of the highest ranked Longhorn swimmers in the school's history. In addition to his 25 All-American awards, he won back-to-back NCAA individual titles in the 100-yard backstroke, and six individual Big XII titles. In 1997 he set an American, US Open and NCAA record in the 100-yard backstroke, with a time of 44.92. He also set the NCAA record in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 19.08. His accomplishments (shortened by a broken hand the second day of the meet) earned him the NCAA Swimmer of the Year award in 1997.

 

Since graduation, Neil has gone on to swim in numerous international meets, including several World Championships, Pan Pacific Championships and the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. Considered one of the most versatile swimmers in American swimming history, Neil has held records in every stroke (breaststroke through an I.M. record) and over multiple distances.

Neil was an assistant coach for Longhorn Aquatics (USA Swimming's No. 1-rated swim club since 2004) from 2005 until 2009, when he became the head coach for RACE. He spends the majority of his time with the Senior Racers and Senior prep, as well as overseeing all operations.

 

Tom M Applegate

Head Age Group Coach - Jr. Racer

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Tom Applegate is a graduate of Truman State University, where he was a six-time All-American and a two-time Academic All-American. He grew up in Pontiac, Illinois, where he was the first person from that town ever to qualify for state for swimming, as well as the first to go to college on a swimming scholarship. He still holds many Illinois high school swimming records. 

Tom began coaching in Pontiac, IL, in 2000, when he started coaching the Pontiac Pacers Swim Team and taught swimming lessons. He coached the team for four years, developing many young swimmers. He then started coaching the ASA Aquadogs in Kirksville, Missouri. He became the head coach of the Aquadogs in August 2005 and remained there through 2007, traveling to many meets in the Missouri Valley.

In May of 2007 Tom took over the Plano YMCA Sea Dragons swim team. In the short time he was there, he had more than 40 YMCA state qualifiers and built the team from 40 swimmers to 120. He then took a job with the Rockwall YMCA as the Aquatics Director and Assistant Swim Coach. While there he saw the Riptides through a state championship and a second-place finish in 2008 and 2009 as an age group coach.


Currently, Tom spends the majority of his club coaching time working with the Jr. Racers group.

Wagner E da Silva

Coaching Red, Green and Silver

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Wagner was born and raised in Brazil where he began his swimming career at age 8. At the age of 14, he started helping with lessons and knew then he wanted to be a swimming coach as he was so much in love with the sport. Wagner swam competitively until he was 18 but had to stop to pursue college as there was no swimming in college back then in Brazil. 

Prior to coming to Rockwall, he coached the Waunakee Rural Aquatic Team(WRAT) for 2 years and had the privilege to coach the team to its first state title in the summer of 2010, something that had not been accomplished in over 25 years. Prior to coaching WRAT, Wagner was the Head Coach of the Monona pool site of Badger Aquatic Club. Previous to coaching for BAC, he was the Head Coach for the Monona-Grove Madison (MGM) swim team, a club that he started back in 1999 and in 2006 MGM was merged with BAC. He also coached at the WIAA level as well, coaching for both McFarland H.S. and Monona Grove H.S. men’s and women’s teams for 10 years. He really has enjoyed coaching all swimmers from swimming lessons all the way to state record holders to national qualifiers. 

Wagner also was very fortunate to be named by his fellow coaches in the state of Wisconsin as the Age Group Coach of the Year for 2008. He was part of the Wisconsin Central Zone team for several years as part of the coaching staff as an assistant as well as head coach for several years. He also served in the LSC HOD as Coaches Representative on the Board of Directors for Wisconsin Swimming. 

His first name, Wagner, is pronounced Vag-ner. He enjoy watching the Green Bay Packers but most of his time I enjoy watching and playing tennis with his family. He has a wonderful wife, Dawn, and 3 boys that are full of energy, Oskar(14),  Andre(13), both play tennis and Ivan(11), Ivan is a swimmer at RACE.

Stacey Harbin

Coach Gold & Purple

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Coach Stacey has been coaching at RACE since 2015 and her family has been part of the RACE family since they moved here in 2012.  Coach Stacey has been involved in swimming in one way or another for most of her life. Stacey was a competitive swimmer from the age of 3 until 17 in New York and Connecticut.  She coached summer league and taught lessons in HS.  She was away from swimming for a few years while she was serving in the Air Force.  When her children were young she started teaching lessons again and coaching part time at the YMCA in Bessemer, AL.  Over the next decade the family moved several times to Louisiana, Austin, Virginia and then to Rockwall.  During that time Coach Stacey was involved with swimming as a swim mom, volunteer, and board member in VA..  After moving to Rockwall, Coach Stacey became a swimming official for USA Swimming, HS and NCAA.  She continues to officiate when she is not coaching.  She is married to Eric Harbin who is also a swim official and has 4 children, all swimmers or swammers :)  Her oldest, Haylie, swam for Coach Neil and at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and will graduate in May, 2018.  Braxton, also swam for Coach Neil and is also attending the Air Force Academy.  Forrest swims for Coach Neil and Coach Stewart in Sr Racers and her youngest, Peyton swims for Coach Tom in Jr. Racers, is on the Utley MS gymnastics team and also dives.  Coach Stacey loves working with the kids and helping them to be the best athlete and person they can be.

Stewart Antony Carroll

Coaching Sr. Racers

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Stewart is a native of London, England and came to the US on a swimming scholarship at the University of Iowa. Stewart was a two time All American while swimming middle distance freestyle at Iowa. Stewart competed in two UK Olympic Trials and retired from swimming in 1992. 20 years later Stewart started swimming and competing again in Masters swimming. Stewart trains and competes for Rockwall Aquatic Masters(RAM) and is a current multi event National masters champion and a multi event medalist at the FINA World Masters Championships. Stewart is married with two children, one of whom swims for RACE.

Henry Shim

Coaching Sr. Racers

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Henry Shim - Senior Program Dryland Coach

Contact Email – henrykshim@gmail.om

Henry is responsible for RACE Dryland program designed to improve performance and expand capability of the elite athletes.

Since joining the program in 2013, Henry collaborated closely with Coach Neil to develop strength and conditioning program that enable the athletes to excel in their swimming performance.  The program design is based on broad research and innovative approaches to ensure optimal development.

Prior to joining RACE, Henry held dryland coach position with Aquacats Swim Club at San Ramon, California and held various coaching roles with Dougherty Valley and Berkeley high school football programs in California.  Henry has provided strength and conditioning consultation to the Rykko University football and lacrosse teams in Tokyo, Japan.   

Henry holds a B.A. in Development Studies with focus on emerging markets in Asia from University of California at Berkeley.  He is a certified practitioner with Human Performance Institute, American Sport Education Program and serves as an USA Swimming Official.

Henry competed in football, wrestling and martial arts.  He received the scholar-athlete award and was recruited for Division II/III collegiate programs for football.

Originally from California, Henry and his wife Susan currently live in Sunnyvale, Texas with their three children who are all part of the RACE swim team.

 

Jonathan j Walters

Coaching Black

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Eric M Paden

Coaching Racer 1, Racer 2 and H.S. Dev.

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Eric Paden is a graduate of Truman State University, where he was both a four year letter winning swimmer and a two time NCAA Div. II national champion coach. He grew up in Kanas City, where he swam for the Kansas City Blazer and Coach Pete Malone who is one of USA Swimming’s Top 25 Most Influential People in the History of Swimming. Eric was awarded swimmer of the year in 2001 for the entire Blazer organization.

Eric began coaching in Kirksville, MO., in 2005, when he started coaching the Truman State University Swim Team as the assistant swim coach. He coached the team for three years, developing many swimmers that would go on to swim at the NCAA Div. II nationals. In 2008 he then moved back to Kansas City and started coaching with the Kansas City Blazers. He became one of two assistants to Head Coach Pete Malone while pursuing graduate school. In 2013, Eric and his wife Brittany moved to Washington DC where he would coach with Clark Swim club in Northern Virginia and Nations Capital Swim Club in the DC metro area while his wife Brittany was pursuing her graduate work.

In April of 2014 Eric called his old teammate and former swimmer Tom Applegate if he knew anything about a team in Austin called Nitro. In response to this question Tom replied, “They are good, but what if I told you I had a job opening?” This simple question over the next few months brought Eric and his wife to settle in Dallas and start coaching with RACE.

Fun fact: Eric has attended more universities that any sane person should. Institutions include: Truman State University, University of Missouri at Kansas City, Cornell University, Peking University, Columbia University, National Minorities University of China, and the University of Kansas.

Eric holds a Masters of Chinese Language and Literature from the University of Kansas and speaks Mandarin Chinese.

Currently, Eric is coaching Minnows, RACER 1, RACER 2, and High School Development groups.

Shelly Villarreal

Coaching White

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Inspired by her kids love for swimming and fueled by her passion for teaching, Coach Shelly began her swimming/coaching career at age 36. Shelly and her family have been a part of the RACE family since the aquatic center doors opened for the first time in September 2009. Her dedication and excitement for swimming lead her to experience and understand the great feeling of accomplishment swimming gives. In 2017, Coach Shelly joined the RACE coaching staff as a Swim Coach. In addition to coaching, she is also an instructor for the RISD Water Safety Program and teaches lessons at The Rockwall Swim School.
For 25 years Coach Shelly has been married to her best friend, Eliseo, Sr., together they have three children: Eliseo, Jr and Araeli, both former RACE and Rockwall Heath High School swimmers, are currently Aggies in College Station, Gig’em; Ricardo who also swims with RACE Racer 1 group with Coach Eric. Coach Shelly is currently coaching the Purple and White Group and she is looking forward to working with each swimmer and RACE family to make this an enjoyable and fun experience.

Eileen J Wanless

Coaching Minnows and White!!

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Kim Lester

Coaching Minnows and White :o)

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Kim started coaching swimming at 16 years of age in Napa CA where she ran a Swim America swim school.  She then moved on to be an age group with coach with the Napa Valley swim team, where she worked with Paul Bergen, Jack Ridley, and Bob Bowman.
Kim swam as an age group swimmer for the Napa Valley swim team until age 14 and then swam in junior college.  She has always been active in athletics and swim, as well as running. She has completed 21 marathons, so far, and numerous triathlons.  After meeting her husband, while a flight attendant at Southwest Airlines,  she moved to Camas Washington where she started her own swim school that focused on younger children and triathletes.
 In 2012 her family moved to Phoenix AZ and her children, Ryan and Amelia, joined Scottsdale Aquatic Club.  Kim was an age group coach at Scottsdale Aquatic Club, and coached High School and Junior High at Scottsdale Preparatory Academy.  While coaching at Scottsdale Prep,  Kim’s team won the small school championship and was runner up for division 3 schools in the state of Arizona.
Kim is passionate about swimming and fitness, she was a certified Crossfit instructor and a life long teacher.  Her emphasis is on form and technique and loves working with the newer swimmers.