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THSC's History

 

The Thunderbolts – By the Decades

The Tualatin Hills Swim Club (“THSC” and “The Thunderbolts”) has a rich history that can be traced back to its founding in 1957.

The 1950s

In 1957:

  • The Tualatin Hills Swim Club was formed by Rod Harman and Margaret Penn, who meet by happenstance at a local pool.  Rod Harman is the first head coach, and Margaret the first assistant, in the club’s history.

The 1960s

THSC grows to become one of the leading club’s in Oregon, and a force to be reckoned with in the Pacific Northwest.

The 1970s

In 1973:

  • Gary Leach is hired as a club coach, a tenure that would last nearly three decades.

In 1977:

  • Rod Harman stepped down from the club that he had formed 18 years earlier, in order to devote more time to his high school teaching and coaching career. 

The 1980s

In 1980:

  • Construction began on the 50 meter aquatic facility in Beaverton. The efforts of Rod Harman and other local area coaches proved to be a major factor in THPRD’s decision to build a national-level aquatic center.

In 1982:

  • Alan Cardwell joined THSC as a coach from Starlit Aquatics in Fairfax, VA, and shortly thereafter becomes the club’s first full-time professional head coach, with Gary Leach moving to the role of Head Age Group Coach.

In 1985:

  • With Alan Cardwell relocating to North Carolina for family reasons, the club brought Ben Davis from High Point (NC) on board as the new head coach.

In 1988:

  • THSC sent five current and former age-group swimmers to the Olympic Trials, including Brent Lang, who qualifies for the US team and wins a gold medal at the Seoul Games as a member of the men’s 4 x 100m free relay.

The 1990s

In 1990:

  • Ben Davis was recognized as the Oregon Swim Coaches Association “Senior Coach of the Year”.

In 1992:

  • THSC sent Andy Brown to the US Olympic Trials.  THSC swimmer Can Ergenekan represented his native Turkey at the Olympic Games in Barcelona.

In 1995:

  • Club co-founder Margaret Penn retired at age 75, after 37 years with the club.

In 1996:

  • Former THSC age-group swimmer Bryan Addleman competed at the US Olympic Trials.  THSC swimmer Can Ergenekan again represented his native Turkey at the Olympic Games, in Atlanta.

In 1997:

  • Coach Ben Davis left to become the head coach and program director of the Birmingham Swim League.

In 1998:

  • THSC hired Paul Bergen, an experienced coach with a long track record of producing world-class swimmers, as the new head coach.  The team adopts a new nickname – The Thunderbolts – and a new logo.

In 1999:

  • The last of the long-time veteran THSC coaches, Gary Leach, after 23 years of outstanding contributions to the foundation and growth of the club.  Gary was replaced as head age-group coach by Paul Bergen’s son, Linck.

The 2000s

The track record of success of coach Paul Bergen in producing world-class swimmers led several international athletes to come to Beaverton to train, most notably Inge de Bruijn and Chantal Groot (NED); Kaori Hamada and Junko Onishi (JPN); and Igor Martchenko and Dennis Pimankov (RUS).

In 2000:

  • At the US Olympic Trials, THSC swimmer Melissa Greene placed 6th overall in the 200m fly and 8th in the 100m fly.
  • At the Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Dutch international swimmer Inge deBruijn won three gold medals (50m free, 100m free, and 100m fly) and a silver medal (4 x 100m free relay), and set three world records in the process.
  • Paul Bergen was recognized as the Oregon Swim Coaches Association “Senior Coach of the Year”.
  • THSC coach Sean Hutchison was recognized as the Oregon Swim Coaches Association “Age Group Coach of the Year”.

In 2003:

  • The club’s 15-18 girls set three National Age Group relay records (Patterson, Patterson, Nelson, Liggett and Summers), while the 11-12 girls set a NAG relay record, as well.

In 2004:

  • The Thunderbolts sent four current and former age-group swimmers to the Olympic Trials (Staley, Nelson, Patterson and Scroggy).
  • At the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Inge de Bruijn won four more medals for Holland – gold in the 50m free, silver in the 100m free, and bronze in the 100m fly and 4 x 100m free relay.
  • After the 2004 season, Paul Bergen left the Thunderbolts, and Linck Bergen became the new head coach.
  • In 2004, Linck Bergen was recognized as the Oregon Swim Coaches Association “Age Group Coach of the Year”.

In 2005:

  • Ben Swinehart joined the Thunderbolts as an age-group coach. 

In 2006:

  • Ben Swinehart was recognized as the Oregon Swim Coaches Association “Age Group Coach of the Year”.
  • Ruth Stocks joined the Thunderbolts as an age-group coach.

In 2007:

  • Linck Bergen was recognized as the Oregon Swim Coaches Association “Senior Coach of the Year”.

In 2008:

  • The Thunderbolts sent four current and former age-group swimmer to the Olympic Trials (Scroggy, Henderson-Kunz, Ewing and Patterson).

In 2009:

  • Linck Bergen was again recognized as the Oregon Swim Coaches Association “Senior Coach of the Year”.

The 2010s

In 2010:

  • Former Thunderbolts swimmer Morgan Scroggy represented the USA at the Pan Pacific Championships.
  • Ben Swinehart was again recognized as the Oregon Swim Coaches Association “Age Group Coach of the Year”.

In 2011:

  • Ben Swinehart left the Thunderbolts to pursue his teaching career.

In 2012:

  • THSC’s 11-12 boys set National Age Group relay records (Nosack, Shen, Martinez-Calvo, Yadao).
  • The Thunderbolts sent five swimmers to the US Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska (Carlson, Cefal, Rooker, Stitt, Young).
  • Coach Ruth Stocks became the Head Age-Group Coach.

In 2013:

  • Franz Resseguie was recognized as the Oregon Swim Coaches Association “Age Group Coach of the Year”.
  • Linck Bergen was again recognized as the Oregon Swim Coaches Association “Senior Coach of the Year”.
  • In October, coach Franz Resseguie left the Thunderbolts to join Dynamo Swim Club in Atlanta, GA.

In 2014:

  • In early 2014, Christopher Pfaffenroth joined THSC as the new assistant head coach, coming from Nashua, NH.
  • The Thunderbolts 11-12 boys set two National Age Group relay records (Liu, Corbeau, McFaul, Martinez).
  • THSC age-group coach Ruth Stocks was a finalist for USA Swimming’s national age-group coach of the year.
  • Ruth Stocks was recognized as the Oregon Swim Coaches Association “Age Group Coach of the Year”.
  • Thunderbolts swimmer Patrick Mulcare is selected to represent the USA at the Youth Olympic games in Nanjing, China.

In 2015:

  • Franz Resseguie returned to Beaverton as the new Head Coach of the Thunderbolts.
  • Ben Swinehart returned to Beaverton as a coach for the Thunderbolts.

In 2016:

  • The Thunderbolts are represented by two current and five former swimmers at the Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska: Keaton Blovad, Sara Metzsch, Cameron Stitt (U of Michigan/Club Wolverine), Blaise Wittenauer-Lee (Seattle U), Michelle Cefal (U of Tennessee), Patrick Mulcare (USC/Trojan Swim Club), Jonathan Zoucha (U of Louisville).