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TSC Legacy Awards

Information provided by TSC founder and Head Coach Emeritus Dick Hannula.

The Bob Eby Inspirational Award:

Bob started swimming competitively as a sophomore at Wilson High School.  He swam the next 7 years for TSC as well.  He was a lower level swimmer when he started out on the reserve team at Wilson.  He improved through hard work and dedication each year until he was a solid varsity team member as a senior, and swam on the state championship 400 free relay.  He wasn't recruited by colleges.  I made a call to the Washington State University coach and suggested he invite Bob to walk on.  He did and became one of the best performers on that team.

At TSC, Bob was a member of the first male TSC 4x200 Free Relay team to place at the US Senior Nationals.  These were the first national championship points scored by TSC male swimmers.  It was 1969 and it placed 6th.  Bob also coached TSC during the summers while at WSU.  Bob was an exceptional student and planned to become a doctor.  Upon graduation he was accepted to medical school.  However, that summer he became ill with a brain tumor and died within a few months.

In 1970 the Bob Eby Inspirational Award was initiated by his teammates.

Kurt Knipher Student Athlete Award:

Kurt joined TSC at 10 years of age.  He swam as a State Champion and All-American at Wilson High School.  Kurt was a consolation finalist at Senior Nationals in the 200 Butterfly.  He was on several national championship final TSC relays.  He was also on two American Record Freestyle relays:  4x200 meter and 4x100 meter - both short course meters.  Kurt also swam 4 years at the University of Washington.  He was an outstanding student and attended medical school at the University of Chicago.  He became a neurologist and was a practicing physician when he became ill with a rare bone cancer.  At the time of his death, he left a young wife and two young daughters.  

His former teammates started this student athlete award in his memory in the mid 1980's.

Mark Smith "Spirit Award":

Mark swam TSC, Wilson High, and the University of Southern California (NCAA Champions).  He was the fastest high school swimmer in the U.S. in the 100 yd. Free in 1975.  He was a national finalist - 7th - in the 200 meter Freestyle (LCM) at the US Senior Nationals.  He was also a member of the 4x200 meter Freestyle Relay (LCM) that broke the American Club Record at the US Senior Nationals (winning the next to last timed heat and then placing 3rd overall).  Mark was a great team person, always encouraging his teammates.  Totally upbeat!  After college and as a young man he developed brain tumors that eventually took his life.  

The Hannula family started this award in 1994.