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History

OCCS The Past 30 Years

Occoquan Swimming was founded in about 1986 as an attempt to provide a year-round program for the Ridgewood (located in Woodbridge) summer swim team. It was founded by Bryon Snyder and Marty Olsen. It initially started as a one-day per week stroke clinic at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center in Alexandria. 

Bob Lindberg was recruited as a coach sometime in 1988 when OCCS was comprised of 60-80 swimmers, swimming primarily on Saturdays at the Mount Vernon site. Dave Tonnesen was recruited by Snyder and Olsen in the spring/summer of 1990 as the head coach and he developed a five-year plan for Occoquan. By the fall of 1990, Occoquan had the program at Mount Vernon, a 5-day a week program at the Dale City Recreation Center, and about 200 swimmers. The Mount Vernon program continued until about 1994, when the Mount Vernon site coach left and OCCS could not find a replacement. By that time, OCCS had started making significant contributions to Potomac Valley Swimming, including meet hosting, officials, etc. Dave Tonnesen served in several capacities in the PVS governing structure. 

Occoquan continued to grow and expand, swimming in the 1990s and into 2000 at Dale City, Chinn (after it opened in 1991) and at Freedom Center at George Mason’s Prince William County campus. The program continued to grow and, at a maximum, had about 380 swimmers. 

In the early 2000s OCCS hired Joel “Cy” Cyganiewicz and his son (later) to act as head coach.  Although there was some age group competitive success, the team numbers dropped to less than 240 swimmers and the philosophy changed from an all-inclusive team to a selective program swimming at the Dale City Rec Center, Chinn Fitness and Aquatics, and at the Freedom Center. 

In 2008, the board of directors decided to hire a general manager to take over the daily management of the team; subsequently, Aaron Dean was hired in this capacity.  After a couple of years of challenges with staffing, Aaron also took over as head coach and national training group coach in 2011.  Since the 2008, OCCS has grown from 240 to over 470 swimmers in five practices sites throughout the area today.  In addition, competitively OCCS has set new statistical highs every year since.  

OCCS 2015-16 – 475 swimmers

Freedom Center - 209 swimmers

PW East (Chinn, Dale City, Kids’ Choice) – 190 swimmers

WARF – 76 swimmers

OCCS employs eighteen coaches (five full time) in addition to the GM/head coach (full time) and an administration/ bookkeeping assistant (part-time). 

OCCS has a seven-member board of directors (six parent members and the GM). 

OCCS has 31 certified USA Swimming officials including three referees.  

 

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Coaches

11

10

13

13

16

Officials

24

35

30

30

39

Swimmers

424

480

505

471

487

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Meets

17

16

18

20

23

Swimmer participation (1 or more meets)

 

382

425

407

441

 

 

80%

84%

86%

91%

Swimmer participation (5 or more meets)

 

199

275

277

309

 

 

41%

54%

59%

63%

IMR completion

116

152

210

253

303

IMX completion

63

83

102

156

211

Team Records

7

15

26

19

39

JO Participation

21

22

37

63

58

Virtual Club score

105,144

144,313

161,791

184,063

199,069

Virtual Club rank PVS

13th

8th

6th

4th

5th

Virtual Club rank USA Swimming

389th

215th

159th

104th

78th