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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 600 swimmers in sis practices sites throughout the area today.  In addition, competitively OCCS has set new statistical highs every year since.  

OCCS 2017-18 – 620 swimmers

Manassas Central (Central Park & Freedom) - 369 swimmers

PW East (Chinn, Dale City, Colgan) – 201 swimmers

WARF – 50 swimmers

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

OCCS has a seven-member board of directors. 

OCCS has 48 certified USA Swimming officials including three referees. 

  2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Coaches 11 10 13 13 16 18 20
Officials 24 35 30 30 39 39 48
Year Round Swimmers 424 480 505 471 487 549 565
Total Meets 17 16 18 20 23 19 22
Swimmer participation (1 or more meets)    382 425 407 441 527 534
    80% 84% 86% 91% 96% 95%
Swimmer participation (5 or more meets)    199 275 277 309 385 363
    41% 54% 59% 63% 70% 64%
IMR completion  116 152 210 253 303 364 346
  27% 32% 42% 54% 62% 66% 61%
IMX completion  63 83 102 156 211 257 223
  15% 17% 20% 33% 43% 47% 39%
Team Records 7 15 26 19 39 66 85
JO Participation  21 22 37 63 58 84 96
Virtual Club score 105,144 144,313 161,791 184,063 199,069 230,662 231,860
Virtual Club rank PVS 13th 8th 6th 4th 5th 4th 4th
Virtual Club rank USA Swimming 389th 215th 159th 104th 78th 29th 29th