FISH History Volume 1. Years 1 - 5

Ryan Westhafer

History of the FISH

Fall, 1991 – Summer, 1996



The FISH started as an extension of the Franklin Glen Gator summer team, which swims in the Colonial League in Northern Virginia. Coach Ray volunteered his services to the Franklin Glen Gators, coaching his oldest son, Steven, who was 3 at the time, along with 9 of his 8 and under buddies.  They would meet every evening at the pool.


Upon conclusion of their summer season, several parents approached Coach Ray and asked if he could start a program over the winter.  They were interested in a program not only for the swimmers that he coached during the summer, but also their older brothers and sisters.

Spring Hill Rec Center was relatively new, and the FISH were able to get some pool time.

They began their inaugural year with 28 swimmers.


Notable Accomplishments:


Elizabeth Cooper became the first FISH to qualify for Junior Nationals.

She still holds some FISH team records:


13-14 Girls      200 breaststroke         2:45.42            LCM     Elizabeth Cooper


13-14 Girls      100 breaststroke         1:06.75            SCY      Elizabeth Cooper

                        200 breaststroke         2:24.69            SCY      Elizabeth Cooper


Steven Benecki also still holds some FISH team records


6 & u Boys       100 freestyle               1:40.22            LCM     Steven Benecki

                        200 freestyle               3:40.95            LCM     Steven Benecki


                        100 I.M.                       1:46.27            SCY      Steven Benecki


In 1995, the FISH had their first Eastern Zone SC Junior National qualifier.  (USA Swimming had seperate Junior National Championships for each Zone.). Elizabeth Cooper, 14, earned that honor, in the 200 yard breaststroke, with her time of 2:24.69.

            That summer, she also qualified for the LC Junior Nationals, once again, in the 200 breaststroke, with her time of 2:45.42.


                                                FISH Records that still exist from this era

   13 - 14 girls              200 m breaststroke     2:45.42            Elizabeth Cooper         7/16/95


By the end of their 5th year, the FISH had grown to approximately 150 swimmers.


Stay tuned for the next installment of “FISH History” coming soon!