Coach brings collegiate success to Truckee swim team |

Coach brings collegiate success to Truckee swim team

Former All-American collegiate swimmer Betsy Hansen has joined the Truckee Tahoe Torpedoes swim team as the new head coach.Hansen was an assistant coach for the team in 2001 while student teaching at Donner Trail Elementary School. She has recently been coaching high school swimmers in Santa Rosa while completing her masters degree.I cant tell you how excited I am, Hansen said. This is like a dream job for me. I know a lot of people say that, but for me its true.The Torpedoes, a non-profit age-group team with more than 60 swimmers, is beginning its new season Sept. 7. The team will be training at the outdoor pool at Northstar-at-Tahoe until repairs on the Truckee Donner Recreation & Park District pool are completed. That pool is scheduled to reopen on Sept. 20.Hansen, 26, brings many years of competitive swimming and coaching experience to the team. She grew up in Pleasanton, Calif., where she started swimming competitively as a youngster. She swam in a summer league and played soccer, basketball and softball at other times of the year and did not start swimming year-round until she was in the seventh grade. She went on to become a star at Foothill High, where she was the captain of her swim team for two years and competed in the Junior Nationals.She was recruited by several colleges including Iowa, Oregon State and Fresno State before accepting a scholarship from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. Oakland was one of the top swim programs in Division II, and Betsy went on to become an All-American.She excelled in the 100 and 200 butterfly, but also swam every freestyle race from the 100 to the mile.I swam the mile because there werent that many who wanted to do it, Hansen said.Although she had an excellent 100 fly time of 56:23, she felt the 200 (2:04.96) was easier for her.I just needed more time to get going, I guess, she said.These days Hansen swims for fun and exercise. A shoulder injury keeps her from pumping out the yards, so she also stays in shape hiking.Thats why Im so excited about returning to Truckee, she added.Hansen started teaching swimming as a 14-year-old to help raise money for a travel fund used by the elite swimmers on her age-group team. The travel fund allowed her and other top-notch swimmers to go to meets all over the country, but Betsy probably would have taught for nothing.I remember getting out on the deck and doing lessons and thinking, Wow, Im going to be doing this for the rest of my life. I love it so much,’ she said.These days Hansen is completing work on her masters degree in Humanities and Leadership and her concentration is on ecological education. Its an independent study program that she designed herself, and it involves developing a literature program for middle school students. The program combines ecological studies with science and literature in a way that meets California standards but emphasizes ecology something that can get left behind as youngsters head into middle school. Her ultimate goal is to write a book for juveniles that embraces both literary themes as well as ecological sensibilities.Hansen eventually hopes to catch on with the Truckee Tahoe Unified School District as a teacher. She has already worked as a long-term substitute teacher in Kings Beach in addition to her student-teaching stint in 2001.But for now her focus will be on the Truckee Tahoe Swim Team. Hansen plans on visiting area schools to promote the sport of swimming as well as TTST. She is looking at incentive plans to encourage more swimmers to try out for the team and will also consider starting a development program for future swimmers who would benefit from some lessons before swimming competitively.Hansen also will be working with the board on a range of issues, from the team mission statement, to fund-raising, to the dues structure. Once our fall season starts, she will be meeting with swimmers to help them establish their goals for the coming years.

The Truckee Tahoe Swim Team is a non-profit competitive team for age-group swimmers. The team practices year-round and competes in meets at pools in the area. Members pay dues according to the level of their swimmers, and the teams budget is supplemented by various fund-raising activities.Practices are held in the afternoon at the Truckee Donner Recreation & Park District pool at Truckee High School. If you are interested in joining, call 582-5280 or e-mail coach Betsy Hansen at or, or stop by the pool between 2:30 and 5 p.m. on weekdays. To learn more about the team and its training schedule, check out

TTSTPractice Schedule @ NorthstarSept. 7-17, 2004GroupDayStart timeEnd time SharksM-F2:45pm4:00pm TunasM-F3:45pm4:30pm DolphinsM-F4:30pm5:00pmTTST- Normal Practice Schedule @ Tahoe Truckee High SchoolGroupMid-weekStart timeEnd timeWeekend: SHARKSMonday-Friday2:45pm4:30pmSaturday9:30-10:30am TunasMonday-Friday3:45pm4:45pmSaturday10:15-11:00am DolphinsMonday-Friday4:30pm5:15pmSaturday10:15-11:00amVisit the official Web site at for more information about signing up and information regarding the team.

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