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We are here to support your needs. If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs, please contact Shelley Twigg - Waukee YMCA  Competitive Swim Coordinator/Head Coach.

Coaching Staff

Shelley Twigg

Waukee YMCA Head Swim Team Coach

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Shelley Twigg grew up in West Des Moines and attended Valley High School. She was on the varsity swim team for 4 years. In those 4 years Shelley helped lead Valley to multiple undefeated dual seasons and was a state qualifier for 3 of her 4 years. In ’95 she was a proud member and leader of the Valley Tigers Swim Team that finished Runner Up at the State Meet.

After making the tough decision not to swim at the college level, she chose to attend Northwestern College in Orange City, IA where she was captain of the women’s soccer team and double majored in elementary education and physical education/health (K-12).

Upon graduating in 2001, Shelley started her coaching career with the Urbandale School District for three years. She was an assistant with the girls swim team, an assistant with the Urbandale Shark Swim Club, and head middle school swim coach.

After the completion of a brand new pool in the Johnston Community School District Shelley became the head age group coach for the new Johnston Blaze Swim Club in 2005. She also became the assistant girls swim coach at Johnston High School in 2007. In 2010, she became the High School Girls Head Swim Team Coach.   She joined the Waukee YCMA Rays program in 2011.  Shelley is a member of ASCA and USA Swimming and is educationally certified as a Level 3 coach.

Shelley lives in Waukee with her husband Ben and her three girls, Emma, Lily and Maya.

 

Karyl Palmer

Coaching Staff

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Coaching Experience:  Since  2006           Rays:   2006

Karyl has been with the Waukee Rays her entire coaching career.

Family: Karyl is married to Gayle and has two sons, Jared and Bryce.

Her cat Oreo rounds out the Palmer household. 

Family Fun Fact:  All her siblings’ names start with K (Kevin, Karyl, Kurt, Kayla, & Krista)

Swim background:

Member of Iowa State Champion West Des Moines Valley High School swim team

Swam collegiately at Winona State University and Mankato State University

7 School Records and voted MVP.

Swimming Fact:  Karyl did not start swimming until 7th grade.

Coaching Highlight"Everyday I have a highlight. I love seeing stroke improvement, finally getting the flip turn, mastering the dive, understanding breast stroke kick, everyday highlights.”

What do you remember most about your favorite youth coaches?

My high school coach Mark Wagner was an amazing motivator and built teams that thrived on hard work. He taught us self discipline, responsibility and life lessons on a daily basis. My best high school memories are being part of the Valley High Scholl swim team”

Karyl is a substitute teacher at Dallas Center Grimes.

Dan Briggs

Coaching Staff

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Coaching Experience:  Since 1995          Rays:  2005

Waukee High School Varsity Boys Head Coach (current)

Waukee High School Varsity Girls Assistant Coach (current)

Waukee Middle School Swim Coach (current)

Also coached at Indianola H.S , Jefferson, Carroll,  & Urbandale

Swim background:

Grew up in and around the pool throughout his childhood

High School swimmer at Boone H.S.

4 year letter winner, team captain junior & senior year.

Name team MVP 3 times, sophomore, junior, senior years

Qualified for Iowa High School swim meet two different years.

Coaching Highlights:

District Coach of the Year 2013

Regional Title with Waukee High School Girls swim team

4 State Titles with Waukee High School  Girls swim team

Numerous All Academic Swimmers

What do you remember most about your favorite youth coaches?

They are the reason why I coach swimming today. ”

Dan is a High School Chemistry teacher at Waukee High School.

Dan lives in Waukee, with his wife Tiffany, and their children; Cameron, Kiara, Caleb, CJ, Corbin, and daughter on the way in April 2015.

Rena Skoog

Coaching Staff

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Coaching Experience:    Since 2006          Rays:   2012

 

She has coached at both the Walnut Creek YMCA and currently as a Rays coach at the Waukee Family YMCA..

 

Rena has a true passion for the sport of swimming. She grew up in Rock Island, Illinois. She competed for East Moline Swim Club and Rock Island High School. While competing for her high school swim team she swam her way to 4 state trips.

After a successful 11 years of age group and high school swimming, Rena swam for Iowa State University. At ISU, Rena was a standout collegiate swimmer for the Cyclones, where she set  ISU swim records in the 50 Free, 200 Free Relay, 400 Free Relay, 800 Free Relay, and 400 Medley Relay. She earned NCAA B cuts in the 50 free, 200 free, as well as medley and freestyle relays. She was a recipient of the Cyclone Relay Award in each of her four collegiate seasons, was a four year letter winner,  named team captain her senior year and was a Big 12 finalist.

 

Rena is the self proclaimed “Coordinator of Chaos” @ the Skoog house.

 

 She is married to her husband Peder (also swam at ISU) and they have two children, Cora and Erik. To round out the home, they have two pets, Keeley and Thor.

 

Coaching Highlight"Watching kids develop an unconditional love for swimming” Rena also enjoys watching swimmers take their talents on to college, most notably those that attend Iowa State and swim for her old coach!

 

Rena’s Hidden Talent: Swimming backwards freestyle and making bubble rings!

 

What do you remember most about your favorite youth coaches?

"My favorite coaches were amazing! They always pushed me to reach my full potential, made jokes and taught us much more about life than just swimming. I had such a great relationship with them that I am still in contact with a handful of them."

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Lindsay Boehm

Coaching Staff

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Lindsay started swimming at the age of 5 on Urbandale's USA swim team.  She attended Urbandale High School where she continued swimming and represented her team at state all four years.  During her senior year Lindsay was voted team captain and helped lead her team to an undefeated dual season .

After making the hard decision not to swim she want to Grand View College to play softball but after an injury she transferred to Iowa State University where she graduated with her BA in English Education.  Lindsay spent her summers throughout high school and college teaching swim lessons.  In 2009 Lindsay coached for Norris Middle School in Omaha, Nebraska where the girls swim team won the city finals for the first time ever.  She joined the Waukee YMCA in November and has enjoyed getting to know the kids and families.  

Lindsay currently lives in Waukee with her husband Bryce and their five month old daughter Lahna.

Peggy Tippin

Coaching Staff

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Peggy Tippin grew up swimming on YMCA swim teams in both Ohio and Kansas.  Her Dad was a YMCA Executive Director so she was always around the pool!  Peggy started teaching swim lessons and lifeguarding when she was 16 years old and never completely stopped.  She received her Bachelors Degree from Kansas State University in Recreation Administration and was the Recreation Director in Lyons, KS until moving to Iowa.  She began working part-time at the Walnut Creek YMCA in 1995 and coached there from 1999-2010.  After taking a year off, she decided she missed being involved with swim team and is going to help coach part-time this summer.

Peggy and her husband Wally have lived in Waukee 17 years and have 3 children - Andrew (25), Krista (21), and Kaytlin (17). Andrew lives in Overland Park, KS and works in the marketing field, Krista will be a senior and is a swimmer at Truman State University in Kirksville, MO, and Kaytlin will be a senior at Waukee High School this fall and swims for Waukee High School and began swimming for the Waukee Rays in 2010.

Margaret Hales

Coaching Staff

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Margaret Hales  "Margie"   

Coaching Experience:    Since 2009          Rays:   2014

Margaret grew up in and around the water. Her first experience came in the pool swimming on the school swim team. In her teenage years, she taught swim lessons to local neighborhood children. When Margaret began working in the United States in 1999, she became a lifeguard and Water Safety Instructor and used both of those to continue sharing her love and passion for the water. In 2007 she continued to teach swim lessons to youth and began teaching adults, became a lifeguard Instructor and began coaching a recreational league and a girls High School team. In 2008 Margaret moved to Michigan due to job and coached for a recreation league there. In 2010 she moved to Iowa due to the job and in 2011 she moved to Marshalltown and started coaching for Marshalltown Blue Waves. Her most recent stop is moving to  Johnston, where "I have the distinct honor and privilege to coach for the Waukee Rays."

Margaret is a Training Specialist for the American Red Cross - Preparedness Health & Safety.

Coaching Highlight"It's hard to define specific highlights, because I have so many, but I think the main highlights are when a swimmer works hard and accomplishes their goal or when a swimmer thinks they will never get a stroke and that moment when they do!"

What do you remember most about your favorite youth coaches? 

"Their passion and love for sharing the knowledge of the sports, their caring nature and their desire to help us improve and grow as athletes and better people."

Margaret lives in Johnston, will her Maltese, Toby.

Whitney Jensen

Coaching Staff

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Coaching Experience:  Since  2006           Rays:   2014

Whitney has coaching experiences ranging from various club, YMCA and college swimming teams since 2006. She began coaching the Rays this past summer.
 

Swim background:

2001 North Central Iowa Swim Conference Swimmer of the Year.

2001 50 freestyle Iowa State Champion.

2009 IHSSCA Hall of Fame Inductee.

Four time NCAA Division II National Champions (2003-2006)

21 time All-American at Truman State University.

Coaching Highlight"Seeing hard work and dedication pay off. Every swimmer is unique and provides highlights for me, ranging from small victories to large time drops.”

What do you remember most about your favorite youth coaches?

I enjoyed when the coaches treated everyone like one big family and my victories, as well as my teammate’s victories, were shared victories amongst everyone.”

Whitney is an optometrist in Ankeny.

Megan Little

Coaching Staff

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Coaching Experience:    Since  2005          Rays:  Since 2012

Prior to the Rays:             BLAST (Black Hawk Area Swim Team) while in college

                                       Bedell Family YMCA Head Coach/ Aquatice Director for 3 years

Swim background:

Swam for Lawrence Aquahawks Club Swim Team since age 9

4 year letter winner on swim team at Lawrence High School (Lawrence, Kansas)

Top 6 in 100 Fly at Kansas State Swim Meet

Swam collegiately at University of Northern Iowa for 4 years.

UNI team captain.

Top 10 time in 200 fly

Have finished 6 triathlons since college graduation

Coaching Highlight"I love seeing the kids grow up and see where their future takes them either collegiate or in high school.”

What do you remember most about your favorite youth coaches?

Growing up my club coach was so funny and always made jokes. What I enjoyed most about swimming was traveling and competition. ”

Megan is a Case Manager at Easter Seals.

She is soon to be married to Mark. They are getting married June 2015.

They have a Yorkie named Jasper.

Molly Morey

Coaching Staff

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Coaching Experience:  Since  2002           Rays:   2013

Prior to the Rays, Molly coached for the Sioux City Mariners.

Becca’s family consists of her child Eyan and her fiancé John Hegarty.

Swim background:

Sioux City Mariners Club

Sioux City Metro High School

Morningside College

                National Qualifier NAIA in 200, 500, and 1650 (mile) freestyle

What do you remember most about your favorite youth coaches?

I was fortunate enough to have the same coach throughout my entire club and high school career. I knew I could always count on him to be there for me in and out of the water under any circumstances. I recognize the sacrifices he made for our team and I very blessed to have him as a lifelong mentor. ”

Becca is  an Accounting Technician in the Des Moines area.

 

 

Becca Johnson

Coaching Staff

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Coaching Experience:  Since  2013           Rays:   2014

Prior to the Rays, Becca coached for a club swim team in her hometown.

Becca’s family consists of her spouse Andrew and their two children, Kinley and Dylan.

Swim background:

Swam on club team for 12 years and 4 years  in high school.

Taught swimming lessons for the past 8 years.

Helped start a swim program for children with special needs while in college.

Coaching Highlight"Watching swimmers set goals and achieve them.”

What do you remember most about your favorite youth coaches?

My coaches always pushed me to do my best while keeping the sport fun.”

Becca is a staff accountant is the Des Moines area.