Swimming and Diving
Coaches & Directors

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


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


I started my coaching career with the Waukee Rays in 2006 as an assistant coach under Dan Briggs. I swam for Valley High School, and lettered all 4 years in swimming.  I was a member of the VHS swim team that won state in 1974-75 and 1975-76, in fact our team lost no meets from first meet freshman year until Districts my junior year.  I went on to swim for Winona State University and garnered 7 school records and was voted MVP my freshman year.  My sophomore year I swam for Mankato State University, I graduated from University of Iowa with a BA in Business. I previously worked as an Account Manager for Xerox until we started our family.

Outside of swimming I am a substitute teacher for Dallas Center Grimes Middle School and High School and also do associate substituting for all 5 schools.  I volunteer for PTO, Dallas Center fall festival and serve on the Library Board of Trustee’s as President.  When I am not at the pool I love to read, ride my bike, occasionally do some scrapbooking, and travel.

I am married to Gayle, and have 2 sons, Jared, 12 who swims for the Waukee Rays and Bryce, 10 who participates in Special Olympics Swimming.  We live in Dallas Center with a cat named Oreo.


Rena Skoog

Coaching Staff



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."


Peggy Tippin

Coaching Staff


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.

Lindsay Boehm

Coaching Staff


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.

Margaret Hales

Coaching Staff


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



Whitney Jensen

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.