Fireworks down south – Holly and Brent are at it again!


TWIM’s own version of the Dynamic Duo, Holly Lickwala and her sidekick Brent Barnes, boldly faced off against Oregon’s finest at the Chehalem SCY Meet on January 27th in the charming little hamlet of Newberg, Oregon.

And the results were truly spectacular once again as these two awesome swimmers gave our southern brethren a taste of the TWIM Way!

They must have dropped something in Brent’s cereal again that morning because he was a man possessed. He ripped off a series of Personal Bests (PBs) starting with 39 seconds in the 50 Free and followed by a 1:15 in the 100 Free and a 1:27 in the 100 Breast! I want the same drugs he’s on! Holly claims it’s all in his new and improved dives…

Speaking of Super Dynamo Holly, although recovering from a recent illness, she finally achieved a milestone with a PB, breaking the 3-minute mark in the 200 Breast with a 2:54! Wow! She also nailed the 50 Free in 28 seconds flat and blew the 100 Breast away with a time of 1:20.

Great work You Two and not a bad day at the pool! What’s your next Act?

Hail TWIM Long Live, and as our newest member Scott Neuhaus has told us, “Hail TWIM; I Live to Swim!”



Fireworks down south – Holly and Brent are at it again!

TWIM Welcomes 2019 with a Shout of Victory at the Thorbeckes 10K!

pro-shot-groupTWIM Coach Erin McPeak staged yet another aquatic masterpiece on the first day of 2019 as 31 intrepid Masters swimmers got it on at the 2nd Annual New Year’s 10K swim at the venerable Thorbeckes Athletic Club in Centralia! There were 10 more swimmers this year than last as this swim is quickly becoming a destination event on the PNW pool calendar!


The collective energy was blowing off the roof as stalwart warriors from TWIM, South Sound Masters, The Valley Athletic Club and the Thorbeckes Athletic Club convened to knock off 100 x 125, 100 x 100, 100 x 75 or 100 x 50 meter sets. It was beautifully orchestrated as all lanes left on a 2 minute interval. And don’t forget, this fandango was performed in Short Course meters!




This was truly a gathering of friends and family. Coach Erin’s mom Donna and dad Pat poured so much work and love into the preparation and staging of this event, capably assisted by brother Sean along with Corey, Guy & Kaelin! Deck pros Kendra and Luke graciously provided life guarding services! Thanks to all you wonderful volunteers who made this such a memorable experience for everyone!



And thanks to our 4 sponsors this year! Mason Engineering, Breathe Easy Wellness, Cedar Psychology Services and last but not least, Paulette Blankenship of REMAX!

Not to mention that a large amount of pet items and money were donated to the Lewis County Animal Shelter!

So thank you Erin! This all comes from your vision and hard work-

See you in 2020!!!


Photo Credits: The better photos in this post were taken by Jared Wenzelburger / of the Centralia Daily Chronicle. All Rights Reserved.



TWIM Welcomes 2019 with a Shout of Victory at the Thorbeckes 10K!

The Magnificent (Bellevue Club Masters) Mile

On January 13, 2019 Bellevue Club hosted the second annual Masters Mile. 46 swimmers gathered to complete a single event: The beloved (or dreaded, depending on your level of pain tolerance/sanity) 1500 meter freestyle.


A few highlights of the day:

Tammy returned to Bellevue Club—the pool of her youth–and even ran into her former coach! The memories of her younger years must have inspired her as she completed the 1500 in 20:26—beating her seed time by 17 seconds. A likely best time in her adult swimming career!


Jason made an impressive debut as a TWIM distance swimmer discovering that it’s much different to swim a mile in the pool than in open water. He prevailed in this new event beating his seed time by over a minute and a half!


Val—beat her seed time by a reported 5 minutes! 5 minutes! That’s not a typo. Amazing swimming, Val!!


Dan, Betsy and Kathy also swam fabulously, and it was a great event at an impressive facility.


Many thanks to Tom F., Tom W., and Carl for joining us on deck to help and support our efforts!!!!!

The Magnificent (Bellevue Club Masters) Mile

Thorbeckes New Years 10K Challenge!


Attention Champions!

The first event on the TWIM Calendar in 2019 is a Blockbuster! It is the Thorbeckes New Year’s 10K Swim in beautiful Centralia, hosted, organized and led by Coach Erin! This is our opportunity to make a definitive aquatic statement on the first day of the New Year!

Everyone is welcome. More information about the event – including how to sign up – can be found here.

The Sign-Up Deadline is December 31st, so don’t be late! See you there!!


Thorbeckes New Years 10K Challenge!

PNA All the Way

groupThe Puget Sound Masters SCM & Pacific Northwest Zone Championships sponsored by our own PNA were a thing of beauty, showcasing the incredible talent our area and our team can turn out on a regular basis. We heard all day, both days, of World Records falling, but many of you may have no idea of the depth of talent the Puget Sound Masters has. The best way to understand is to look at the relays.

I have taken a close look at the averages of the last five years of Top Ten listings for the relays TWIMmers were invited to join at the meet, and a full 50% of those relays are likely to be Top Ten for the nation this year! Huge thanks go out to Coach April Cheadle for putting all these teams together. PSM looks great in the rankings year after year, and this year will be no exception. The numbers are amazingly steady, so don’t doubt my projections!

I’ll be highlighting relay swims for several TWIMmers as I document our outstanding achievements from the weekend. I emphasize the word ‘document’, because even if some of what follows may sound grandiose (COB Thomas Walker did encourage me to “shine things up” a good plenty), it’s just the facts. We are that good.


The best of the best among us at the Championships included five High Point Awards earned. Carl Haynie, Brad Jones, Tammy Koppelberger, Val Thompson, and Dan Underbrink all won their age group. Further, Kathy Pelham broke the PNA record in the 1500 freestyle by over 8 seconds!


We’ll lead off with Carl’s weekend. Not only did Carl walk away with the 55-59 age group’s High Point Award, winning all six of his individual events, he even set a PR in his 100 breaststroke (1:15.3). He also won the 200 breaststroke and 100 IM, and swept the backstroke events. Many of his swims will probably be Top Ten individually this year (he had 51 Top Ten Awards coming into this year!), but he tacked on some pretty certain award winners in his four relays (26 Top Ten relay swims).

Carl was a member of a 200-239 year team that went 1:46.4 in the 200 free relay. This will not only be Top Ten, but projects to be a strong contender for third place. He was on a 160-199 men’s medley that went 2:08.7, and has a chance at 10th, but the average to beat is 2:06.9. The 160-199 mixed 200 medley went 2:10.4 with Carl swimming breaststroke and Erin “McPoetry – in – Motion” McPeak hitting it in the butterfly. That’s better than five seconds faster than needed, and may reach the top five.

Carl and Erin had help from Kathy Pelham and Jim Mange in the 200-239 400 medley, where the all-TWIM team set a new PNA record by more than 20 seconds at 5:18.75. That should be top five(ish) for the year, unless there’s a frost/freeze advisory out for Hades.

Brad Jones took his High Point Award by winning all five of his events, the 50 and 100 fly, and a sweep of the IM’s. Brad, 52, is just flat out one of the finest swimmers in the nation, coming into this year with a combined 15 Top Ten listings and two All-American Awards for relays.


Val Thompson won the 65-69 division by completing the freestyle slate. Val won gold in the 50, 200, 400 and 800 meter races while settling for silver in the 100 and 1500. Her times were all very fast, and the precipitous drop in her PR’s drew sharp notice from those in the know.

Tammy Koppelberger comes next, also specializing in freestyle. Tammy took the 45-49 crown by winning the 50, 200 and 400 races. Tammy entered the year with  five individual and two relay Top Ten Awards, as well as All-American status from a Long Distance Relay.


Dan Underbrink rounds out the cream of the crop, having gone Beast Mode through a punishing program to earn the 60-64 High Point Award. Dan won the 400 free, the 200 back, breaststroke and fly, and the 400 IM. His only non-medal swim was a fourth in the 50 fly. Not to be a slacker, Dan also pitched in on a  men’s 280-319 800 free relay that is the most guaranteed to win Top Ten honors of all the swims. Not only does the 12:37 time beat the third place time for all of the past five years, there haven’t even been 10 teams to have swum it!

Dan was also on a men’s 400 free relay with Jim Mange that went a time that would have been Top Ten in four of the last five years, and beats the average pace by a good margin. Dan entered the year with five Top Ten relay listings.

Kathy Pelham, her record setting 1500 freestyle (20:35.2) already mentioned, also won her age group in the 800 free, took second in the 400 free, and third in the 100. In addition to being on the aforementioned PNA record-setting mixed medley, she also joined McPeak in a women’s 120-159 free relay that projects to be Top 5 or 6 for the nation this year. Kathy has 8 individual and 5 relay Top Ten Awards to date.


That free relay brings us to McPeak. Erin (with 11 individual and 2 relay Top Tens) won the 100 fly, 400 free and 400 IM, and took second in the 50 and 200 fly’s and third in the 100 IM. She’s also already been mentioned for anchoring the record setting mixed medley and joining Carl on the 200 mixed medley, but she also was asked into action on another pair of to-be-awarded relays, joining a PNA record setting women’s 120-159 400 free relay that projects to win fifth place in the standings, and joining with our own Jenny Ferries in a 200 medley that looks like a Top 3!

Speaking of Ferries (12 individual, 7 relay Top Tens), Jenny struck gold in the 50 and 100 breaststroke, and won silver in the 100 IM and 200 back. Her picture perfect breaststroke technique endured. It’s no wonder she graces the cover of the TWIM home page.

Holly Lickwala turned in another strong meet, winning the women’s 40-44 50 fly in 33.6! She was the silver medalist in the 50 and 200 back, and the 100 IM. She was third in the 200 breaststroke and 200 IM. Holly, who was on a Top Ten winning relay last year, was on three relays this year, taking one gold and two silver.

Our final female swimmer to be mentioned, Valerie Powell, earned four gold medals, winning the women’s 25-29 50 and 200 backstrokes, as well as the 200 free. In the 200 back, she had to maintain her composure and stay legal while contending with another swimmer in her lane! Valerie harvested gold again on a womens’ 160-199 medley relay.


For good measure, Valerie Powell also swam the 100 free, duking it out against Val Thompson (seen below). In fact these two tangled against each other in both the 100 and 200. I’m sorry to say this, Val, but youth prevailed each time 🙂


Jim Mange, the fourth member of the PNA record mixed 400 medley team, was also able to hook up with a men’s 200-239 800 free relay that set a new PNA standard at 9:51.38. That should put it close to 5th for the year, so Mange could be lucky enough to add his second and third Top Ten relay swims. Individually he captured his age group in the 50 back and breaststroke, as well as 100 back. He took silver in the 50 fly and 100 IM, and added a bronze in the 100 freestyle.

Father Tom Fritschen turned in his best times in no less than four individual events – more than that if you count his relay swims. He was golden in the 50, 100 and 1500 free, while earning silver in the 400 free and 200 back. Tom added another gold medal, swimming on a mixed 200 free relay.

Brent Barnes was busy all weekend as well, never fearing from swimming back to back races. Brent earned a pair of golds and bronzes on relays, joining winning 400 and 800 freestyle relays, and taking third in a 200 free and 200 mixed medley. Individually he reached the award stand with the bronze medal in the 200 freestyle.

Robert Brandt, perhaps more wisely only swam three events, and he medaled in two with outstanding times in the 50 (34.1) and 100 (1:17.4) freestyle. Brandt took second in the 50, and was the third place finisher in the 50 back.

Last, but far from least, our COB, Thomas Walker. The boss medaled twice, bronze in the 100 breaststroke and 200 IM, and his value as an inspirational leader remains unmatched. “I love this team,” Walker said. “TWIMmers are the perfect melding of grace, poise, precision and power in the water, and grit and determination in life.”



PNA All the Way

TWIM Delivers at the River!

Beautiful Hood River down Oregon way, that is! Our new and improved version of the Dynamic Duo in the form of Holly Lickwala and her sidekick Brent Barnes rocked the world yet again as they swam in the Hood River SCM Meet on November 10th, accompanied by a handful of our stalwart comrades from PSM and as guests of our wonderful friends at Oregon Masters Swimming!

Sister Holly turned in her usual jaw-dropping performance as she calmly bettered her times in all of her events! She swam the 100 Breast, the 100 Back, the 50 Back and the 50 Breast.
Brother Brent, not to be outdone, responded by powering to best times in all four events! He knocked down the 200 Free, the 400 Free, the 50 Breast and the 200 Breast.

Kudos to both of you on superlative swims and way to represent TWIM!

TWIM Delivers at the River!

Another Great TWIM Success!

group_shotThe Last Gasp of Summer Open Water Swim took place this past September 15th on Angle Lake in Seatac. And our Coach Tammy was there to chronicle the event!

It was a cool crisp morning with a little drizzle but the water was warm and TWIM was strong.

Dan the man Underbrink and his wife Mary went first in the 2M wetsuit division. Dan took 3rd in his age group and 5th male overall with a time of 58:58.9. Way to go Dan! Mary swam beautifully taking 2nd place in her age group with a time of 1:13:44.9. Way to go Mary!


Next up to swim was the non-wetsuit 1 milers. Our very own Kathy Pelham went into beast mode and took 1st Place overall female AND 1st Place in her age group with an overall time of 25:56.9. Yes people, that is 2.3 MPH! Superbly done, Kathy!


And last but not least, Valerie Thompson and Jason Koppelberger swam in the 1M wetsuit division. Valerie swam great with a time of 41:25.8 and took 24th overall! Great swimming, Valerie!

Finally our newcomer, Jason Koppelberger, showed them how it’s done taking 1st Place in his age group and 3rd overall male with a time of 31:01.9. Excellent job, Jason!

Another great TWIM success!



Another Great TWIM Success!