Among the many great things Janet Steenberge has accomplished during more than two decades of coaching the Granbury SEALS swim team is help give Olympic champion Dana Vollmer the start to a phenomenal career.
And now the two are sharing something else that is very special. They will be inducted into the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation Hall of Fame at the same time.
The ceremony will take place Jan. 17 at the Embassy Suites in Frisco.
“This is just awesome. I’m flattered beyond my wildest imagination,” said the ever-humble Steenberge.
“It’s so thrilling that I’ve gotten to be here for the ride.”
Steenberge founded the SEALS in the late 1980s and is the only coach the team has ever known. The program has grown into one of the largest in Region IV and consistently sends many swimmers to the annual Games of Texas.
Among those is four-time Olympic gold medalist Vollmer, who won three of those medals this past summer in London while also setting two world records. Her time of 55.98 took first in the 100-meter butterfly. She also swam on the gold medal-winning 400 medley relay that set a world record (3:52.05) and 800 freestyle relay that set an Olympic mark (7:42.92).
Vollmer’s other gold medal came in 2004 at the Athens Olympics when she was only 16 years old.
“I think it’s appropriate that Dana and I are going into together,” said Steenberge. “She’s done such great things for Granbury, and it all started here for her.”
Vollmer still holds several TAAF records from her youthful days with the SEALS from 1994-99.
“Being inducted together means that much more to me,” said Vollmer.
“I obviously didn’t get to where I am on my own.
“SEALS is the first swim team I remember being a part of. I remember wanting to go to workouts. I loved it.
“Janet cares so much about kids. For her, it’s not so much about creating a 10-year-old superstar, but about making them the best people they can be. I hope to be that kind of person.”
Steenberge said she is now learning some things from Vollmer, and is in turn passing them on to her young swimmers.
“Each time we do it, I can remind the kids where we learned it,” Steenberge said. “And they know there’s no doubt it works.”
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Category: Sports Archived