Christian Rasmussen has been the coach of Rancho San Miguel Swim Club for 18 years. RSM is one of three neighborhood swim clubs and has been part of the Rancho San Miguel subdivision for 62 years. When Christian began his tenure at RSM in 2004 they had about 100 kids on the team, and it was one of the worst ranked teams in the area. But slowly and steadily they have shown consistent improvement and in 2017, 2018 and 2019 they placed first overall at the Walnut Creek City Meet. While improving swimmers’ skills is an important goal, teaching good sportsmanship and team work take top priority.
Christian grew up in The Woodlands neighborhood and swam for The Woodlands for 11 years. He also swam on the Northgate High School team when they won their first ever North Coast Championship in 1996. He graduated from Arizona State University in 2003. As you might suspect he met his future wife, Dana, on the pool deck at Ygnacio Woods. Dana is also a neighborhood girl, having graduated from Ygnacio Valley High School and swimming on Las Juntas Swim Team and thenYgnacio Woods. They married in 2005 and now have a 4-year-old son, Tanner. Tanner is now coached in the RSM Polar Cubs program by Katharina Stahl, a young woman who Christian taught to swim many years ago; the circle continues. And Tanner is now competing in his first swim season as a “6 and under” with his first meet against The Woodlands, his dad’s old team. “It’s so fun to see him making new friends, which is what summer swim team is all about!” adds Christian.
The Rasmussens can rarely go anywhere in town without running into kids they have taught to swim, including many on Northgate High School’s swim team. “The families in the Northgate area are so friendly and down to earth,” says Christian. “Rancho San Miguel has always seemed like a throw back, classic American community where kids still ride their bikes to the pool, neighbors know each other, and you can’t walk down the street without someone saying hello.”
Many families in the community would agree. Some that have also had long roots in RSM are:
The Stovers ~ Rick and Heather met swimming on RSM, married, and had two very fast polar bear swimmers of their own: Cassie and Cameron. Rick donated his landscape architect skills a few years back to make the front of RSM the envy of the neighborhood.
The Stahls ~ Johannes, Michaela and their children have been diehard RSM since before 2004. All four kids: Max, Philip, Sebastian, and Katharina swam from 6unders through 18 and were huge contributors to the team’s success. Johannes has donated innumerous hours to running the computer desk at swim meets and even started his own timing system/ scoreboard company: time-drops.com!
The Mettlers ~ Geoff, Faye and their children Kassi and Gage are intrinsic parts of the RSM and the Northgate community. Both kids began swimming in the polar cubs and continued through 18. They have volunteered countless hours organizing jobs and fun activities for swimmers and parents alike. Geoff was the team president when Christian first started at RSM and even though Kassi and Gage have aged out, he continues to announce swim meets and is well known as the “voice of RSM.”
The Pecks ~ Jason, Lois and family: Jackson, Jacob, and Jane joined RSM in 2013. They have had such a profound impact recruiting friends and family to join that it’s become known as the “Peck affect”! Jason has given countless hours in time and energy serving on both the team and club boards. He is currently the club president and is working hard to ensure the future of RSM is bright!
Christian and Dana also run Rasmussen Swimming School. Between the swim school and RSM, the Rasmussens are thinking about swimming all year long. Christian is proud of the growth of RSM to now over 250 swimmers. Beyond swimming, Dana is an avid reader and is always looking for a good new book. Christian enjoys hunting and fishing. When Tanner is not swimming he is playing with Legos, jumping on the trampoline or watching Muppet Babies. They also enjoy watching the San Francisco 49er and Giants and look forward to visiting some of their favorite vacation spots like Burney Falls State Park or Santa Cruz after swim season is over.
By Kara Navolio, Resident since 1991