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Welcome to Summer 2018!


The Little Falls Penguins Swim Team is an MCSL (Montgomery County Swim League) team currently in Division F open only to members of the Little Falls Swim Club. It is a swim team run entirely by the coaches and parent volunteers. See below for more info about our amazing coaching staff.

Swim Team A meet reps: Claire Slabaugh and Maureen Kramer

Swim Team B meet reps: Amy Houser and Meredith Hammond


Head Coach: Mary Bergstrom

"Hi, I am so happy to be back for my 2nd season at Little Falls! After last summer, I continued coaching throughout the year as Head Coach for the NCAP’s Bronze II group at American University. I was also the Head Coach for the Varsity Girls’ and Boys’ Swim team at School Without Walls High School, with both teams coming in 1st place at DCIAA Championships. Additionally, I swam competitively for twelve years, including for a summer swim team outside Philadelphia where I grew up, with many traditions very similar to those we have at Little Falls. I currently live in Bethesda with my husband Jimmy and dog Randolph – who are also Little Falls super-fans! 

Assistant Head Coach: Ian Shepel

"I am a freshman on the Lewis & Clark College swim team. Right now I am interested in majoring in Biology and Environmental Studies with a minor in Economics. I swam for the Penguins for 8 years and coached as a pre-team coach during the 2016 season, and was a junior coach during the 2017 season"

Junior Coaches: Rachel Danegger, John Marder & Cory Powell

Rachel Danegger  "Hi I'm Rachel and I just finished my senior year at B-CC High School. Next year I will be attending Tulane University in New Orleans where I plan to study environmental science! This summer will be my 12th year as a penguin and I'm so excited to finally be a coach as well! As most of the team already knows, I'm a big fan of purple and white body paint as well as beat drop practices, and I'm looking forward to another summer filled with both! Watch out Division F and #gopenguins"

John Marder  "I am 17 years old and currently a junior at Bethesda - Chevy Chase High School. I first joined the penguins when I was seven years old. In addition to swimming for Little Falls, I also participate in year-round swimming on a club team and on my high school team. I am looking forward to a season full of fun and fast swimming. Go Penguins!"

Cory Powell  "I'm a rising senior at B-CC high school and have been a part of Little Falls for about 10 years. I love the community at Little Falls and can't wait to coach again this summer!"

PreTeam Coaches: JD Gorman, Lindsay Kramer, John Matal, Grant McNavage, Liam McNeely, Anne Slabaugh, and Kate Vidano

JD Gorman "I have been a penguin since I was a 2nd grader at Westbrook elementary. After this summer I will be heading into my sophomore year at BCC High School where I participate in Student Government as class president, Debate team, as well as swimming and diving for the school and playing on their JV baseball team. I am also a musician playing upright bass in the Jazz band."

Lindsay Kramer  "I am a rising sophomore at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School where I play soccer and lacrosse.  I have been on the Little Falls swim and dive team for eight consecutive years and I can't wait for another fun summer where I can finally coach the Penguins!"

John Matal  "I am a rising 10th grader at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School where I am on the swim and lacrosse teams. I also swim with Sea Devils over the winter. I have been swimming with Little Falls since I was 7 years old. I am looking forward to helping kids learn to swim this summer."

Liam McNeely  "I’m a 10th grader at B-CC high school. I love swimming and diving, and I’ve been a swimmer for Little Falls since I was 7 years old. Every summer I love hanging out at the pool with my friends."

Anne Slabaugh  "I am a rising sophomore at Holy Child and in addition to swimming on their swim team I also play travel soccer, club lacrosse & ice hockey.  I have been swimming & diving at Little Falls since I was 7 years old and am very excited to finally be old enough to coach our youngest penguins."

Kate Vidano "I am a rising sophomore at Georgetown Day School where I am in student government. I also volunteer at the KID Museum. I have been swimming competitively on the Sea Devils swim club for 5 years and I have been on the little falls swim team for three years."


Head Coach (June 15 to July 27):  Sarah Halperin

Sarah grew up in Bethesda and dove competitively through high school at Walt Whitman, and has a great deal of experience in dive coaching. Sarah is a graduate of Emory University (BA 2008) and the University of Maryland Baltimore School of Social Work (MS 2014). She coached summer league at Old Georgetown Club for 12 summers, as well as a year of coaching the developmental program at Montgomery Aquatic Center. She loves working with children, as she spends the school year working at a before and after school program at an elementary school in DC. She is really excited to meet the divers at Little Falls and help them have a wonderful summer on the dive team!

Interim Head Coach (May 29-June 14): Ryan Blom 

Ryan is a junior at Georgetown University where he is not only a student but also competes on the dive team. Ryan was our prior head dive coach at Little Falls, and we appreciate him filling in at the beginning of the2018 season while Sarah completes her school-year job duties.

Junior Coaches: James Marder and Grace Schwenker

James Marder is a 9th grader at BCC High School, where he is on the BCC Varsity Swim and Dive Team. He also has been on both the swim and dive teams at Little Falls since he was 5 years old. James is excited to coach new kids to hopefully beat some of his records.

Grace Schwenker is a 9th grader at Connelly School of the Holy Child. She is a member of their varsity dive team and has been a penguin diver for 7 years. Grace is so excited to coach our penguin divers!

Dive Team reps:  Maren Matal and Amy Cropp

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