The man behind the name: Jeff Rouse
Jeff Rouse is a 1988 graduate of Stafford High School and a 1992 graduate of Stanford University. He was the number one ranked 100-meter backstroke swimmer in the world from 1989 through 1996, and represented the United States in two consecutive Olympic Games in 1992 and 1996.
Rouse began swimming when he was five years old at the Ferry Farm swimming pool in Stafford. When he was nine, he became a member of the Quantico Devil Dolphins. He set national age group records at ages 11 through 18 and was Swimming World’s Age Group Swimmer of the Month in 1983. By 1986, Rouse was chosen Rookie of the Meet at his first U.S. National Championships. After graduation from Stafford High School, he enrolled at Stanford and was on his was to international stardom.
At the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, he won a gold medal in swimming for the winning U.S. team in the men’s 4x100-meter medley relay. He also received a silver medal for his second-place performance in the men’s 100-meter backstroke.
At the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, Rouse earned a gold medal as a member of the first-place U.S. team in the men’s 4x100-meter medley relay. In individual competition, he won another gold medal in the men’s 100-meter backstoke. Rouse held the world record in the 100-meter backstroke from 1991-1999. He was captain of the USA 1996 Olympic team, as well as his Stanford University team.
Other accomplishments include: gold medal (4x100-meter medley relay) and silver medal (100-meter backstroke) at the 1994 World Championships; gold medals (100-meter backstroke and the 4x100-meter medley relay) at the 1996 Pan American Games; four U.S. National Championships: 1 (100-yard backstroke), 1(100-meter backstroke), 2 (4x100-meter medleyrelay); and seven NCAA National Championships: 3 (100-yard backstroke), 1 (200-yard backstoke), 1 (4x50-yard, 4x100-yard medley relays), and 1 (4x100-yard freestyle relay).
Rouse is a member of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He became Stafford’s first tourism manager for the Department of Economic Development and Tourism in the year 2000, and served in that role until 2002. He also served on the Stafford County Parks and Recreation Commission from 2012-2014.
Rouse has continued to support his Stafford hometown as a board member of several non-profit agencies.
The Mark Lenzi Diving Well
Mark Lenzi graduated from Stafford High School in 1986.
In college of 1989 he swept the Big 10 titles in the 1-meter, 3-meter and platform competitions, then went on to win the first of his back-to-back 1-meter national championships in 1989 becoming NCAA Diver of the Year in both 1989 and 1990.
Mark Lenzi won the Gold medal in the 3-meter springboard competition at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and won Bronze on that same event at the 1996 Games in Atlanta. An 8-time national champion, Lenzi was also a 2-time World Cup gold medalist.
Lenzi’s impressive resume includes 16 international competitions on one and three-meter springboard championships. He became the first diver to score over 700 points (762.35) on the three-meter springboard for 11 dives, surpassing Greg Lougani’s 1983 world record for the highest ever score. He became the first diver to score over 100 points on a single dive (reverse 3-12 tuck) and the first American to complete a forward 4-1/2 somersault in competition.
Lenzi was selected as USA Diving’s Athlete of the Year in 1991 and 1992. He was inducted into the International Swimming Hallf of Fame in 2003. Mark passed away on April 9th, 2012 at the age of 43.
The Mark Lenzi Diving Well located at the Rouse Center has been dedicated in his name. Please stop by our Stafford Sports Wall of Fame located in the lobby of our center to see more on Mark and other Olympians of Stafford County.
Stop by the Rouse Center lobby to read more on the Olympians who called Stafford home!
Conrad Adams graduated from Stafford high School in 1988. Adams carpooled to swimming practices with Jeff Rouse and Mark Lenzi when they were kids. Later in life, Adams represented the United States in the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona Spain, as a captain of the U.S. Pentathlon team. He won a gold medal in the 1990 U.S. Olympic Festival and finished 4th in the 1991 U.S. Olympic Festival.
Arlene Limas made history in 1988 when she became the first American woman to win a gold medal at the 24th Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea in Tae Kwon Do, which made its Olympic debut that year as exhibition sport.
Arlene has owned Power Kix Martial Arts Center in Stafford, VA since 1993 and has trained and encouraged thousands of children and adults in martial arts over the years. She and Power Kix were recognized by the Stafford Board of Supervisors in 2015 for their contributions to the Stafford community and for supporting nationally recognized athletes.
Roxane (Conrad) Thompson
Sports Pistol Shooting
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Roxane Conrad was a resident of Stafford when she was stationed at Quantico Marine Corps in Virginia. Known then as Roxane Thompson, she became the first woman in the Marines to earn a Distinguished Pistol Shot Badge in 1988. Conrad represented the United States in Women’s Sport Pistol Shooting at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.
Special Olympics Powerlifting
Thomas Baker is a Stafford County resident who represented the United States in the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles California in July 2015. His sport was Powerlifting and he competed in the 140-148 pound weight class. Baker earned two gold medals; one in bench press and one for the combination of all his lifts. He also won a silver medal in squat and a bronze in deadlift. On Sept. 1st, 2015 Baker was honored by the Stafford Board of Supervisors with a special proclamation, which was presented to him by Olympic Gold Medalist Jeff Rouse.
Anthony “Buddy” Lee
Retired Marine Corps Sergeant Anthony “Buddy” Lee lived in Stafford while he served at Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia. He represented the United States in 1992 at the Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, in Greco-Roman Wrestling and placed as one of the top wrestlers in the world at that time.
Lee is the president and found of Jump Rope Technology Inc. and invented his own line of jump ropes. He was named the Official Jump Rope Conditioning Coach to the US Olympic Committee and worked at all training centers from 1996-2000. It was here he met the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team and cross trained Jeff Rouse with his Jump Rope Training System.