All of those long morning practices are over. It's time to put up or shut up for members of the 15 teams who call themselves members of the Chattanooga Area Swim League.
The annual City Meet began this morning at the Arlene Crye Municipal Pool at Fort Oglethorpe's Gilbert Stephenson Park, which is located on Van Cleve Street just off Highway 2A.
While preliminary races were held for the younger kids this morning (those 8-under and 9-10), those same races for the older age groups begin in the afternoon session starting at 1:30.
Finals for the first day begin tonight at 6:30.
The Signal Mountain Green Giants have been the dominant team in recent years, having won the last five straight City Meet titles and 10 of the last 11.
While the Green Giants will most likely have the most entries, the Dalton Dolphins have been picked as the team to beat.
Dalton and Stuart Heights both finished with 6-2 records in the Blue Division, but the Dolphins were awarded the championship based on the point differential in their two meets. as Dalton prevailed by 41 points on June 11 while Stuart Heights won by nine points on June 28.
While Dalton appears to be the team to beat, those folks from Stuart Heights, Fairyland and Signal Mountain should be contenders while Red Division champion Ooltewah is looking to raise a few eyebrows as well.
The Tidal Waves are the only team in the league to go undefeated this summer and they're a strong bet to finish in the top five and possibly higher.
While these five teams should be battlling for the championship hardware on Saturday night, other teams entered include Ringgold, Red Bank, Cleveland, Mosby Park, Ridgeside, Calhoun, Cumberland, Country Club, Big Ridge and host Fort Oglethorpe.
Signal Mountain won last year's City Meet with 2,231.5 points while Dalton was second with 2,153.5 and Stuart Heights third with 2,117. Fairyland and Ooltewah were fourth and fifth, respectively.
(email John Hunt at email@example.com)