There's been a lot of excitement around the Ooltewah Swim Center this summer.
Ed Dailey came on board as the new coach of the Tidal Wave swim team and numbers increased greatly when the Hamilton YMCA decided to not field a team. And shortly after Labor Day, construction will begin to build a permanent building for the pool, including a state of the art retractible roof.
Spirit has been at a fever pitch since early June when the Chattanooga Area Swim League's dual-meet season began.
The Tidal Waves have been on a roll from the start and they finished a banner season as the only unbeaten team in the league, winning for the eighth straight time with an impressive 495-259 victory over the visiting Red Bank Gators Monday night.
Dailey is a big man and probably not real easy to muscle around, but he ended up in the pool when the meet ended, struggling briefly, but not really as his kids pushed him in to celebrate another victory.
While the Ooltewah team was the winner of the swim meet, the real winner of the meet was Emily's Power For A Cure, a fund-raising effort in memory of Emily Ransom, who died from neuroblastoma several years ago.
Her family, which includes a couple of outstanding swimmers at Stuart Heights, has been the leader in the fund raising in recent years and has contributed more than a half-million dollars in Emily's memory since her untimely death.
They sold sweatshirts, t-shirts, balloons and concessions to raise money for the foundation during the meet and the final total was $1,340, which included a check for $200 from the Red Bank team and a matching check from the Tidal Waves.
Many of the swimmers wore pink swim caps with the "Emily's Power For A Cure" logo on the side and Dailey himself sported a hot pink shirt and cap to match.
Monday's meet was never really close. Ooltewah was pretty much at full strength while there were several key members of Red Bank's team not present.
The Tidal Waves had a 68-41 advantage after both the freestyle and breaststroke events and it never got any closer as Ooltewah was more than ready for the challenge.
Needless to say, it's been a learning experience for Red Bank coach Ken Buchanan, a veteran of 27 years in this league. It's also been a test of tolerance and patience for him and his assistant coaches.
"This has really been a rebuilding year for us, but we've spent a lot of time frustrated. We have a vacation list where kids are supposed to sign when they will be out of town, but for whatever reason, there are times they just don't show up for a meet. I'm sure every team deals with this, but it's hard to fill out a lineup when you're not sure who'll be there," Buchanan said after the final race had concluded.
"We had some good races tonight and most of our kids really swam hard, but we've had a lot of beginner swimmers who've been forced to step up and fill shoes they've never filled before.
"We leaned a lot on certain age groups that had experienced swimmers as they knew what they were doing, but I'm sure that we'll be better next year," Buchanan added.
The Tidal Waves finished second to Fairyland in the Red Division last year with a 6-2 record, both losses coming against the Flash.
While Fairyland has moved up to the ever-competitive Blue Division, the Tidal Waves have been the dominant force among the Red teams. They too will move up for the 2013 season.
"The water felt really good," Dailey said after a brief swim with some of his kids.
"We're undefeated. That's pretty big. I knew coming in for the first time that I wanted our team to do well, but to have it all come together so nicely has really been special.
"Being undefeated wasn't one of our goals, but we put up a good fight in every meet and our success is a testiment to the whole organization, including swimmers, parents, sponsors and other community leaders.
"We are a real team and everyone is happy. We had to make sure that everyone swam every race hard and they did. Everything is coming together and we're where we need to be at this point in the season. We're looking forward to the City Meet this weekend at Fort Oglethorpe," Dailey added.
The Tidal Waves had 22 individuals who scored at least 10 points, including seven who scored the maximum 19 points. Those included Leah Boyd, Joby Nash, Carlin Hudson, Sarah Malloch, Rachel Dover, Andrew Tallent and Andrew Thomas.
Emma Scruggs, Jake Marcum, Jake Kiemeyer and Ryan Crumpler were next with 17 points apiece while Brianna Norman followed with 16.
Eddie Birdsong was tops for Red Bank with 16 points while Trey Hayman and Dallas Woods followed with 15 and 14 points, respectively.
MONDAY'S DUAL-MEET SCORES
Stuart Heights 405, Ringgold 245
Ooltewah 495, Red Bank 259
Cleveland 406, Mosby Park 353
Calhoun 460, Cumberland 252
Ridgeside 464, Big Ridge 218
RED BANK'S HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
16 -- Eddie Birdsong;
15 -- Trey Hayman;
14 -- Dallas Woods;
12 -- Luke Massey;
10 -- Morgan Long, Asonia Birdsong, Chase Hayman.
OOLTEWAH'S HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Leah Boyd, Joby Nash, Carlin Hudson, Sarah Malloch, Rachel Dover, Andrew Tallent, Andrew Thomas;
17 -- Emma Scruggs, Ryan Crumpler; Jake Marcum, Jake Kiemeyer;
16 -- Brianna Norman;
15 -- Kenzie Campbell, Ellie Waldrep, Aidan Sims, Jillian Cantrell, Haley Grider;
12 -- Isaac Matthews, Meredith Childress, Sarah Davidson;
11 -- Chase Hudson;
10 -- Brighton Smith.
CLEVELAND HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Megan Mitchell, Ben Cooper;
18 -- Alexia Jackson;
17 -- Jacob McDaniel, Erin Stutzman, Logan Stutzman, Jason Chung, Bri Foley;
16 -- Grayson Payne;
15 -- Nelson Chung;
13 -- Meredith Borst;
12 -- Spencer Payne, Lauren Borst, Adam Foster;
11 -- Trey Parris;
10 -- Sarah Plank, Lauren Stutzman, Suzanna Liner, Abigail Jones.
MOSBY PARK HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
17 -- Christian Torbett;
14 -- Davina Sharma;
13 -- Michaela Barnes, Tanya Sharma;
12 -- Luke Hunt, Bristol Snider, Maya Sharma;
11 -- Alexis Griffey, Reid Nelson, Alex Morrow.
STUART HEIGHTS HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
17 -- George Von Cannon, Meagan Hanson, Missy Karman, Jon Pat Ransom, April Forsthoffer;
15 -- Brayden Walker, Max Ransom, Emily Arnold, Nicholas Seay, Mikaya Reynolds;
14 -- Ryan Forsthoffer;
13 -- Will Raines;
12 -- Dylan Sprinz, Gwennie Davis, Josie White;
11 -- Audrey Barkeloo;
10 -- Nicole Hanson, Sam Rutledge, Meagan Havstein, Chase Martin.
RINGGOLD HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
15 -- Evan Moeller;
11 -- Maureen Gwaltney, Maddie Mills;
10 -- Reagan Wingrove, Jon Lancaster.
CUMBERLAND'S HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
17 -- Chloe Vernon, Abi Austin;
15 -- Essie Morris;
13 -- Kyle Berry;
11 -- Liam Carpenter, Jordan Schone;
10 -- Mattison Keur, Kari Morris.
CALHOUN HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
RIDGESIDE HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Adams Robinson, Olivia Samples, Clark Danks, Janelle Wigal, Trey Danks;
17 -- Owen Williamson, Madison Tumblin, Peter Zeglen, Susan Zeglen, Carter Clarke;
16 -- Rowen Fitzsimmons, Christopher Wiley;
15 -- Finn Fitzsimmons, Jack Fitzsimmons;
14 -- Jane Anne Haywood, Samantha Sell;
13 -- Max Wiley, Samuel Wiley, Bridget Haywood;
12 -- Wyatt Williamson, Chloe Eisdorfer;
11 -- Sophia Alabarakat, Elizabeth Hall;
10 -- Thomas Sell, Cameron Powell.
BIG RIDGE HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
17 -- Ally Slater;
15 -- Maria Howard, Sam Powe;
12 -- Emily Thompson, Anna Thompson, Ava Bourn.
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)