DALTON, Ga. -- Charles Todd had a big grin on his face early Monday evening.
Maybe it was because he had just gotten back from a week's vacation in Florida and he was well-rested and relaxed, but more than likely, it came as a result of Dalton's defeat of the visiting Signal Mountain Green Giants in a key battle in the Chattanooga Area Swim League.
Signal Mountain had prevailed by 37 points in a dual meet at home, meaning that the Dolphins had to win by more than 37 points to claim the Blue division title in the league.
It was close for a while and there were some dandy races involving outstanding individuals from both teams, but the Dolphins won the battle and the war with a 411-357 victory in the battle of the top two teams in the league.
The Green Giants finish their regular season at 7-1 while the Dolphins are now 6-1 with a meet at Stuart Heights on Monday being the final competition before the annual City Meet is held next weekend July 12-13 at Baylor School.
"We pulled it out as our kids really stepped up today," Todd said moments after the meet ended.
"Perhaps I should be gone more often, but my assistant coaches always do a great job and they had these kids ready to go tonight. It seems we're always stronger when we swim at home, but I thought we looked strong where we're the strongest and we won most of the close races. That was the key.
"We made sure they were aware that every point counted, even for those who didn't win. I don't think we had a single disqualification and it seemed like we got stronger as the meet went on. But I'm really proud of these kids. Now we can focus on trying to win the city meet for the second straight year," Todd added.
Those Dalton assistant coaches include Jason Meszaros, Joanna Rosales, Harris News, Perla Trejo and Andy Salas.
Signal Mountain coach Nathan Bird knew that it would be a close meet. He was just hoping that it would be a little bit closer than it turned out to be.
"We lost most of the close races, but we've had a great season," Bird said after being told what the final score was.
"We still need to work on some little things, but most of it is fixable. We had some bad finishes and a couple of our kids weren't up to snuff, but we also had some great swims. Starts and turns are really critical in a meet like this. It's all about doing the little things right, but I'm pretty pleased for the most part," Bird added.
The Dolphins bolted to a 64-46 advantage after the freestyle races, but the Green Giants had the exact same advantage in the breaststroke as the teams were tied at 110 following the first two events.
Dalton had a 174-166 lead following the medley relays while the difference was 222-206 at the break after the individual medleys.
The Dolphins then had scoring advantages of 64-46, 61-49 and 64-56 in the final three events to win in convincing fashion.
Roman Valdez, Henry Bethel and Taylor Dale all scored the maximum 19 points for the victorious Dalton team while Alexis Vaughn, Alex Mashburn, Raul Valdez and Anthony Calderon all pitched in with 17 each.
Stephanie Xian, Jewel Gordon and Maggie Stovall all had 19 points for the Green Giants while Susanna LaRochelle and Jess Vargo both followed with 17 each for Signal Mountain.
In other meets, the Country Club Wavemakers remained unbeaten after seven meets in the White division with a 416.5-293.5 victory over Big Ridge. Also among the Whites, Ridgeside defeated Cumberland by a 347-271 final in a meet called after 64 events due to lightning.
Also, Fairyland's meet with Stuart Heights was postponed midway through the butterfly races with the Flash holding a 53-point lead. The makeup date has yet to be determined.
The Red Bank Gators made the long trip to Calhoun worthwhile as they came back with a 403-339 victory. Red Bank improves to 3-4 while the Blue Barracudas remain winless at 0-7.
BY FAR THE CLOSEST meet of the season took place at Ringgold where the Cleveland Aqua Tigers squeezed out a three-point victory over the Tiger Sharks, Cleveland prevailing by a 381.5-378.5 margin. Cleveland is now leading the Red division with a perfect 6-0 mark while Ringgold is now 6-1.
These same two teams will swim each other again Tuesday night at Tinsley Park in Cleveland after that original meet was postponed by rain on June 17. Tuesday's rematch should be a dandy, but it probably won't be any closer.
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Stephanie Xian, Jewel Gordon, Maggie Stovall;
17 -- Susanna LaRochelle, Jess Vargo;
15 -- Daniel Snyder;
13 -- Nicole Hanson, Charlie Han, Jamee Mitchum;
11 -- Ella Gordon;
10 -- Laney Jenkins, Anne Cate Anderson, Thomas Porter, Sam Vargo, Sam McHugh.
DALTON HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Roman Valdez, Henry Bethel, Taylor Dale;
17 -- Alexis Vaughn, Alex Mashburn, Raul Valdez, Anthony Calderon;
15 -- Abby O'ferrall, Reece Bingham, Ross Davis, Ethan Young;
14 -- Hollie Porter, Emilio Valdez;
12 -- Julian Hernandez;
11 -- Kaylin Woodring;
10 -- Patrick Calderon, Oscar Chenard.
COUNTRY CLUB HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Lee Schemel, McCay Mathis;
16 -- Raif Gork;
15 -- Maggie Crump, CeCe Turner, Joshua Gable, Laura Lee Brakebill;
14 -- Catherine Berce, Margaret Ann Hudson, Kortney Restelli;
13 -- Boon Elliott, Ben Workinger;
12 -- Athey Crump, Dalton Restelli, Emelia Ritchey, Zane Restelli, Erik Buntin;
11 -- Caroline Schneck, John Starnes, Mary Clair Graham, Nicholas Norris;
10 -- Ellie Swan, Ela Alexander.
BIG RIDGE HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Sam Powe;
17 -- Mae Mae Powe;
15 -- Robert Alford, Jacob Thalos;
14 -- Aiden Rawlins;
13 -- Catherine Upchurch;
12 -- Alden Vernon;
11 -- Julia Quernemoan, Jason Alford;
10 -- Brice Martin.
CUMBERLAND HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
17 -- Abi Austin;
16 -- Colby Henry;
15 -- Kyle Berry, Ryan Berry;
12 -- Lucas Tomlinson;
11 -- Megan Long, Mollie Chambers;
10 -- Chloe Vernon, Matti Keyr.
RIDGESIDE HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
17 -- Madison Tumblin, Clark Danks, Janell Wigal, Trey Danks;
15 -- Sophia Alabarakat;
14 -- Christopher Wilkey, Kathy Zeglen;
13 -- Taylor Clarke, Max Milam;
11 -- Gigi Barringer, Finn Fitzsimmons, Elizabeth Hall, Peter Zeglen;
10 -- Chloe Eisdorfer, Adams Robinson.
CLEVELAND HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Jacob McDaniel;
17 -- Blake Odum;
16 -- Grayson Payne, Regan Fuller, Zoe Meyer;
15 -- Gracelyn Jackson, Lauren Thompson, Grayson Officer;
13 -- Alexia Jackson, Ben Cooper;
12 -- Kylee Weir, Zach Bianucci, Max Cooper;
11 -- Tiffany Harricarrah, Adam Foster.
RINGGOLD HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Pierce Lively, Jeorgia Hicks, Jon Lancaster;
17 -- Jessi Carabo;
15 -- Easton O'Donnell, Evan Moeller;
13 -- Regan Wingrove;
12 -- Kale Davis, Saulye Nichols, Sara Beth Moore, Will Gurley;
11 -- Cassie Rhinehart, Devyn Hale, Maddie Mills, Jay Grant;
10 -- Isabella Sweat, Jackson Barker.
RED BANK HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Bri Rabon, Grace Brown, Eddie Birdsong;
17 -- Michaela Massey, Morgan Long, Dillon Kosik;
16 -- Nate Stansberry;
15 -- Hannah Smith, Casey Hayman;
14 -- Luke Massey, Asonia Birdsong, Amelia Harris, Rebekah Fuller, Chase Hayman;
12 -- Macie Meyners, Dallas Woods;
11 -- Justin Camp, Rachel Smith, Ivey Woolf.
CALHOUN HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
(Email John Hunt at email@example.com)