Dalton Wins Bill Caulkins City Meet For Coach Todd

Defending Champ Signal Mountain A Distant Second

Saturday, July 12, 2014 - by John Hunt

Charles Todd wanted to go out with a bang and he did.

The veteran swim coach for the Dalton Dolphins announced his resignation a few days ago for a bigger and better job in the metro Atlanta area, but he wanted to put the final touches on his job as the popular summer swim league coach with a victory in the annual season-ending meet, known this year for the first time as the Bill Caulkins City Meet.

Todd’s wishes were granted as the Dolphins were indeed impressive, winning the big trophy over 14 other teams with 2,380 points for the two-day meet, which concluded Saturday night at Warner Park's pool.

Defending champ Signal Mountain, which trailed Dalton by only 55 points following Friday’s finals, finished a distant second with 2,032 while the Ooltewah Tidal Waves were third with 1.631.

Stuart Heights and Fairyland completed the top five teams with 1.454 and 1,140 points, respectively.

There were four individuals who won all five of their events for the two-day meet and thus finished with 100 points, including Fairyland teammates Ben Bevill and Ellie Taliaferro in addition to Cleveland’s Grayson Payne and Dalton’s Emilio Valdez.

These four really put on a show, but Taliaferro really went over the top with new meet records in the 50 fly and the 50 back with times of 29.57 seconds and 32.17 seconds.  And those came on the heels of Friday's record in the 100 individual medley.

Nobody works any harder and nobody makes it look any easier than this 10-year-old daughter of Audra and Robbie Taliaferro. She is really fun to watch in the butterfly, which is perhaps the hardest stroke of all to master.

“She’s a fast one,” said Kendall Jacobs, one of Fairyland’s coaches who happens to know better than anyone just how hard Taliaferro works.

“She’s been focusing on technique all season, but it’s all about fast times now.  She’s a fighter and a true racer and I’m so proud of her.

“She really hasn’t had much competition in dual meets this summer, but she got some this weekend.  But three records isn’t bad for a 10-year-old girl,” Jacobs added with a smile.

While Taliaferro had two records on Saturday, the only other times to be rewritten among the girls included Payne in the 50 back with a time of 28.55 seconds and the Signal Mountain senior girls in the 200 free relay with a time of 1:40.94, which erased the old standard of 1:43.00.

The 13-14 Dalton boys had the only record for guys on Saturday as they had a time of 1:37.36 in the 200 freestyle relay, knocking off the old mark of 1:37.92.  Ironically, only two boys records were broken on Friday and both were by Dalton in the medley relays.

Dalton’s Todd has been a real success story for the Dolphins and also for the Dalton High swim teams for the past 17 years.  He’s headed South with his head held high and a big grin on his face after his team really came ready to compete this weekend.

“I thought we looked good this weekend and I’m really pleased,” he said before the final scores had been announced.

“Our 13-14 boys broke two relay records and they swam red-hot both days.  We thought we could win it, but we’ve been working hard all summer for this moment.  It was just a super team effort all across the board.  I know our guys get a lot of attention, but we had a bunch of girls who stepped up as well.

“It feels great.  I’m leaving the program in good hands and I feel good about that, but I knew we’d be stronger on the second day and we were,” he added.

Jason Meszaros has been named the Dolphins interim head coach and that will probably be a permanent title in the coming days.  He’s been Todd’s assistant for the past seven years and is fully qualified to keep Dalton on the right track.

“The kids really exceeded our expectations, but we wanted to send coach Todd off on the right foot.  We really had something special going on this weekend.  It’s been a great meet for Dalton, but at the same time, a bittersweet experience,” Meszaros nodded.

Signal Mountain coach Stephanie Cohen knew that her team wasn’t quite as strong as it had been in recent years, but she was still pleased with the way her Green Giants performed.

“We had a good day and broke a few records, so I’m pleased for the most part,” she began.

“We can always swim faster, but we had some great races this weekend.  All I ask is they give me their best effort and to be good sports in the process.  I got both,” she added.

THE ANNUAL JENNIFER FUGATE Scholarship Awards were given before the finals began Saturday night and the two winners included Ridgeside’s Janelle Wigal and Red Bank’s Conagher Smith.

Other nominees included Ooltewah’s Kristen Boyd, Cleveland’s Nelson Chung, Ringgold’s Will Gurley, Country Club’s McCay Mathis, Signal Mountain’s Sam McHugh, Fairyland’s Quinn Nash, Fairyland’s Simon Parker, Dalton’s Stephanie Saad-Naguib and Ooltewah’s Kent Scruggs.

(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@comcast.net)


Lookouts Keep Rolling With 3-1 Win Over M-Braves Saturday

Edgar Corcino and the Lookouts pitching staff combined to send Chattanooga fans home happy on Fan Appreciation Night with a 3-1 win over the Mississippi Braves.  Corcino tripled in two runs to start the scoring in home half of the fourth Saturday. Ryan Walker and Travis Harrison came home to score on the big hit and gave the Lookouts a lead they would hold the rest of the ... (click for more)

Dalton State Women's Soccer Defeats Johnson & Wales University 4-2

The Dalton State women’s soccer team did it again. The Lady Roadrunners found themselves down by 2-0 at halftime against Johnson & Wales University (Fl.) “After making some adjustments during the break, I could tell the girls were fired up and hungry and I had a great feeling we would win the game,” said DS Coach Kerem Daser. “I guess you can call my ladies the comeback ... (click for more)

Saw Mill Fire In Lookout Valley Causes $185,000 In Damages

A saw mill fire in Lookout Valley on Sunday morning caused $185,000 in damage. At approximately 7:45 a.m. , calls began coming in to Hamilton County 911 about a fire in a saw mill located at 3510 Pan Gap Circle in Lookout Valley. Smoke could be seen from downtown Chattanooga when firefighters from Station One on Main Street began to respond.   ... (click for more)

Michael Wilson Back In Bradley County; Due In Court On Monday

Michael Wilson is back in Bradley County, and was escorted into the Correctional Facility around 8:15 p.m. Wilson’s first appearance in court will be on Monday, at 9 a.m. in the Bradley County General Sessions Courtroom at the Judicial Complex at 2290 Blythe Ave. Wilson was arrested last week, after e ndangered Bradley County child Skyla Wilson was found safe in Colorado ... (click for more)

Pedestrians Have The Right Of Way - And Response (3)

Often I visit Gold's Gym at Chestnut and 4th Street. I  park in the theater parking lot at Broad and 4th Street.  I depend on the walk signs to get me there safely.  Most days I almost get hit by someone turning left or right coming from the exit ramp off 27 or turning right on 4th street from Chestnut. This happened yesterday as I was almost mowed down by a garbage ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Girls - ‘I Can And I Will’

Every night after the Rodriguez girls went to sleep not that long ago in a grim, rat-infested basement apartment on Chicago’s South Side, their father – a boxing referee who came to America from Puerto Rico -- would kneel beside the girls’ bed and whisper in each child’s ear. Their parents made them sleep hot-dog style, tightly wrapped in the same sheet and pressed together to protect ... (click for more)