Dalton Swimmers Leading City Meet

Ooltewah, Stuart Heights, Signal Mountain All Within Striking Distance Of Dolphins

Friday, July 13, 2018 - by John Hunt

The Dalton Dolphins have been a viable force in the Chattanooga Area Swim League for many years and have been one of the more dominant teams in the Blue division, the most competitive in the league.

The Dolphins finished fourth out of five teams during the regular season with a losing record of 3-5, so nobody gave them much chance of winning the annual Bill Caulkins City Meet, which started Friday morning at the spacious Arlene Crye Municipal Pool, located in Fort Oglethorpe’s Gilbert-Stephenson Park.

There’s still plenty of competition for Saturday’s final day and a whole lot can happen before this year’s team champion is crowned, but Dalton is the leader after Friday’s events with 1,042 points.

The Ooltewah Tidal Waves, the Blue division champ who was unbeaten at 8-0, is second with 961.5 points while Stuart Heights is currently third with 922.

Defending city meet champ Signal Mountain is third with 844 while the Country Club Wavemakers are fifth with 534.5.

There were three individuals who won three events apiece and there were six records broken or tied on Friday, including four by individuals and two in the relays.

Stuart Heights’ Georgia Smith won the 50 free, 100 IM and 25 breast in the girls’ 8-under group while Ooltewah’s Noah Holliman did the same in the 8-under boys.  Ooltewah’s Anna Boyd was a three-time winner for 9-10 girls with firsts in the 100 free, 100 IM and 50 breast.

There were five double winners, including Ridgeside’s Madeline Bond, Ooltewah’s Jed Holliman and Dalton’s trio of Francis Cuaresma, Jonathan Shaheen and Valdez.

The Stuart Heights’ 13-14 boys 200 medley relay broke a record in the preliminary round and did it again in the finals with a time of 1:45.97.

Fairyland’s Ellie Taliaferro knocked more than a second off the mark for the 100 individual medley for 13-14 girls with her winning time of 58.52 seconds while Stuart Heights’ Ellie Waldrep did the same in the senior girls 100 IM with the exact same time as Taliaferro.

Red Bank’s Luke Massey broke his own mark of 26.14 seconds in the senior boys 50 breast with a new mark of 25.73 seconds.

Dalton’s Roman Valdez equaled older brother Emilio’s mark of 49.46 seconds in the boys’ 13-14 100 free.

Jason Mezaros has been the Dalton head coach for four years now and had amazing success during that time.  He’s serving as the meet director this year, so he didn’t get much chance to do any coaching on Friday.  Thankfully, he has a host of capable assistants who took care of things in the water.

“I’m not doing any coaching this weekend as I have my hands full with other responsibilities, but we have great assistants to fill in.  We had a great day today, but we had kids step up and get into the finals who weren’t even seeded.

“We’re more suited to a meet like this where we can take advantage of our depth.  It’s not that way in a dual meet, but this is what we work all season for.  I can promise you it will be really close tomorrow night as there are still four teams in the thick of the race.

“It will be a fight, but I’m hoping that we’ll be right in the middle of it,” he concluded.

Ooltewah coach Todd Jones knows that his team has achieved another goal every time they’ve competed in these past six weeks.  The Tidal Waves have never won a city meet, but like the other three teams fighting for the top spot, who’s to say what will happen on Saturday night.

“Those relays really helped us, but we have depth in our younger age groups and that’s been a huge key for us,” Jones said shortly after the last medley relay had concluded.

“I’m really happy no matter what the scores are.  Our goal was to stay focused and to keep swimming smart.  We really swam great today as we all seem to be dialed in at the right time,” he added.

The Signal Mountain Green Giants are another team with great depth as their roster is far greater numbers-wise than any other team in the league.  They’ve taken advantage of that to win a lot of city meets.  Who knows what will happen on the final day.

“I felt like we swam a lot better in the preliminary rounds, but we had a lot of kids who held their own tonight,” Green Giants coach Jake Sosna said as the pool deck continued to clear.

“We had great success in the relays and without them, we’re no where close.  We graduated four All-Americans from last year’s team, but we still have a lot of depth.  Overall, I’m pleased as we overachieved for the most part today.

“Tomorrow is going to be long and hot, but it won’t be so bad if we can win it again,” he added.

Saturday’s finals are set to begin around 5 p.m. while the presentation of the Jennifer Fugate Scholarships will take place around 4:30 or so.

TEAM SCORES FOLLOWING FRIDAY’S EVENTS: 1. Dalton 1,042; 2. Ooltewah 961.5; 3. Stuart Heights 922; 4. Signal Mountain 844; 5. Country Club 534.5; 6. Cleveland 313; 7. Fairyland 264; 8. Ridgeside 229; 9. Catoosa 209; 10. Waterdogs 171; 11. Red Bank 139; 12. Big Ridge 135; 13. Cumberland 112.

INDIVIDUAL EVENT WINNERS

8 & UNDER GIRLS

50 Free – 1. Georgia Smith (Stuart Heights) 38.96

100 Individual Medley – 1. Georgia Smith (Stuart Heights) 1:33.21

25 Breast – 1. Georgia Smith (Stuart Heights) 22.62

100 Medley Relay – 1. Ooltewah 1:25.80

9-10 GIRLS

100 Free – 1. Anna Boyd (Ooltewah) 1:08.39

100 Individual Medley – 1. Anna Boyd (Ooltewah) 1:16.22

50 Breast – 1. Anna Boyd (Ooltewah) 41.23

200 Medley Relay – 1. Ooltewah 2:33.48

11-12 GIRLS

100 Free – 1. Madeline Bond (Ridgeside) 57.03

100 Individual Medley – 1. Madeline Bond (Ridgeside) 1:06.14

50 Breast – 1. Addie Margio (Country Club) 33.81

200 Medley Relay – 1. Dalton 2:06.20

13-14 GIRLS

100 Free – 1. Leah Boyd (Ooltewah) 53.50

100 Individual Medley – 1. Ellie Taliaferro (Fairyland) 58.52 (breaks old record of 59.55)

50 Breast – 1. Brighton Smith (Ooltewah) 32.34

200 Medley Relay – 1. Ooltewah 1:59.48

SENIOR GIRLS

100 Free – 1. Jewel Gordon (Signal Mountain) 53.49

100 Individual Medley – 1. Ellie Waldrep (Stuart Heights) 58.52 (breaks old record of 58.56)

50 Breast – 1. Cecelia Porter (Signal Mountain) 29.79

200 Medley Relay – 1. Signal Mountain 1:51.46.

8 & UNDER BOYS

50 Free – 1. Noah Holliman (Ooltewah) 36.64

100 Individual Medley – 1. Noah Holliman (Ooltewah) 1:33.99

25 Breast – 1. Noah Holliman (Ooltewah) 23.01

100 Medley Relay – 1. Stuart Heights 1:33.16

9-10 BOYS

100 Free – Jed Holliman (Ooltewah) 1:06.23

100 Individual Medley – Jed Holliman (Ooltewah) 1:17.16

50 Breast – 1. Nathan Jungels (Big Ridge) 41.80

200 Medley Relay – 1. Ooltewah 2:38.15

11-12 BOYS

100 Free – 1. Francis Cuaresma (Dalton) 56.47

100 Individual Medley – 1. Francis Cuaresma (Dalton) 1:04.89

50 Breast – 1. Cole Withrow (Dalton) 32.06

200 Medley Relay – 1. Dalton 2:02.76

13-14 BOYS

100 Free – 1. Roman Valdez (Dalton) 49.46 (tied old record)

100 Individual Medley – 1. Roman Valdez (Dalton) 56.18

50 Breast – 1. Drew Bond (Ridgeside) 29.28

200 Medley Relay – 1. Stuart Heights 1:45.97 (broke own mark of 1:47.28)

SENIOR BOYS

100 Free – 1. Jonathan Shaheen (Dalton) 47.83

100 Individual Medley – 1. Jonathan Shaheen (Dalton) 53.65

50 Breast – 1. Luke Massey (Red Bank) 25.73 (broke own record of 26.14)

200 Medley Relay – 1. Signal Mountain 1:43.82.

(email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@gmail.com)


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