The Signal Mountain Green Giants don’t lose a dual meet in swimming very often and it’s even more rare when they get beat at home.
But that’s what happened on a cooler-than-normal Monday night as the Stuart Heights Sharks remained unbeaten after two meets with the impressive 414-397 victory.
The Green Giants are now 2-1 for the season.
Other winners on Monday included Country Club, Big Ridge and the Waterdogs.
Signal Mountain bolted to a 73-59 lead after the opening freestyle races before Stuart Heights gained the upper hand at 123-119 after the breaststroke.
The Sharks never trailed again.
It was 175-163 after the medley relays and 230-219 after the individual medleys. The difference was 299-282 after the backstroke and at its biggest margin of 25 points at 358-333 at the conclusion of the butterfly races.
The Green Giants were able to make the final score just a bit more respectable, but the lead was simply too big to overcome that late in the meet.
Stuart Heights coach Katie Sallee could only smile when reflecting on the outstanding job her team had done in a road meet.
“I think we’ve been leading pretty much the whole way, so I’m really proud of the way they performed tonight,” she said while the free relays were still going on.
“Signal Mountain is a tough opponent with a lot of depth and to stay close is really amazing. We had to make sure all of our relay teams were in place, but it was good to see some new, young swimmers score points tonight and that was a key as we needed every one of them.
“I came up here with an open mind, so I’m really happy to leave with a big win as we had a lot of great races from a whole bunch of kids. I feel really good right now,” she concluded with a smile.
The Green Giants probably have the largest team in the league numbers wise and they’ve been really successful in the past based on that fact alone, but it’s still early in the season and getting everyone in the right place at the right time was somewhat of a challenge for Signal Mountain coaches Jake Sosna and Will Hunt.
“We got whipped pretty good in some of the early races and put ourselves in a huge hole at the start, but we’ve done a lot better in the second half,” said Sosna, now in his fourth season as the Green Giants head coach.
“We always point toward the city meet, but we just have to learn from our mistakes as all of those little points add up. We can only get better as the season progresses, but I thought we did a pretty good job and I’m pleased with the overall effort. Stuart Heights has an outstanding team, so we knew it would be a close meet,” Sosna nodded.
“We’re just here having fun, but we knew it would be a close meet,” said Hunt, who’s been coaching summer swimmers for longer than he cares to admit.
“We’ve just got to work on the little things, but I’m always happy with these kids. This is the fun part of the sport, but we have to make it fun or they won’t come back. We all hate to lose, but we’ll move on to the next one,” he added.
Molly Mae Ransom and Scout Chapin both maxed out with 19 points for Stuart Heights while Luke Waldrep was next with 18. Sam Flack, Charlie Han and Ellie Waldrep all scored 17 points apiece.
Jack Kirby, Sydney Gordon and Ben Hardin were tops for the Green Giants with 17 points apiece while Belle Flasch had 16. Jewel Gordon and Sam Laramore both finished with 15.
Stuart Heights faces another big road challenge on Thursday with a meet at Ooltewah while the Green Giants return to action next Monday on the road in Fort Oglethorpe to face the Catoosa Great White Sharks.
(Email John Hunt at email@example.com)