The 2023 Chattanooga Area Swim League season is now underway as there were four meets held on Monday night.
Three-time defending City Swim Meet champ Ooltewah cruised to a 531-245 win over the Dalton Dolphins while Stuart Heights, Big Ridge and Ridgeside were other winners.
It was a joyous day at the Ooltewah Swim Center where first-year head coach Stephen Jones celebrated his first win. It’s hard to say what made him happier, his kids swimming really well or the face that he just got married on Saturday and is still floating high on that proverbial pink cloud.
But the Tidal Waves are really strong once again and are looking to win their fourth straight City Meet title and are hoping to extend a winning streak in dual meets that started three years ago.
“It’s been a fun meet as everyone seemed to swim well and we really appreciate the folks from Dalton for driving all the way up here for this meet,” Jones said before the meet ended.
“There were no tears from any of our kids as they’re all happy, but I liked the way we kept swimming hard, even after we built a nice lead as there was no letting up.
“We have a bunch of kids on our team this summer and they’re all fighting for starting positions, so what they did tonight was important. The good news is that the rain stopped and it turned out to be a really good meet.
“It feels really good to get my first win as a head coach, but I’ll confess that I had a lot of help today. We have a bunch of really good kids and another bunch of dedicated parents, so all of that combines to make my job a whole lot easier. But the team spirit has been awesome and I just hope it continues as the season progresses,” the bearded young man nodded.
There have been all kinds of construction and renovation projects surrounding the Dalton swim facilities, so they’ve been without a place to practice and may not be able to host a meet this summer. Combine all of with the fact that veteran coach Jason Meszaros is facing a rebuilding task and you understand just how much of a challenge he’s facing.
But he was all smiles on Monday as he was just happy to see his kids in the water competing.
“We have a lot of new kids and our practice time has been limited, but we’ve shown a lot of improvement in recent weeks,” he began while watching his kids in a real race for a change.
“Just being able to get in the water and race is a good thing for us. We’re trying to show the new kids how it all works, but we just came up here tonight to have some fun.
“This will be an interesting season to be sure, but it’s really nice to see kids trying to put into practice what we’ve been teaching,” he added.
This meet was never really close as the Tidal Waves were superior in numbers and basic overall talent.
The lead was 176-86 following the freestyle and breaststroke races while the difference had stretched to 303-131 following the Individual Medleys.
Layla Brackett was the leading scorer for the Dolphins as she tallied 15 points. Eli Mickelson was next with 11.
The Tidal Waves had an amazing 27 swimmers who tallied 10 points or more, including Oscar Hipps, Makayla McInnes and Wilder Erhard with the maximum 19 points that includes first place in three individual events while being part of two winning relays.
Elijah Holliman, Jed Holliman, Cheyenne Carver, Alejandro Garcia, Max Emmert, Madelyn Weathers, Carmyn Watkins and Parker Ross all followed with 17 points apiece.
Dalton returns to action on Thursday when they travel to Stuart Heights while Ooltewah will host Catoosa next Monday after having this Thursday off.
DALTON HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
15 – Layla Brackett
12 – Eli Mickelson
11 – G.G. Brackett, D2 Hall II
10 – Franco Valdez.
OOLTEWAH HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 – Oscar Hipps, Makayla McInnes, Wilder Erhard
17 – Elijah Holliman, Jed Holliman, Cheyenne Carver, Alejandro Garcia, Max Emmert, Madelyn Weathers, Carmyn Watkins, Parker Ross
15 – Piper Merritt, Paxton Ross, Keilah Holliman
14 – Addison Smith, Anna Boyd
12 – Sofia Kim, Kyle Powroznik, Katelyn Neill, Taylor Reyes, Brooke Pacheco, Luke Oliver, Adam Garcia
11 – Ethan Runkle, Madelyn Orth
10 – Julia Leite, Charleigh Hickman.
STUART HEIGHTS HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 – Walker Sewell, Sage Sillery, Luci Hill, Shepherd Sewell
17 – Max Shaw, Drew Hitchcock, Sterling Sewell, Ellie Lydon
16 – William Loveless
15 – Jameson Halbert, Will White
14.5 – Ava Gipson
13 – Hunter Shaw
12.5 – Molly Mae Ransom
12 – Stephen Myers
10 – Thatcher Bacalman, Olivia Loveless, Ridge Folmar, Sam Flack.
CATOOSA HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
17 – Avary Kadatz, Wade Christopher
16 – Reese Rawls
15 – Helen Webb, Josh Adcox
13 – Allie O’Donnell, Joel Motter
12 – Katelyn Holman
11 – Sully Foster, Gunnar Corvin
10.5 – Keeley Mountjoy
10 – Izzy Fox, Kathryn Holman.
CUMBERLAND HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
16 – Carter Young, Zach Schurr
15 – Kymiri Turner
13 – Lola Phipps
11 – Wes Brown
10 – Aubrey Daniels, Ian Gildernew.
BIG RIDGE HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
17 – Lander Smith, Madison Skiba, Evan Scharff
15 – Foster Stevens, Nathan Jungels, Abigail Keener, Quinn Young
14 – Benson Wright, Lily Urbansky, Libby Brown
13 – Ethan Marx, Megan Gill, Kate White, Caleb Davis, Blakely Martin
12 – Sara Crane
10 – Gracin Smith, Jade Skiba, Bryson Young, Micah Mansueto, Riley O’Neil, Ben Jungels.
RIDGESIDE HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 – Noah Dzik, Caroline Carpenter, Maggie Akins, Elizabeth Grace Schrader, Charlie Schrader
18 – Asa Hedrick
17 – Annie Davis
15 – Brynne Burkhart, Holly Beale, Caroline Zimmerman
13 – Ryan Carpenter, Finn Thompson, Burke Murphy
12 – Grace Hamilton, Jacob Stone
11 – Ella Wiley, Kol Lea, Andrew Zimmerman, Naomi Antanaitis, Owen Swisher
10 – Ava Goodlet.
RED BANK HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
17 – Allie West, Turner Sharp, Addilyn Mayo
15 – Noah Blake, Audrey Mayo
14 – Benton Bilbrey
12 – Ben Meagher
11 – James Atchley
10 – Caleb Grass, Rebekah Fuller.
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)