There's a whole lot of excitement surrounding the Ooltewah Tidalwaves swim team these days
This up and coming team has been a part of the Chattanooga Area Swim League for four summers now. The number of swimmers continues to increase and so does the interest in the program.
They work out at the Ooltewah Swim Center, which is out past Ooltewah High School on Mountain View Road, just adjacent to I-75. Their pool has been enclosed by an inflatable bubble in recent years, but plans for a permanent building with a state of the art retractable roof are on the table with construction set to begin as soon as the summer league ends.
Add to those facts that many swimmers from the now-defunct Hamilton YMCA team moved up the road to Ooltewah just gives them depth, experience and a roster full of kids in every age group.
So it's not really a surprise that they are undefeated in the CASL's Red division and primed for a jump to the ever-competitive Blue division in 2013.
The Tidalwaves took another step in that direction on Monday night with a resounding 447-314 victory over the rebuilding Red Bank Gators.
Never mind the fact that the Tidalwaves were on the road and had to cross town to compete on Monday. They showed up in full force with energy to burn and races to win. They ended up doing a lot of both.
Ooltewah had a 69-41 lead after the freestyle races while the difference was 127-91 after the breaststroke.
The Gators were still within striking distance at the midway break, but the Tidalwaves won going away with a 208-132 difference in the final three events, the backstroke, butterfly and freestyle relays.
Ed Dailey is in his first year as head coach of the Ooltewah squad. A transplant from Miami, he's excited about his team's general enthusiasm and he's really pumped about having a year-round program starting in the fall.
"It was a great meet here at Red Bank and we're happy to pull off another victory," Dailey said while the freestyle relays were winding down.
"We brought everyone who wasn't on vacation and they all swam well. The keys were our relays, strong finishes and the ability to win the close races.
"There's always room for improvement as we work on two-hand touches and turns every day in practice. I don't think we had as many disqualifications as normal, but I haven't seen the sheets yet.
"We knew it would be a tough meet as Red Bank is always competitive and they are a well-coached team. But our numbers have increased and we have more depth than usual, so that helped us out as well," Dailey added.
Red Bank coach Ken Buchanan is now in his 27th year as the Gators head coach. He also teaches at Ooltewah and has coached some of the very kids he was competing against on Monday, so he wasn't really surprised by the outcome.
"The outcome is about what I expected. They have depth and experience while we're young and inexperienced. Despite the final score, I'm really pleased with our effort. That score doesn't indicate how well we did, but our times are getting better.
"You could tell by the effort in that final relay that our kids were going all out like the meet was on the line. We have about 25 kids who have never swam before and that includes some older ones, but we still had some big wins tonight. We just didn't have enough to carry us over," Buchanan added.
The Tidalwaves had four swimmers who maxed out with 19 points, including Leah Boyd, Emma Scruggs, Joby Nash and Jake Marcum. Andrew Tallent was next with 17.
Eddie Birdsong was tops for Red Bank with 18 points while Trey Hayman was next with 17.
Ooltewah is now 3-0 and will be at home on Thursday hosting Cleveland. Red Bank is now 1-3 and will be hosting Fort Oglethorpe on Thursday.
Perhaps the biggest meet in the Red division will happen on Thursday, June 28 when Ooltewah travels to Cleveland to face Mosby Park. These same two teams had a meet suspended by lightning last Monday with the Tidalwaves holding a 179-152 lead midway through. It's likely that it will be completed, but the makeup date has not been finalized.
STUART HEIGHTS evened its record at 2-2 on Monday with a 453-299 victory over Ringgold. Another big Blue Division battle had Dalton improving to 3-1 with a 439-326 win over visiting Fairyland.
CUMBERLAND WON its first meet in the White Division with a 355-245 victory over Big Ridge while Calhoun handed Country Club its first loss with a 395-338 setback.
CUMBERLAND ADDED A second win on Monday over the same Big Ridge team. It was rescheduled after last week's meet was cancelled by lightning. Cumberland was leading 274-162 after the backstroke when the meet was called.
OOLTEWAH HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Leah Boyd, Emma Scruggs, Joby Nash, Jake Marcum;
17 -- Andrew Tallent;
15 -- Aiden Sims, Jacob Kiemeyer;
14 -- Brighton Smith, Ellie Waldrep, Sara Davidson, Andrew Thomas;
13 -- Carlin Hudson, Meredith Childress;
12 -- Delaney Miller;
11 -- Jonathon Boyd;
10 -- Evan Gordon, Nicole Seltz, Carter Miller.
RED BANK HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
18 -- Eddie Birdsong;
17 -- Trey Hayman;
15 -- Morgan Long, Asonia Birdsong;
14 -- Casey Hayman;
13 -- Luke Massey;
12 -- Michaela Massey;
11 -- Linsy Devlin;
10 -- Ricky Haynes, Macie Meyners, Chase Hayman.
RINGGOLD HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
15 -- Maren Gwaltney, Tripp Church;
14 -- Evan Moeller, Dennesy Rogers;
13 -- Mitch Chow;
12 -- Tori Rhinehart;
11 -- Maddie Mills, Jackson Barker;
10 -- Isabella Sweat, Jon Lancaster.
STUART HEIGHTS HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- George Von Canon, Gwennie Davis, Emily Arnold, Walker Brayden, Jon Pat Ransom, April Forsthoffer;
17 -- Max Ransom, Mikaya Reynolds, Nicholas Seay;
15 -- Sam Rutledge, Audrey Barkeloo, Dylan Sprinz, Will Raines;
14 -- Reese Skiles, Meagan Haustein, Josie White;
10 -- Beatrice Davis, Lakeland Schumaker.
FAIRYLAND HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Anne Dassow, Ellie Taliaferro;
15 -- Natalie Lopez-Durel;
14 -- Louisa Bohner;
13 -- Ethan Bevill;
12 -- Joseph Nease;
11 -- Simon Parker;
10 -- Koray Alp, Meredith Bevill, Jane Eiselstein, Evie Jackson, Erika Lopez-Durel, McKinley Self.
DALTON HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Ross Valdez, Roman Valdez, Hollie Porter, Raul Valdez, Ethan Young, Taylor Dale;
17 -- Oscar Chenard, Reese Bingham, Ethan Pence;
15 -- Abby O'Ferrall, Bruno Valdez, Romina Mendoza;
14 -- Rebecca Davis;
13 -- Donald Sener;
12 -- Alex Mashburn, Tyler Stephenson;
11 -- Patrice Porter;
10 -- Patrick Calderon-Schuler, Hannah Smith.
BIG RIDGE HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
16 -- Sam Powe, Emily Horton;
15 -- Jacob Thalos;
14 -- Ally Slater;
10 -- Maria Howard, Anna Swisher.
CUMBERLAND HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Kyle Berry;
18 -- Abi Austin;
17 -- Lucas Tomlinson, Chloe Vernon;
16 -- Avery Faires;
15 -- Hunter Knox, Colby Henry, Michelle Holland;
10 -- Brody Grant, Mattison Keur, Quintavious Akins, Haily Bell, Travis Brewer, Beau Thrash.
COUNTRY CLUB HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
17 -- Levi Lebovitz, Will Turner, CeCe Turner, Lee Schemel;
15 -- Marilo Thel; Emelia Richey;
14 -- Audra Bell, Carter Edge;
12 -- John Starnes, Elliott Brakebill, Alec Chennault;
11 -- Margaret Ann Hudson, Zane Smith, Kortney Restelli;
10 -- Cooper Bell, Athey Crump;
9 -- Baker Young.
CALHOUN HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
CUMBERLAND HIGH-POINT SCORERS: (For rescheduled meet):
12 -- Abi Austin, Mattison Keur, Lucas Tomlinson, Kyle Berry, Jordon Schone, Chloe Vernon;
11 -- Haily Bell, Lyndsay Vaughn;
10 -- Hanna Bogby, Avery Faires, Michelle Holland, Mack Fairley.
BIG RIDGE HIGH-POINT SCORERS (For rescheduled meet):
14 -- Anna Thomson;
13 -- Emily Horton;
11 -- Sam Powe;
10 -- Ally Slater.
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)