Mitchell Meek wasn't a very happy first-year swim coach when the 2012 Chattanooga Area Swim League competition began in early June.
His Stuart Heights Sharks had a bye on that first day of dual meets, but things went from bad to worse when they dropped a pair of meets to Fairyland and Dalton to start their season at 0-2.
Things have changed for the better in those three weeks and Meek has a lot more to smile about, including a 382-373 victory over Dalton at the Stuart Heights pool on Thursday.
With the win, the Sharks are now 4-2 with their fourth straight win while Dalton falls to 4-2 as its four-meet win streak was snapped.
Everyone predicted that Thursday's meet would be a nail-biter, possibly coming down to the final few races. They were right.
Stuart Heights took a 60-50 lead after the freestyle races before Dalton had its only lead of the day at 111-109 following the breaststroke.
The Sharks had the advantage at 169-159 following the medley relays and at 212-204 following the individual medley before the Dolphins knotted the score at 263 after the backstroke.
Stuart Heights pulled ahead by 322-313 after the butterfly and that was the margin of victory after both teams scored 60 points in the final freestyle relays.
Needless to say, Meek was much happier at the end of the month than he was at the beginning.
"Our kids did a great job tonight, but I felt like we had a great shot of winning before the meet began," Meek explained as swimmers, parents and other interested people headed toward the parking lot.
"Our kids have been responding in a positive way ever since we lost our first two meets. I feel like we have a great team and I think we can compete with the best. It's the little things that count most in a meet like this, but I feel like we're moving in a positive direction.
"They all stood out tonight as it was total team effort. People knew what their jobs were and they went out and did them. They rose to the challenge and they were paying attention tonight," Meek added.
Dalton coach Charles Todd was absent from Thursday's meet as he's in Omaha for the Olympic swim trials, an event that current Dolphin Taylor Dale was involved in the 100 back on Tuesday.
Joana Rosales, who was a longtime standout swimmer for Dalton before graduating last year, is one of the Dalton assistant coaches.
"We started out strong but we had some DQs in the relays that hurt. We were also missing a few key swimmers today, but we're still leading the Blue division and our next goal is winning the City Meet.
"We still feel like we're the team to beat, but we knew this meet would be close the entire time and we were right," Rosales said with a smile.
George Von Canon, Missy Karman, April Forsthoffer and Ryan Forsthoffer all had the maximum 19 points for the winning Sharks. Cayce Grall and Mikaya Reynolds both followed with 17 apiece.
Oscar Chenard, Raul Valdez and Ethan Young all tallied 19 points for Dalton while Abby O'Ferrall, Ross Valdez and Reese Bingham were next with 17 each.
Dalton will be at home for its two final dual meets, including Monday against Ringgold. Stuart Heights has a big challenge at Signal Mountain on Monday. The Sharks prevailed by a 419-335 margin two weeks ago, so Monday's meet should be a dandy.
THE CITY MEET will conclude the season on Friday and Saturday, July 13-14 at Fort Oglethorpe.
THURSDAY'S DUAL-MEET SCORES:
Stuart Heights 382, Dalton 373
Fairyland 386, Signal Mountain 377
Ooltewah 468, Mosby Park 294
Cleveland 396, Fort Oglethorpe 312
Calhoun 402, Country Club 345
Ridgeside 425.5, Cumberland 301.5
DALTON HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Oscar Chenard, Raul Valdez, Ethan Young;
17 -- Abby O'Ferrall, Ross Valdez, Reese Bingham;
16 -- Hollie Porter;
14 -- Andrea Arriola, Lindsey Mulkey, Ethan Pence;
13 -- Henry Bethel, Alex Mashburn;
12 -- Roman Valdez, Abigail Crawford;
11 -- Tyler Stephenson;
10 -- Romina Mendoza, Taylor Mathis.
STUART HEIGHTS HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- George Von Canon, Missy Karman, April Forsthoffer, Ryan Forsthoffer;
17 -- Cayce Grall, Mikaya Reynolds;
16 -- Will Raines;
15 -- Megan Hanson;
13 -- Gwennie Davis, Jon Pat Ransom;
12 -- Hayden Payne, Max Ransom, Dennis Sohn;
11 -- Caroline Clark, Audrey Barkeloo;
10 -- Nicole Hanson, Josie White.
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Peter Lochmaier, Samantha Vargo;
18 -- Jewel Gordon;
17 -- McKinnon Sowell;
16 -- Emaline Lochmaier;
15 -- Sam Flack, Jameson Filston;
12 -- Ellie Jenkins, Avery Engels, Austin Sims;
11 -- James Johnson, William Trombley, Jess Vargo, Christian Trombley;
10 -- Anderson Lusk, Chase Post, Riley Engels, Anna Ward, Joseph Smith.
FAIRYLAND HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Koray Alp, Mary Margaret Arrowsmith, Anne Dassow, Ellie Taliaferro;
17 -- Ethan Bevill, Simon Parker;
15 -- John Arrowsmith;
14 -- Natalie Lopez-Durel, Joseph Nease, P.A. Yates;
13 -- Kylie Eiselstein;
12 -- Hails Burnette;
11 -- Louisa Bohner.
OOLTEWAH HIGH-POINT SCORERS;
19 -- Leah Boyd, Carlin Hudson, Rachel Dover, Sarah Malloch, Andrew Tallent, Emma Scruggs;
18 -- Joby Nash, Jacob Kiemeyer;
17 -- Meredith Childress, Ryan Crumpler, Andrew Thomas;
15 -- Kenzie Campbell, Jillian Cantrell, Brianna Norman;
14 -- Ellie Waldrop, Jonathon Boyd;
13 -- Haley Grider;
12 -- Sarah Davidson, Chase Hudson;
11 -- Aidan Sims;
10 -- Brighton Smith.
MOSBY PARK HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
15 -- Christian Torbett;
14 -- Caiden Cross, Luke Hunt, Pete Davis;
13 -- Tanya Sharma;
12 -- Reid Nelson, Bristol Snider;
10 -- Gareth Miller, John Bryant.
FORT OGLETHORPE HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Reese Gallagher;
16 -- Ava Whited, Brandon Edge;
15 -- Erin Brown;
14 -- Kathleen Hillman, Dawson Parrish;
13 -- John Hillman;
12 -- Sky Kim, Timothy DeBord;
11 -- Kaylee Reese.
CLEVELAND HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Erin Stutzman;
17 -- Grayson Payne;
15 -- Alexyia Jackson, Spencer Payne, Lauren Stutzman, Jason Chung;
14 -- Logan Stutzman, Megan Mitchell;
13 -- Abigail Jones, Nelson Chung;
12 -- Jacob McDaniel, Katherine Blake, Bri Foley, Robert Parr;
11 -- Suzanna Liner;
10 -- Sarah Plank, Blake Odum, Zoe Meyer, Evan Stutzman.
COUNTRY CLUB HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- CeCe Turner;
17 -- Audra Bell, Marilo Thel, Will Turner;
14 -- Margaret Ann Hudson, Elliott Brakebill;
13 -- Emelia Richey, Levi Lebovitz;
12 -- Max Smith;
11 -- Yumi Doi, Zane Smith, Cooper Bell;
10 -- Kortney Restelli, Anna Behnends, Katherine Berle, Laura Lee Brakebill, Hanley Edge;
9 -- Patrick Carey, John Starnes.
CALHOUN HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
CUMBERLAND HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
18 -- Chloe Vernon;
15 -- Kyle Berry;
13 -- Abi Austin, Essie Morris, Hunter Knox, Jordan Schone;
11 -- James Schone, Hailey Bell;
10 -- Brendon Green, Kari Morris.
RIDGESIDE HIGH-POINT SCORERS:
19 -- Jane Anne Haywood, Madison Tumblin;
17 -- Sophie Albarakat, Clark Danks;
16 -- Hollis Gaffney;
15 -- Adams Robinson, Peter Zeglen;
14 -- Rowan Fitzsimmons, Callie Voges, Carter Clarke;
13 -- Nicolas Robinson, Olivia Samples;
12 -- Kathy Zeglen, Janelle Wigal;
11 -- Gigi Barringer, Mary Margaret Haywood;
10 -- Robert Mason, Susan Zeglen, Brandon Gaffney, Cameron Powell.
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)