published Friday, July 13th, 2012

Chattanooga Area Swim League teams aim at Green Giants

CASL City Meet

at Gilbert Stephenson Park in Fort Oglethorpe

Schedule today and Saturday

(four events each day)

8:30-noon: ages 10-under prelims

1:30-5: ages 11-18 prelims

6:30-9: finals all age groups

For some, the 2012 Chattanooga Area Swim League's annual city meet is all about individual battles. Personal bests will be set, ribbons will be won and each of the 900-plus competitors at Fort Oglethorpe's Gilbert Stephenson Park will see how they did compared to a year ago.

For a few, it will be their final CASL competition.

There also is a team championship to be won, and in most seasons that has seemed almost an afterthought. When one team wins 10 of the last 11 titles -- as Signal Mountain has done -- that can be the case.

This year, however, three other teams feel they have a legitimate shot to dethrone the Green Giants.

"It could be one of the most competitive city meets we've had," Dalton coach Charles Todd said. "In no particular order, us, Signal Mountain, Stuart Heights and Fairyland Club should all be right there."

Based on the regular-season results among the four Blue Division powers, Todd has a point. Dalton was 4-2 against the other three, with Stuart Heights going 3-2 (one meet was postponed), Signal Mountain 2-3 and Fairyland 2-4. Of course, different factors always come into play at the city meet, including the availability of swimmers.

"Last year we had several of our top senior swimmers at the state meet, but this year we're at full strength," Todd said. "This year Signal has a couple of their top kids out of the country. But they're still the perennial champions and will be more than strong."

The strength of the Green Giants, and an area where they have a big advantage over Todd's Dolphins, is in the younger age groups.

"We're strong in our senior divisions, but they have 100 8-under swimmers on their roll and we have 16," Todd said. "They can get a lot of points in that group."

about Lindsey Young...

Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...

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