His swimmers, having claimed their first Chattanooga Area Swim League city meet title in six years, were circling, waiting for the right time to throw their coach into the not-so-cool water at Fort Oglethorpe's Arlene Crye Pool.
Charles Todd didn't mind one bit.
Todd's Dalton Dolphins won the championship Saturday with a two-day total of 2,263.5 points to easily outdistance runner-up Stuart Heights (2,071). Upstart Ooltewah from the league's middle division was third with 1,811.5 points, with five-time defending champion Signal Mountain fourth with 1,439.
"I am really proud of my Dolphins," Todd said. "We had 11 first-place finishes yesterday and another 10 or 11 today, and we had several records broken by our swimmers. The kids are swimming fast, which is the name of the game. It was nice to come in here full strength for a change."
Led by 100-point scorers Ethan Young (13-14 boys) and Taylor Dale (15-18 boys), the Dolphins took control Friday and never let up. Dale, who took part in the recent United States Olympic Trials and who will soon go to the Junior Olympic training facility, was happier for the team than for any individual accolades.
"We've had a lot of fast swims all the way from our young kids to our oldest group, and it's been a great team effort," said Dale, who set city meet records in three races. "We won it a few years ago, and I was younger and didn't really understand what it means. Just being here with my friends and having a good time and being able to be with the seniors in their last swim is what it's all about."
Echoed Young: "I'm extremely happy with it. We've all stepped up and acted as team and finally clicked. We've been through some ups and downs — we've had some people sick and stuff — but we've had some great times posted. You couldn't ask for more."
Dalton also received big points from the Valdez brothers: 11-12 competitor Raul (93 points), 9-10 swimmer Ross (88) and 8-under Roman (74).
Stuart Heights, which was third after the first day's events, rode strong efforts from 8-under star George Von Cannon (96 points) and 15-18 girls Mikaya Reynolds and April Forsthoffer (94 points each) to claim the runner-up trophy, while the surprise Tidal Waves of Ooltewah got a team-high 91 points from 8-under Leah Boyd.
"We had some great individual performances from kids we expected to do well and had some kids in their first city meet make some finals," Ooltewah coach Ed Dailey said. "We want to be in the division with the tough teams and racing against the tough swimmers, and that's where we're headed. We're very pleased with this weekend."
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 ...