Dalton High School junior Taylor Dale bettered his United States Olympic qualifying time in the 100-meter butterfly in a prestigious national swim meet at Ohio State University last weekend. His 14-year-old Carpet Capital Aquatics Club teammate Ethan Young, the youngest competitor in the field, made two finals and secured his spot as one of the fastest risers in the country, according to CCAC coach Charles Todd.
Dale, who recently was named the GHSA Class AAAA-and-under swimmer of the year after winning state championships in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke and being a part of the 200-meter medley relay championship team, swam a 57.20 in in his 100 backstroke preliminary heat in Ohio. In the finals, which featured reigning Olympic silver medalist Matt Grevers, Dale finished seventh with a time of 57.37. David Plummer won in 55.01.
"There were a lot of Olympians in the field," said Todd, recently named the GHSA's coach of the year. "Taylor got to swim right next to Grevers, and he wasn't intimidated at all. He's 17, and outside of one other 17-year-old, the rest of the field was made up of college-age or older guys."
Young, who finished 21st overall in the 100 backstroke and made the "C Group" finals, also earned raves from his coach for handling the pressure of competing against much older and more accomplished swimmers.
"He's the fastest 14-year-old in the country," Todd said, "and it was nice to see him compete against those guys and to get to meet all the college coaches. He really stood out. Ethan and Taylor both got to meet Michael Phelps, so it was an exciting event."
Contact Lindsey Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6296.