Signal Mountain's Porters known for breaststroke success

Signal Mountain's Porters known for breaststroke success

July 12th, 2014 by Stephen Hargis in Sports

The clutter inside a garage can tell you a lot about the folks who live inside the house. From muddy cleats and soccer balls to mountain bikes and fishing poles, the distinct contents of any garage can define a family's activities.

For John and Florence Porter it's an oversized towel rack that hangs just before entry to their Signal Mountain home, one that through years of use has left the scent of chlorine permanently hovering in the air.

The Porters have been a swimming family since the eldest of their five children began making the frog-like kicking motion with his legs. For more than 10 years since, each of the Porter kids has competed in the breaststroke for the Signal Mountain Green Giants during the summer Chattanooga Area Swim League season as well as year-round for the Baylor Swim Club.

"The frog-leg kick helps in the breaststroke, and the kids seem to come by that naturally since my wife is French, and you know how much they love frog legs there," John joked. "The breaststroke is the easiest for kids to learn because their heads are up, out of the water, so they feel safer.

"All of our kids just really seemed to enjoy it right away, and it's fun for us as parents to see them do something they like so much. The kids are learning to compete in other events, but we're kind of known for competing in the breaststroke."

This year only four of the Porter kids are competing in the CASL's annual city meet at Warner Park -- newly named for Bill Caulkins -- because 18-year-old Mathias left two weeks ago to report for his appointment to Annapolis, where he plans to swim for the Naval Academy and has expressed an interest in the SEAL program.

"It was different not having Mathias here and we certainly miss him, but it's a bigger goal in his life to have an appointment to the Naval Academy," added John, who loaded up the family's eight-passenger car and was at Warner Park before 7 a.m. Friday for what promised to be more than a 12-hour day.

"Our whole family looks forward to the city meet all year. We love it because it's something we all enjoy and get to do together. At other meets, some of our younger kids may not get to compete, but this is one that we know everyone gets to swim in."

The others -- 17-year-old Eleonore, 14-year-old Thomas, 12-year-old Cecilia and 8-year-old Vincent -- combined to total 114 points for the Green Giants on Friday. Last summer, all five Porter kids competed in the finals of the city meet in their respective age groups.

"It's pretty cool because we all can relate to each other since we swim the same event," said Eleonore, who finished fourth in her age group Friday. "There's always competition between us, which keeps us motivated to see who can have the best times.

"It's just something that I think all of us really like getting to do as a family."

The Dalton Dolphins, who won the Blue Division during the regular season, lead the city meet with 1,152.5 points. Signal Mountain is second with 1,097.5, and the Ooltewah Tidal Waves are third with 877.

Contact Stephen Hargis at shargis@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6293.

Top-four Friday finishers in CASL City Meet

<p style="text-align: center;">Top-four finishes per event Friday</p><p style="text-align: center;">Bill Caulkins meet at Warner Park</p>First-day team scores: 1. Dalton 1,152.5, 2. Signal Mountain 1,097,5, 3. Ooltewah 877, 4. Stuart Heights 687, 5. Fairyland Club 519, 6. Ringgold 339.5, 7. Cleveland 273, 8. Chattanooga Country Club 241.5, 9. Big Ridge 238, 10. Waterdogs 189, 11. Fort Oglethorpe 151, 12. Red Bank 132, 13. Cumberland 59, 14. Calhoun 57, 15. Ridgeside 50.

<p style="text-align: center;">8-under girls</p>100-yard IM: 1. MaeMae Powe (BR) 1:32.18, 2. Julia Quernemoen (BR), 3. Laken Coppinger (SM), 4. Bella Lee (FO). 25 breast: 1. Quernemoen (BR 22.36, Lee (FO), 3. Emmaline Goldberg (SH), 4. Addie Margio (CCC). 50 free: 1. Powe (BR) 35.85, 2. Emma Pulliam (Rin), 3. Quernemoen (BR), 4. Coppinger (SM). 100 meley relay: 1. Stuart Heights 1:25.35, 2. Bid Ridge, 3. Fairyland, 4. Waterdogs.

<p style="text-align: center;">8-under boys</p>100 IM: 1. Ben Bevill (FC) 1:31.14, 2. Cole Withrow (D), 3. Luke Waldrep (O), 4. Cooper Lehman (SH). 25 breast: 1. Withrow (D) 20:35, 2. Lehman (SH), 3. Shiloh Chamberlain (SM), 4. Zane Restelli (CCC). 50 free: 1. Bevill (FC) 35.59, 2. Withrow (D), 3. Waldrep (O), 4. Tate Holsonback (FC). 100 medley relay: 1. Dalton 1:22.66, 2. Fairyland, 3. Ooltewah, 4. Stuart Heights.

<p style="text-align: center;">9-10 girls</p>100 IM: 1. Ellie Taliaferro (FC) 1:09.40, 2. Leah Boyd (O), 3. Payton Woodring (D), 4. Brighton Smith (O). 50 breast: 1. Boyd (O) 38.70, 2. Ema-Kate White (FO), 3. Kenzie Campbell (O), 4. Ava Whited (D). 100 free: Taliaferro (FC) 1:02.58, 2. Woodring (D), 3. Boyd (O), 4. Smith (O). 200 medley relay: 1. Ooltewah 2:20.12, 2. Dalton, 3. Fairyland, 4. Signal Mountain.

<p style="text-align: center;">9-10 boys</p>100 IM: 1. Will Haley (D) 1:14.48, 2. Sam Powe (BR), 3. Jacob McDaniel (Cle), 4. Roman Valdez (D). 50 breast: 1. Haley (D) 38.67, 2. Powe (BR), 3. Zane Smith (CCC), 4. Bruno Valdez (D). 100 free: 1. Powe (BR) 1:04.56, 2. McDaniel (Cle), 3. Haley (D), 4. R. Valdez (D). 200 medley relay: 1. Dalton 2:23.70, 2. Stuart Heights, 3. Big Ridge. 4. Dalton "B."

<p style="text-align: center;">11-12 girls</p>50 breast: 1. Jewel Gordon (SM) 32.04, 2. Cecilia Porter (SM), 3. Stephanie Xian (SM), 4. Ellie Waldrep (O). 100 free: 1. Grayson Payne (Cle) 57.42, 2. Gordon (SM), 3. Xian (SM), 4. Emma Scruggs (O). 100 IM: 1. Payne (Cle) 1:04.75, 2. Xian (SM), 3. Scruggs (O), 4. Porter (SM).

<p style="text-align: center;">11-12 boys</p>50 breast: 1. Henry Bethel (D) 35.06, 2. Will Tippett (SM), 3. Easton Odonnell (Rin), 4. Chase Post (SM). 100 free: 1. Emilio Valdez (D) 54.82. 2. Shawn Bradford Bailey (D), 3. Joby Nash (O), 4. Kyle Berry (FO). 100 IM: 1. Valdez (D) 1:02.56, 2. Berry (FO), 3. Bethel (D), 4. Oscar Chenard (D).

<p style="text-align: center;">13-14 girls</p>50 breast: 1. Carley Braman (FC) 33.70. 2. Gwennie Davis (SH), 3. Carlin Hudson (D), 4. Mary Kathryn Schumaker (SH). 100 free: 1. Davis (SH) 58.25, 2. Kaylin Woodring (D), 3. Jilli Cantrell (O), 4. T.L. Dailey (O). 100 IM: 1. Davis (SH) 1:05.15, 2. Hudson (D), 3. Cantrell (O), 4. Woodring (D). 200 medley relay: 1. Stuart Heights 2:03.02, 2. Dalton, 3. Ooltewah, 4. Signal Mountain.

<p style="text-align: center;">13-14 boys</p>50 breast: 1. Thomas Porter (SM) 29.18, 2. Luke Massey (RB), 3. Gabriel Johnson (Rin), 4. Tyler Stephenson (D). 100 free: 1. Peter Dyr (O) 52.41, 2. William Trombley (SM), 3. Raul Valdez (D), 4. Ethan Bevill (FC). 100 IM: 1. Johnson (Rin) 58.21, Dyr (O), Bevill (FC), 4. Alex Mashburn (D). 200 medley relay: 1. Dalton 1:48.38, 2. Signal Mountain, 3. Ooltewah, 4. Ringgold.

<p style="text-align: center;">15-18 girls</p>50 breast: 1. Susanna LaRochelle (SM) 29.74, 2. Haley Grider (O), 3. Jess Vargo (SM), 4. Eleonore Porter (SM). 100 free: 1. Kristen Myers (FC) 52.76, 2. LaRochelle (SM), 3. Maggie Stovall (SM), 4. April Forsthoffer (SH). 100 IM: 1. LaRochelle (SM) 58.56, 2. Myers (FC), 3. Forsthoffer (SH), Grider (O). 200 medley relay: 1. Signal Mountain 1:50.71, 2. Fairyland, 3. Stuart Heights, 4. Dalton.

<p style="text-align: center;">15-18 boys</p>50 breast: 1. Chris Butler (SH) 27.58, 2. Sam McHugh (SM), 3. Will Raines (SH), 4. Pierce Lively (Rin). 100 free: 1. McHugh (SM) 46.71, 2. Raines (SH), 3. Jon Lancaster (Rin), 4. Ethan Young (D). 100 IM: 1. McHugh (SM) 52.41, T-2. Lancaster (Rin), T-2. Young (D), 4. Raines (SH). 200 medley relay: 1. Stuart Heights 1:38.79, 2. Dalton, 3. Signal Mountain, 4. Ringgold.