With a 3-5 league record and a fourth-place Blue Division finish, the Dalton Dolphins entered the Chattanooga Area Swim League's annual Bill Caulkins City Meet as afterthoughts for the title.
What a difference a weekend can make.
Friday and Saturday at the Arlene Crye Municipal Pool in Fort Oglethorpe's Gilbert Stephenson Park, Dalton won the meet with 2,201 points. The CASL title also completed many of the Dolphins' goal of winning their swimming triple crown after earning both regional and state championships during their high school season.
"We know we could've had better showings this league season, but I didn't need to do any motivating to get the kids ready for a big meet like this," Dalton coach Jason Meszaros said. "I could really tell they all wanted to win this. Winning their triple crown is all they've been talking about, and I'm proud of them for going out and doing what they said they would do."
Dalton won the meet in 2015 and finished second to the Signal Mountain Green Giants in 2016 and 2017.
The Ooltewah Tidal Waves were runners-up with 1,954.5 points after going 8-0 and winning the Blue Division for the first time. The second-place showing also was their best ever in the meet, where they were third last year and fourth the two seasons before that.
Signal Mountain was third with 1,929 points, and Stuart Heights was fourth at 1,907.5. The Chattanooga Golf & Country Club Wavemakers from the Red Division rounded out the top five with 1,179.5 points, and the Cleveland Aqua Tigers were sixth out of 13 teams with 776.
Saturday evening's finals were interrupted by a long weather delay.
Contact John Mitchell at email@example.com.