A new power has emerged in the Chattanooga Area Swim League, and if coach Todd Jones can keep them together, the Ooltewah Tidal Waves may be a force to be reckoned with for years.
Ooltewah won its first Bill Caulkins City Meet title this weekend at Baylor School, led by a dominating young group that helped the Blue Division's 8-0 season champions outdistance Signal Mountain 2,546 points to 2,398.
Dalton finished third with 2,074.5 points, followed by Stuart Heights with 1,936 and Chattanooga Golf & Country Club with 1,201.
"This is very exciting for all the kids and the parents since it's the first time we've ever done it," said Jones, in his fifth season as the Tidal Waves' coach. "We really showed up, especially in the younger age groups. We had a couple of injuries and we had to move some people around, but they all did well.
The 9-10-year-old girls' group was the difference for the winners. Anna Boyd earned that age group's most points with 97, with Ava Gipson second with 91, Cheyenne Carver third with 70 and Hadley Bolton, Emily Nayadley, Kaci Lambeth and Sarah Inman also in the top 12.
"They broke the city record for points in an age group, and our coaches have done a great job with the young group," said Jones, praising assistants Michael Thurman, Stephen Jones, Jack Marshall and Maggie Howell. "They were getting one, two, three constantly. Everybody did a great job and we had a lot of consistency."
The team's young strength also showed at 7-8 girls, where Makayla McInnes led the group with 95 points, with Susannah Inman fourth with 76, and at 9-10 boys, where Noah Holliman had 94 points to lead the group.
Signal Mountain had its usual consistent meet. Jack Kirby led the 17-18 boys group with 92 points, and the Green Giants also received big points from Sydney Gordon in 7-8 girls (79), Ben Hardin in 7-8 boys (77), Sam Laramore in 9-10 boys (80), Avery Mac in 11-12 girls (83), Noah Bernero in 11-12 boys (80) and Cecilia Porter in 15-18 girls (79).
Dalton's top point scorers were Henry Bethel in 15-18 boys (90), London Wagner in 11-12 girls (88), Micah Slemons in 9-10 boys (88) and Alexis Vaughn in 13-14 girls (84). Stuart Heights had a trio of age-group point leaders: Scout Chapin in 11-12 girls (97), Luke Waldrep in 11-12 boys (a meet-best 100 points) and Charlie Han in 13-14 boys (87).
CASL Bill Caulkins City Meet at Baylor
Final team standings: 1. Ooltewah 2,546; 2. Signal Mountain 2,398; 3. Dalton 2,074.5; 4. Stuart Heights 1,936; 5. Chattanooga Golf & Country Club 1,2-1; 6. Fairyland 1,072.5; 7. Cleveland 297; 8. Waterdogs 291.5; 9. Red Bank 243.5; 10. Big Ridge 236; 11. Cumberland 209; 12. Catoosa 119; 13. Ridgeside 105.
Individual point leaders (by age group): 6-under girls — Piper Merritt (Ooltewah) 39; 6-under boys — Kent Wingfield (Fairyland) 40; 7-8 girls — Makayla McInnes (Ooltewah) 95; 7-8 boys — Noah Blake (Red Bank) 97; 9-10 girls — Anna Boyd (Ooltewah) 97; 9-10 boys — Noah Holliman (Ooltewah) 94; 11-12 girls — Scout Chapin (Stuart Heights) 97; 11-12 boys — Luke Waldrep (Stuart Heights) 100; 13-14 girls — Caroline Schenck (Chatt. C&CC) 94; 13-14 boys — Charlie Han (Stuart Heights) 87; 15-18 girls — Ellie Taliaferro (Fairyland) 90; 15-18 boys — Jack Kirby (Signal Mountain) 92.