published Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Signal repeats as CASL champ

Madison Pritchard,14, competes for Signal Mountain in the girls 13-14 50 Yard Butterfly during the 2011 CASL Swimming Championships held at Warner Park in Chattanooga on Saturday.
Madison Pritchard,14, competes for Signal Mountain in the girls 13-14 50 Yard Butterfly during the 2011 CASL Swimming Championships held at Warner Park in Chattanooga on Saturday.
Photo by Alex Washburn.

Signal Mountain’s depth of swimmers led to more depth on its list of Chattanooga Area Swim League championships.

The Green Giants on Saturday won their fifth consecutive title, outdistancing second-place Dalton at Warner Park, 2,231.5 points to 2,153.5.

“It’s different every single year,” Signal Mountain second-year coach Matt Limerick said. “There’s a lot to be said just being at Warner Park. Warner Park brings out the best in everybody.”

Actually Dalton had more “bests” than Signal Mountain. Four Dolphins were the high-point scorers in their age group to the Green Giants’ one.

Sam McHugh in the 15-18 boys’ age group set Signal Mountain’s only meet record (200-yard freestyle). Dalton’s Taylor Dale was high-point in the same age group with 97 and set three meet records.

“We had some fantastic swims. I felt like we outswam them the last time, but we came up short,” Dalton coach Charles Todd said of his team’s only dual-meet loss this season. “They have so many kids, it’s hard to jump ahead of them.”

Signal Mountain’s Emily Pritchard scored 92 points and led the 9-10 girls. Limerick praised her performance along with those of Jacob Sosna (15-18 boys), Jamee Mitchum (9-10 girls) and Lila Grace Edwards (8-under girls).

The Dolphins and Green Giants split during the regular season and Dalton won the Blue Division with a 7-1 mark.

“I felt like underdogs,” Limerick said of the city meet. “Dalton was just strong this year. I was real proud of ours this weekend, just watching them race. We had a team meeting before the finals and I told them, ‘My coaching is done. It’s up to you guys. Who wants it most?’”

Dale, a Dalton High School junior, set meet records in the 100 individual medley (52.29 seconds), 50 butterfly (23.1) and 50 backstroke (23.6). Yet he said he was most proud that he won a breaststroke event.

“He’s strong in all the strokes,” Todd said.

Among Dalton’s other high-point age-group winners was Ethan Young, who totaled 100 points in the 13-14 boys’ group. Nash Bingham (80 points, boys) and Abby O’Ferrall (94, girls) paced the 8-under groups.

Stuart Heights finished third with 2,117 points. Arden Pittman’s 100 points led the 15-18 girls, and Max Ransom’s 94 led the 9-10 boys.

Fourth-place Fairyland Club was the Red Division’s highest finishing team with 1,625.5 points. Kristen Myers with 97 (13-14 girls) and Ethan Bevil with 88 (11-12 boys) topped their age groups.

Ninth overall finisher Chattanooga Golf & Country Club led all White Division teams with 660 points.

Fort Oglethorpe’s Abbey Vernon (97) was high-point among the 11-12 girls.

about Kelley Smiddie...

Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or ksmiddie@timesfreepress.com.

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