CHATTANOOGA — The 2014 Bill Caulkins City Meet drew to a close Saturday evening, and with it came the conclusion of the Chattanooga Area Swim League summer swim season.
The Cleveland Aqua Tigers finished the event in seventh place, with a total of 665 points.
“Saturday we saw Grayson Payne, Jacob McDaniel and Ben Cooper perform really well,” CAT coach Mark Garaguso declared.
The Waterdogs finished 11th in the City Meet with 315 points.
“All of the kids did really well this Saturday and we ended with lots of best times. Brian Lineberry, Jadyn Dauphinais, Davina Sharma, Julie Bryant, Ashley Bryant, Brendon Ruckman, Tanya Sharma, Anna Garner and multiple relays made the finals,” Waterdogs coach Jocelyn Fennell stated. “One of our eight and unders, Elizabeth Andrews, had to do a swim off for one of the alternate spots. It was only her second time at City Meet and she did awesome.”
CAT’s Grayson Payne was the City Meet high point winner in the 11-12 girls with a total of 100 points.
The high point swimmer also set a new CASL record in the 50-yard backstroke swim, with her time of 28.55 earning her a first place finish in the finals. The previous record was set back in 2009.
Payne claimed first in the 50-yard butterfly finals, finishing with a time of 27.91.
The Aqua Tigers’ 11-12 girls 200 free relay finished third in the finals, with the Waterdogs coming in right behind them at fourth.
Alexia Jackson gave CAT a third place finish in the 9-10 girls 50-yard fly.
The Aqua Tigers saw some top four finishes in the 9-10 boys finals by Jacob McDaniel and Grayson Officer.
McDaniel finished first in the 50-yard backstroke with a time of 35.21 and also came in third in the 50-yard freestyle final.
Officer finished fourth in the 50-yard fly.
CAT’s 9-10 boys 200-yard freestyle relay finished second behind Dalton.
For Coach Garaguso, one of his favorite moments of the meet was when the boys 13-14 relay surprised him qualified for the finals.
“Really, I love it when any of my swimmers catch me off guard by performing better than expected,” Garaguso stated.
Coach Fennell enjoyed watching the kids react to their accomplishments in the Warner Park Pool.
“Seeing the expressions on their faces when they got those best times and made finals was definitely the highlight of the City Meet,” Fennell described.
With the City Meet over, both Cleveland area first year swim coaches had time to reflect on their favorite memories of the season.
“I would have to say that our first win was a proud moment,” Fennell commented. “Then, anytime the kids got excited about a best race, a win or any accomplishment was definitely a good moment.”
For the Aqua Tigers’ coach, working with the young swimmers was a high point.
“The best part of my season was coaching my 8 and under swimmers because I love how they have so much fun at practice,” Garaguso reflected.