More than 400 people gathered around the pool at Mosby Park Thursday evening for the final swim meet of the year for the Mosby Park Waterdogs. Parking was at a premium along Inman Street.
The Waterdogs, a developmental swimming team, narrowly lost the sixth and final competitive event of the season as the Hamilton Hurricanes pulled out a 377.5 to 367.5 decision.
The loss levels the Waterdogs’ record to 3 and 3, with the Chattanooga Area Swim League City Championship still ahead.
Several Waterdog swimmers had an outstanding meet, despite the loss. The top point-getter was Madison Pruett with 19 points. Christian Torbett added 18 to the team’s total.
Julie Bryant and Bristol Snider boosted the final tally by contributing 17 points each. Other swimmers with double figures in points included Pete Davis, John Bryant and Bella Plate with 15 apiece, Zoey Browder (13), Taylor Pruett (12), Tanya Sharma (11.5), Sean Moran (11), Anna Harvey (10).
The next competitive event for the Waterdogs will be the league championship at Fort Oglethorpe on July 16-17.
The Waterdogs compete in Division 2 of the 16-team league and have done well in the team’s seven-year history.
Coaches Ron and Karen Snider, and their daughter Kristy, worked together to begin the team in 2004 with 50 swimmers. “It took 40 years to get a second swim team in Cleveland, Karen Snider said Thursday evening.
The number of swimmers doubled in the team’s second year (2005) to 100, and the Waterdogs won their division and the city meet. Over the past seven years the Waterdogs have won the City title three times.
Kristy Snider, who began swimming as a 7-year-old, was a standout swimmer at Baylor School prior to her graduation two years ago. She is the head coach and mentoring coordinator.
Her mother, Karen, emphasized that the Waterdogs are a developmental swim team, in that the swimmers are taught many things in addition to swimming. The swimmers help to maintain the Mosby Park Pool and contribute in other ways to the community.
The team has grown from the original 50 swimmers to 140 sign-ups this season.
Kristy Snider, 19, is now a student at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, working on a degree in special education.
Another special event Thursday evening was that this was the final swim meet for Hannah Beavers, who has been a member of the Waterdogs for six years. Beavers is a Walker Valley High School graduate and has reached the limit of her eligibility.
Beavers is attending Cleveland State Community College and working toward a degree in sports medicine.
The Sniders emphasized that the swim team in a community effort with many parents, grandparents and other caregivers providing volunteer help with the program.
Although a limited number swimmers can earn points in league events, practice laps are held prior to the competition so all team members get to participate.