Swimming in medals
Dalton's swimming program has long been one of the strongest in Northwest Georgia, and the Cats had a record day at the Class A-4A state swimming meet in February.
Junior individual standout Taylor Dale won a pair of events — the 100-yard backstroke in 48.84 seconds and the 100 butterfly in 48.55 seconds, which set a new GHSA state record for the event — and he teamed with Pierson Scarborough, Omar Faraq and Wil Cushman to win the 200 medley relay. Scarborough also won an individual title in the 100 breaststroke. It was perhaps the strongest year in swimming for the area with four state titles, Dale winning a 200-yard backstroke national title and Ethan Young setting a new national age-group record in the 200 backstroke in the fall.
First of three?
When Dalton High’s Sidney Wheeler blazed through the Class 3A ranks in the 182-pound weight class, he did it while overshadowed by nearby wrestling powerhouses and slotted seniors ready to end on a good note. After Wheeler won the Area 7-3A championship, he finished second in the West Sectionals to advance to state.
Then came his storybook come-from-behind 18-12 state championship victory against West Laurens’ Demetrius Green. At one point, the Catamount trailed 9-3.
In the quarterfinals, it was much of the same.
He faced Allatoona’s Cody Webb, who Wheeler beat for the area title, and fell behind in the closing seconds before pinning his rival with just seconds remaining.
Just a sophomore when he won the title, he made it clear his goal is to leave a three-time state champion, and he’s currently entrenched on the road to No. 2 right now.
The area has been blessed with state champions — both team and individuals — throughout the history of sports in Whitfield and Murray counties. But the rarity is something to always celebrate, and Dalton was doubly blessed in the spring of this year.
Lady Cats golfer Brendie Rockholt and track star Susan Meinders both claimed state titles within weeks of each other.
Meinders, who was a standout in several events, won the Class 3A 300 hurdles at the state meet in Albany, finishing 18-hundreths of a second ahead of the competition with a time of 44.21. A couple of weeks later, Rockholt brought home the state title after shooting a 6-over-par 78 at Applewood Golf Course near Augusta.
Rockholt also won the region title at Indian Trace with a 7-over 79, while Rockholt was involved in five events for the track team.