February 8, 2013

Going and coming

Dale, Young lead way for Cats in pool

Dalton High School senior Taylor Dale needed one day to build a legacy that caused his coach to put him above all other swimmers he has seen.

But in three years, freshman teammate Ethan Young could rise above Dale’s lofty level.

Dale and Young are part of the group competing for the Catamounts today and Saturday in the Class A-5A state championship meet at Georgia Tech. They hope to win a slew of individual titles and also a team championship.

At last season’s Class A-4A state meet, Dale won three state championships — two individual titles, the 100-yard backstroke and 100 butterfly, and one relay, the 200 medley. The performance caused Dalton coach Charles Todd to say after Dale’s final race that he “has the most talent” of anyone in the program’s history.

“I’ve coached Olympic swimmers, and he’s probably got the most talent out of anyone I’ve seen,” Todd said a year ago. “He potentially could be the best.”

This season, Dale will defend his title and also go for a crown in the 400 freestyle, an event he finished fourth in last year. He could graduate with seven individual state titles, far exceeding what Todd calls the highest level any Dalton High swimmer has achieved.

“I’ve had double winners, but never triple,” he said.

This year Young — who watched Dale’s accomplishments from the side last season as an eighth-grader for whom the buzz was already building — will help Dale on each relay team and compete against him in each individual event.

In the 100 backstroke, Dale is the top seed and Young is second. In the 100 butterfly, Dale is second and Young is third.

“We’ve been talking a lot about sweeping the podium in both events,” Dale said, noting junior Taylor Mathis also will compete in the events. “Maybe we can win both relays and hopefully come home with the whole state championship.”

Todd doesn’t mind comparing Dale and Young beyond similar times.

“Their underwaters are similar, very strong under water,” Todd said. “Head to head, Taylor probably beats him under water. Ethan has great turnover, really strong above water with his arms. Taylor has really strong legs and great technique.”

Young holds the USA Swimming 14-and-under national record for the 200 backstroke with a time of 1 minute, 46.56 seconds. He also earned the respect of Dale long ago.

The two have competed with and against one another for nine years through the Carpet Capital Aquatics Club, competed together at last year’s USA Swimming 2012 Speedo Junior National Championships in Indianapolis and the USA Swimming Speedo Winter Junior Nationals in Knoxville, Tenn. Dale won the 100 backstroke (55.98) with the 19th-fastest time in the world in the 18-and-under group and 44th fastest for all ages.

“He’s like an older brother to me,” Young said.

Young also hears comparisons to the senior from friends, people at school and strangers. However, it doesn’t affect him beyond the random occurrence of the two being on the same high school team, even if for only one season.

“It’s pretty cool for this little small town in the northwest corner of Georgia to have two really fast nationwide-ranked swimmers,” Young said, noting the two have built a healthy but competitive friendship in the pool.

The freshman said he can beat Dale in the 200 backstroke, but that’s it. Considering he’s just a freshman, he’ll have a lot of time to catch up to Dale’s senior times in the other events. And he’s getting a relative head start.

Dale did not devote himself entirely to swimming until he quit baseball after his freshman year.

“My freshman year in the 100 backstroke, I was going (55 seconds). He’s going 49,” Dale said. “Over the years, he has just had swimming and has accomplished a lot and is still young.”

Todd said it shows, because Dale as a freshman wasn’t as good as Young is now.

“He’s faster than Michael Phelps was at 14,” Todd said. “He’s got that great potential (ahead of him). He can either do something with it or he can shy away from it.

“A lot of people shy away from it, because it’s too hard. They want to be great but don’t want to sacrifice the time. Taylor has sacrificed time to be great.”

Text Only
  • CHS Lowe_Bartley 3 mlh.jpg Let’s keep playing

    Academic offerings played a big part in which college football program nabbed Christian Heritage School’s Nich Bartley, one of the area’s top players in 2013.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep roundup: Coahulla Creek hurts N. Murray’s playoff hopes

    One play in the fifth inning, during which the sun got in pitcher Braiden Jacobs’ eyes, seemed to encapsulate the entire season for Coahulla Creek High School’s baseball team.
    But it could be one rule misinterpretation that defines the season for North Murray.

    April 17, 2014

  • NW region tennis 3 mlh.jpg Region tennis roundup: Six area teams clinch spots in state

    Dalton High School’s tennis teams finished their business quickly on the first day of the Region 7-4A tournament.
    Coach David Hilley had no problem with that.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Region track day 2 2 mlh.jpg All the way to the top

    En route to the Region 7-4A track and field championship Wednesday as the host school, Dalton High’s boys team found out what a difference a year makes.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Area middle school roundup: CHS girls soccer team earns shutout win

    Olivia Idom had the lone goal as Christian Heritage’s middle school girls soccer team beat Gladden 1-0 on Monday.

    April 17, 2014

  • After Deadline episode 21 (free)

    This week on “After Deadline,” The Daily Citizen sports writers Devin Golden and Chris Whitfield discuss the Northwest Whitfield High School baseball team’s prospects in the state playoffs now that the Bruins have clinched the Sub-region 7B-4A title and will compete next week for a region championship.

    April 16, 2014

  • Region track '14 8 mlh.jpg Battling the elements

    A bitterly cold wind was disruptive enough to shake up the schedule Tuesday at the opening day of the Region 7-4A track and field meet at Dalton High School.
    But those tough conditions didn’t stop some local athletes from excelling.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Raiders clinch spot in soccer state tournament

    With the formalities of earning a GHSA Class 4A boys state soccer berth out of the way, Southeast Whitfield immediately turned its attention to a little sibling rivalry.

    April 15, 2014

  • Prep roundup: Bruins set up region semis vs. Southeast

    With a roller coaster regular season behind it, Northwest Whitfield High School’s boys soccer team is back in its comfort zone.

    April 15, 2014

  • ‘After Deadline’ turns focus on Morris soccer

    This week on “After Deadline,” The Daily Citizen sports writers Devin Golden and Chris Whitfield discuss the Northwest Whitfield High School baseball team’s prospects in the state playoffs now that the Bruins have clinched the Sub-region 7B-4A title and will compete next week for a region championship.

    April 15, 2014