July 13, 2014

Dolphins own the ‘City’

Victory a last splash for exiting coach

Charles Todd got his wish.

The Dalton Dolphins coach is leaving as a champion.

The Dolphins had 2,380 team points when the Chattanooga Area Swim League’s annual Bill Caulkins City Meet ended Saturday night at Warner Park in Chattanooga. They easily defeated top rival Signal Mountain (Tenn.), which finished second with 2,032 points.

Tennessee’s Ooltewah (1,631), Chattanooga’s Stuart Heights (1,454) and Lookout Mountain’s Fairyland Club (1,140) rounded out the top five at the two-day meet, which brought together all three divisions and all 15 teams from the CASL in a quest for the postseason championship.

“I enjoyed going out on top,” said Todd, who after 17 years coaching swimming at the recreation or school level in the Dalton area starts Monday as the director of the Chattahoochee Gold, a year-round USA Swimming program in the metro Atlanta area.

The Dolphins completed a season sweep, winning the Blue Division regular season title and following with a rare City Meet title. Signal Mountain, the Dolphins’ top rival, has won nine City Meet titles since 2003, with the Dolphins claiming the other three.

Thep Green Giants won last year despite the Dolphins claiming the regular season title for the third year in a row.

Counting this season, the Dolphins have won seven Blue Division crowns since 2005.

In this year’s City Meet, Alex Mashburn, Jonathan Shaheen, Tyler Stephenson and Raul Valdez broke CASL records in the 13-14 boys 400-meter medley relay and 200 freestyle relay.

Todd only knew the record-breaking time for the latter, which was 1 minute, 37.36 seconds. The previous record was 1:37.98.

Dalton’s Will Haley was the high point winner for 9-10 boys, while teammate Emilio Valdez was the high point champion for 11-12 boys. The Dolphins’ Cole Withrow (8-and-younger boys), Raul Valdez (13-14 boys) and Ethan Young (15-18 boys) were high point runners-up in their respective age groups.

“Those guys all dominated the meet,” said Todd, who didn’t know exactly how many points each scored.

Todd has been director of the Carpet Capital Aquatic Club, a year-round USA Swimming program that is also the umbrella organization for the Dolphins, for 17 years. He coached Dalton High School’s boys and girls teams for 16 years and led the boys to the Georgia High School Association’s Class A-5A state championship in 2012-13.

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