June 24, 2014

Bingham speeds to success with Dolphins

Reese Bingham’s name often appears at the top of the list of point-scorers for the Dalton Dolphins.

Success in the Chattanooga Area Swim League (CASL) could be just the start.

Bingham, 14, is one of the league’s fastest swimmers, and Dolphins coach Charles Todd believes she is quick enough to be a top swimmer on the state level, too.

Bingham helped the Dolphins improve to 5-0 in CASL competition with a 394-363 victory against Ooltewah (Tenn.) on Monday at the Dalton Park and Recreation Department’s John Davis Recreation Center. Bingham was one of four Dalton swimmers — along with Will Haley, Emilio Valdez and Ethan Young — who scored the meet maximum of 19 individual points.

Also scoring in double digits for the Dolphins were Alex Mashburn and Cole Withrow (17); Carlin Hudson, Raul Valdez and Roman Valdez (15); Shawn Bailey and Franco Valdez (14); Mary Pike and Payton Woodring (13); Waseem Albaba, Tanner Storey and Bruno Valdez (12); and Tyler Stephenson and Kaylin Woodring (11).

It was Bingham’s second time scoring the maximum amount of points and her fifth time in double digits this season.

“She may have been a top point-scorer last year in the CASL City Meet,” said Todd, who’s also the head coach for the USA Swimming-sanctioned Carpet Capital Aquatic Club (CCAC), a year-round program, as well as Dalton High School. “She’s one of the fastest in north Georgia and Chattanooga.”

Bingham, who will be a ninth-grader at Christian Heritage School this year, has been a competitive swimmer with the Dolphins and the CCAC for five years. She’s also a volleyball player, competing in that sport at Christian Heritage — but she prefers swimming.

“Volleyball and other sports are more of a team thing,” Bingham said. “This also is a team thing, but it’s more individual-based. You only need to focus on yourself.”

Todd classified Bingham as a “sprinter,” meaning she specializes in short-distance events. Todd said she’s a strong freestyle swimmer and regularly competes in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle events.

“There are a lot of college swimmers who swim 25 (seconds) in the 50 free,” Todd said. “She’s about 25.2.”

Bingham said the difference between a short-distance swimmer and one specializing in longer distances is pace.

“With sprinting, there isn’t any holding back,” she said. “With longer events, you’re holding back until the end. In sprints, you set your tempo with your first stroke.”

Todd said the last “good nucleus” of strong female swimmers for the Dalton High School and CCAC programs was in 2010. Since then, Todd has coached multiple-time Georgia High School Association (GHSA) individual state champions in Taylor Dale, Taylor Mathis and Pierson Scarborough — who have all since graduated — and rising junior Ethan Young. Dalton High’s boys swimming and diving team won the GHSA Class A-5A state title in 2013.

Bingham could be the area’s next exceptional high school female swimmer, Todd said.

“She is a solid swimmer,” Todd said, “and I could see her going to the high school level and succeeding.”

That depends on her opportunity, though.

Christian Heritage doesn’t currently have a swimming and diving team, but Randy Russell, a Christian Heritage parent and supporter who was at Monday’s Dolphins meet, said there are discussions to begin a program at the school, even if it’s for just a handful of swimmers. While Dalton High School has had a team since 1974, the past few years have seen increased interest in high school swimming and diving in the area as Northwest Whitfield (2007), Coahulla Creek (2012) and Southeast Whitfield (2013) have all added teams.

The sport’s high school regular season focuses on packing the schedule with meets and invitationals, giving individuals more opportunities to qualify for the GHSA state meet. Even if a school doesn’t have enough to field a competitive team for meets, individuals still can win championships because qualifying for state is based on an individual meeting certain pre-set time standards.

If Christian Heritage starts a team, Bingham will be there.

“It wouldn’t be a complete team,” Bingham said, “but I can compete in meets. That’s the point of starting it.”

The Dolphins compete again next Monday, hosting top rival Signal Mountain (Tenn.) at 5:30 p.m.

Text Only
  • Report: Boggs now with Giants

    Dalton’s Mitchell Boggs has signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants, according to Contract information, along with which minor league affiliate Boggs, a pitcher, will start with, was not available in the report, and Boggs was not listed on any of the online rosters for any of the Giants’ minor league affiliates.

    July 21, 2014

  • SE wrestling practice 5 mlh.jpg Herndon leaving Raiders to coach at Calhoun; new coach named at SE Whitfield

    Michael Herndon’s successful three-year run as Southeast Whitfield High School’s wrestling coach has come to an end.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Hipp makes cut at qualifying tourney

    Chatsworth golfer Colby Hipp earned the chance to play on today in a U.S. Amateur qualifying tournament at Reynolds Plantation-Great Waters in Eatonton.

    July 21, 2014

  • 7on7 day 2 '14 17 mlh.jpg Devin Golden: Friday signals gridiron days’ official start

    Seven-on-seven football was a good placeholder, but it’s time to begin talking about the real thing.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • CCAC-B&W.jpg CCAC has strong showing at 14-and-under state meet

    The Carpet Capital Aquatics Club had 16 club records broken in a 12th-place finish at the 2014 Georgia 14-and-under Long Course State Championship meet Saturday at Georgia Tech’s swimming facility.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Loran Smith: Golf now in era of McIlroy after Open

    Royal & Ancient officials, under whose auspices the Open championship is conducted each year, were blessed with a sun-kissed start of the final round of the 143rd playing of this historic event.

    July 21, 2014

  • Motocross kid 6 mlh.jpg Dirt, gas and guts

    Lucas Amos is like a lot of other 6-year-olds who will be going into first grade at Tunnel Hill Elementary this school year.
    He likes to play the video game sensation Minecraft, building different structures and fending off zombies when the sun goes down. He likes to spend time with his grandparents, traveling around the Southeast with them most every weekend.
    And he likes to play in the dirt.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Loran Smith: McIlroy at his peak at Hoylake

    HOYLAKE, England — It’s the setting which enraptures those who appreciate the things that accompany a championship, The British refuse to let a downpour or two, intermittent and inconvenient, to make them fret.

    July 20, 2014

  • MMA guys 1 mlh.jpg Up close and personal

    Dustin Dyer remembers his first fight — and he has wisdom to share with North Georgia Hayastan Mixed Martial Arts Academy’s three new mixed martial arts fighters.
    “It’s just another day in the gym,” Dyer said, “just with a bigger crowd. Here (in the gym) is where you work. Out there is fun.”

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Loran Smith: Change is needed for major titles

    HOYLAKE, England — This is a good time to be Bubba Watson — long off the tee which brings golf aficionados through the gates, two Masters titles which puts him in the pantheon of the greats at Augusta, deal-makers hovering about, more perks than a palace prince, exempt status to the end of the decade and a cash flow that resembles a raging river.

    July 19, 2014