The summer swimming season is one highlighted by good times at the pool, friendly competition and showcasing strong effort and heart.Despite a change of scenery for their most recent home meet, all …
The summer swimming season is one highlighted by good times at the pool, friendly competition and showcasing strong effort and heart.
Despite a change of scenery for their most recent home meet, all of the above were on display as the Cleveland Waterdogs swam strong to a 420.5-339.5 victory over the Ridgeside Dolphins at Tinsley Pool Monday evening.
Led by five swimmers who scored the maximum 19 points, Tony Womac came away extremely pleased as his team improved to 1-1 overall on the season in the White Division of the Chattanooga Area Swim League.
"We all had a great time," said third-year head coach Womac whose team swam at the home pool of the Cleveland Aqua Tigers as minor work was done at the Cleveland Community Center Pool. "The other week we started the season a little undermanned down at Red Bank. We had a lot of older swimmers on vacation. A lot of the newer swimmers stepped up. Everyone has experience and is growing. I feel like we are going to start rolling."
Landing perfect scores for the Waterdogs were Jessica Landberg (15-18 girls), Gracelyn Dauphinais (8-and-under girls), Brendon Ruckman (15-18 boys), Davina Sharma (13-14 girls) and Xavier Ragin (11-12 boys).
Sharma was untouchable as she finished every race often more than a half lap ahead of all her competition.
Ragin also put forth one of his most complete performances yet as he and many others show signs of taking off.
"Xavier and a lot of our swimmers are showing a lot of improvement," said Womac, who coaches many of his swimmers year round in Athens and Cleveland. "From the 9-11 age group range we are seeing a group that is starting to get stronger and more coordinated. They are starting to drop time every week."
Katie Estes also impressed and is one of the two senior leaders for her team this summer along with Maya Sharma.
Estes finished with 17 points along with reigning city meet champion Elijah Bean (8-and-under).
"Katie and Maya are tremendous leaders and have so much love for this group," Womac said. "They mean so much to our team and I am blessed to have them. They make this group better all-around."
Brady Adams and the men's 15-18 200-yard freestyle relay team of Mason Cross, Noah Thornton and Ruckman finished the meet in strong fashion.
As the anchor leg of the relay, Adams touched the final wall several seconds ahead of a strong relay for Ridgeside.
At the end of the meet max effort awards for the Waterdogs went to Pollianna Moshenskiy (11-12 girls) and Will Brod (6-and-under boys).
Both displayed never-quit mindsets and battled to the finish line.
"Pollianna has a broken wrist, but she said she was going to swim no matter what," Womac said of his swimmer who wore a pink cast. "She swam a tough event and had so much spirit tonight.
"Will has only been swimming for two weeks, so he is brand new. He got a little over his head in the backstroke and had to be saved by the lifeguards, but then he made up for it in the free relay and finished strong."
A total of 10 swimmers finished with 15 points or more for the Waterdogs, as Anna Nater put forth 16 followed by Martin Shapoval with 15 along with Adams.
Others to score in double figures were: Audrey Torchick, Kailey Ruckman (13), Madalyn Dauphinais (12), Nikolai Shpoval, Jae Dauphinais (11), Jack Chandler, Ethan Griffey, Timothy Collier (10).
With a strong swimming "family," Womac is excited about the direction the program is headed in.
"Tonight the Synder family was here and they were the ones who helped start this team," he said. "It's families like the Cross' that have picked up and ran with it from there. Kim (Cross) and her family are so dedicated and responsible for so much that goes behind it. The Estes family has been here and paid their dues too you could say.
"We are in the third year of what my goals and visions are for this team and it wouldn't come to fruition if not for all of their help. We love this family and can't wait to see what the future holds."
The Waterdogs will look to start to build a winning streak as they will travel to face the Cumberland Currents this Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
The two will also face off again Monday, as the Cleveland Community Center Pool will welcome its home team back for the 6 p.m. meet.
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