There wasn’t a whole lot of celebration going on at the Dalton Recreation Center swimming pool Monday night, even though the Dalton Dolphins routed rival Signal Mountain, 473-309.

The Dolphins are shooting at a much bigger prize — the Chattanooga Area Swim League Championship next month.

“This is a friendly rivalry but we want to show them who’s boss,” said the Dolphins’ Lindsey Martin, who won the freestyle, breaststroke, individual medley and swam on the winning medley relay team in her age group. “We want to get them in the city meet. We should have a good shot at them this year.”

Monday’s victory was Dalton’s third in a row starting the season and the Dolphins appear to be in good shape to defend their championship in the Blue Division, the league’s strongest. Signal Mountain fell to 1-1, but has won the last 16 postseason CASL Championship meets.

The Dolphins wouldn’t mind breaking that streak.

“They have some top dogs and we have some top dogs,” Dalton’s Jeremy Jackson said poolside. “This is a big meet. They are our biggest rivals and these two meets during the season with them are usually a preview of the city championships.”

Dalton has finished second to Signal Mountain in the past two CASL Championships. The Dolphins have beaten their chief rivals in three consecutive regular-season meets.

“Winning like this tonight should keep our momentum going,” Jackson said. “Last year we beat them twice but they won the city meet, which is like our Super Bowl. We want to win the big meet and we’ve come out with a vengeance this year. We’re not out here playing around.”

As the final score indicated.

“I knew we had a good chance to win coming into the meet, but I expected it to be a 30- or 40-point difference,” said Dolphins assistant coach Jason Meszaros, who was running the meet due to coach Charles Todd’s late arrival from a seniors meet in Daytona, Fla. “To win by 164 proves that our kids wanted to put on a good show.”

Meszaros said he was shocked at the final point difference.

Maybe he shouldn’t have been. Dalton has won its three meets by an average of 145.3 points.

“I knew our kids would be strong, but I thought Signal Mountain would be tougher,” he said. “But we wanted to show everybody in the league that we mean to win it all this year.”

Nelson Rhinehart, who like Jackson is in his final year of summer league swimming, said Dalton and other league members are always going against Signal Mountain’s tradition.

“You always want to beat these guys,” Rhinehart said. “Winning the Blue Division last year was nice, but we want to win that again and take the city championships, too. I want to go out with a bang.”

Martin led a group of five swimmers with a maximum of 19 points for the Dolphins. Joining her were Tanner Storey, Chas Jones, Michael Zuppa and Rebecca Davis.

At 18 were Tess Shaheen and Jackson.

Peyton Maret, Pryce Scarborough and Maranda Storey all had 17 while Luis Rosales, Joana Rosales, Stephen Jones and Taylor Dale finished with 15.

Rhinehart, Maddie Scarborough and Taylor Mathis had 14 points and Kameron Hawkins added 12. Macie Maret, Cristian Shaheen, Nicole Rhinehart, Monica Souther and Harris News had 11 and Jacob Myers contributed 10.

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