The Marlins rose to the occasion to defeat their rival Ringgold Tigersharks 397.5-374.5 in an exciting Chattanooga Association Swim League swimming meet at Gilbert Stephenson Park Pool.
The win marked the first Fort Oglethorpe victory over Ringgold in two years.
“It means the world for us to beat Ringgold,” Knight said. “They’re always such tough competitors. It feels so good to finally beat them after losing two meets to them last year.”
Knight refused to boast about the biggest win of her coaching career, but admitted the victory was special.
“This was definitely a sweet victory,” she said.
Marlins’ swimmer Courtney Kay is only 12 years old, but she knows the importance of a victory over Fort Oglethorpe’s top nemesis.
“This is so great beating Ringgold,” the enthusiastic youngster said. “Ringgold is our biggest rival and they always will be. Truthfully, we thought they would smoke us after losing in such a close meet to East Ridge.”
Ringgold’s loss to the Marlins came only one week after a heartbreaking 375-369 loss to powerhouse East Ridge.
The Marlins Lyndse Milhorn was also overjoyed at her team’s surprise accomplishment.
“It feels great to finally beat Ringgold,” Milhorn said. “They’re a good team and they made us work hard.”
Despite her teams’ efforts, Tigersharks Coach Beth
Chappelear wouldn’t deny she was disappointed after losing such a close meet to a rival.
“It was an incredibly close meet,” Chappelear said. “But anytime Ringgold and Fort Oglethorpe swim against each other it’s a close meet.”
The Tigersharks entered the last two events ahead by one point, following a six-point Marlins lead at the halfway point.
Chappelear said she was stunned with her team’s performance.
“I asked the kids if there was anyone who gave 100 percent and nobody could say they did,” Chappelear said. “I really feel like if they had pushed themselves we would have beaten Fort Oglethorpe.”
The Tigersharks will compete against Fort Oglethorpe on Thursday, July 11, at Ringgold.
Elizabeth Smedema and Spencer Rowe led the Marlins with 19 points, while Rob Cofer, Rebecca Miller and Ashley Greene contributed 17. Ashley Farmer and Leanne Strickland added 15.
Sarah List, Brent Robinson and Jonathan Anderson led the Tigersharks with 19 points each, while Landon Stone and Brittany and Andrew Clifford added 17.
Chris Chow earned 16 points, while Mitch Chow and Landry Taylor added 15.
Fort Oglethorpe has a bye on Thursday, but Ringgold will host Ridgeside on June 27.
The Marlins next meet is slated for Monday, July 1, against Calhoun, in Fort Oglethorpe