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Sugarwood, Village Green vie for swim supremacy

A new sports rivalry was born in Farragut’s Sugarwood Community Wednesday, June 22.

Meanwhile, within that new rivalry, a five-year streak of dominance is extending into year No. 6 in Stingray Country.

The Sugarwood Stingrays’ community swim team — featuring children ages 8-and-under to 18 — extended its five-year regular season Greater Knoxville Area Interclub Swimming Association dual meet victory streak past 40. Its new rival, the Village Green Gators, was the victim by a mere 18 points (382-364) at Sugarwood pool.“We’ve been on a roll for five years, we’ve been very, very fortunate,” said Jim Rooney, Sugarwood team representative and meet director, adding that Sugarwood remains unbeaten in GKAISA dual league summer swim meets in the new millennium while moving up one level each year.

“We won League One (2000), League Two (2001), League Three (2002), League Four (2003) and League Five (2004).

“Now they’ve moved us up to League Six, so we’re at the top of the food chain now, if you will,” Rooney added about Sugarwood’s 2-0 record entering a Tuesday, June 28, meet vs. Knoxville Racquet Club where the long winning streak was on the line (after press deadline).

Because the two teams have been in different leagues prior to 2005, this was the first-ever-dual meet between Sugarwood and Village Green.

“Being able to swim against them was just a dream, you know,” Rooney said. “To compete the way that we did and come out on top was just a lot of fun. ... For five years we’ve been hoping to be in the same league as them one day. Actually I’ve held that team in high regard, and that coach [Anita Dinwiddie] in high regard. I’m a big fan of their team. ... It’s a very friendly rivalry.”

Dinwiddie, whose team entered the week with an 0-1-1 record, said the new rivalry is natural because “the neighborhoods are so close to each other and a lot of the kids go to Farragut [schools]. ... We were anticipating a pretty close meet, and in hindsight I thought we did pretty well. He [Sugarwood head coach Gregory Williams] has some really great swimmers.”

As for the size of last week’s meet, “No one has come into Farragut and had a bigger swim meet that I’m aware of,” Rooney said, adding that almost 300 children (291) participated at the Sugarwood pool Wednesday evening — 173 from Village Green and 118 from Sugarwood.

That doesn’t include a few hundred parents and siblings lining the pool and surrounding area. “It was crazy volume,” Rooney said. “GKAISA is one of the biggest organizations ... and we’re at the top of the league and top of the volume in terms of the swim teams. It doesn’t get much bigger.”

The “top food chain” of League Six also includes Benington-Farrington, Green Meadow Country Club (Maryville) and Crestwood Hills.

GKAISA’s annual City Meet is at the University of Tennessee Student Aquatic Center July 29-31.


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