Columbus School for Girls swimmer Ranndi Grubbs defeated one of her best friends in the 100-yard freestyle in the Division II district meet Feb. 17 at Ohio State.

Columbus School for Girls swimmer Ranndi Grubbs defeated one of her best friends in the 100-yard freestyle in the Division II district meet Feb. 17 at Ohio State.

Teammate Rachel Politi maintained that she swam more with fun on her mind than pressure.

But the Unicorns let little get in the way of business, clinching seven automatic berths and one at-large spot to the state meet, which began Feb. 22 and continues through Friday, Feb. 24, at Branin Natatorium in Canton.

Grubbs, a senior, finished first in the 100 free (52.83 seconds) and second in the 50 free (24.32). She also helped the 200 free relay to second place (1:39) and the 200 medley relay to fourth place (1:51.8) and at-large berth.

The Unicorns scored 291 points to finish second behind Granville (475) and 13 points ahead of third-place Columbus Academy.

"Today was over and beyond our expectations," coach Chris Chenault said. "Our girls went out of their minds today. In all my years of coaching, I've never seen anything like this. It was phenomenal for these girls. Every single girl just went after their race."

Grubbs edged longtime friend Suzanne Hrabowy of DeSales in the 100 free by .03 of a second and lost to Granville freshman Abby Stone by .11 of a second in the 50 free. She teamed with freshmen Rachel Politi and Kirby Boes and sophomore Erin Balasky in the 200 medley relay and Politi, sophomore Meredith Swartz and junior Erin Smith in the 200 free relay.

"When you're in the water, you're competitors and you have to forget about the friendship," said Grubbs, who is seeded eighth at state in the 50 free and 10th in the 100 free. "But once we were out of the water, (Hrabowy and I) were so happy for each other, and I'm so excited she made it to state with me."

The top two individuals or relays in each swimming event and the top three divers earned automatic berths to state. In addition, 16 at-large berths were awarded in each swimming event based on times from all the district meets.

Politi won the 100 butterfly (56.65) and was second in the 100 backstroke (58.31). She is seeded fourth and sixth at state in those events, respectively.

"I focused on my own race and what I was doing and tried to zone out everything else," she said. "It was more having fun than worrying about the stress of the whole meet. It's just fun coming into this experience."

Balasky, Smith, Swartz and junior Keiko Wilkins guided the 400 free relay to a second-place finish (3:49.22). They are seeded 24th at state, as is senior diver Hailey Armstrong, who finished third (265.1) to qualify.

The 200 free relay is seeded sixth and the 200 medley relay is ninth.

The Unicorns also earned an honor outside the pool when Chenault and Kelly Standley, who share coaching duties, were named Division II Coaches of the Year.

"It's flattering," Chenault said, adding that each swimmer achieved personal-best times at district. "We owe it all to the girls."

•After a bye for the first round of the Division III district tournament, the basketball team will play fifth-seeded Johnstown in a second-round game at 2:45 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at New Albany.

CSG did not play Johnstown during the regular season.

The Johnnies, who are 17-4, defeated Ready 65-52 in a first-round game Feb. 18. Sophomore guard Natalie Carpenter scored 16 of her game-high 23 points in the second half and the Johnnies forced 23 turnovers.

Johnstown, which was 4-17 last year, starts only one senior, forward Sarah Thomas.

After winning their opener, 28-26 over Grandview Heights on Nov. 29, the Unicorns lost their next 19 games by an average margin of 33.6 points. CSG, which went 0-8 in the CCL, is averaging 24.5 points.

Senior forward Jackie Carroll averages a team-best 7.9 points.

This will be the Unicorns' first game since Feb. 11, when they lost 69-17 to Watterson in their regular-season finale.