As she approached her first state meet, freshman Rachel Politi of the Columbus School for Girls swimming and diving team worked on fine-tuning her technique rather than fretting about the atmosphere or expectations.

As she approached her first state meet, freshman Rachel Politi of the Columbus School for Girls swimming and diving team worked on fine-tuning her technique rather than fretting about the atmosphere or expectations.

"She just worked on little things, like getting off the wall faster and getting some yards in and getting some rest," coach Chris Chenault said. "It paid off."

Politi placed third in the 100-yard butterfly (56.26 seconds) and eighth in the 100 backstroke (58.24) in the Division II state meet, which was held Feb. 23 and 24 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. She was district champion in the 100 fly (56.65) and district runner-up in the 100 back (58.31).

"I didn't really have any expectations coming in because this is my first state meet," Politi said. "The girls ahead of me were just so fast, and they deserve it. I'm really excited with how I did, but I know I can improve in a lot of things."

Politi also helped the 200 medley relay to a ninth-place finish (1:50.86) and the 200 freestyle relay to 10th place (1:39.36).

Senior Ranndi Grubbs, who will swim at Liberty University, finished ninth in the 50 free (24.39) and 17th in the 100 free (53.52).

Grubbs also competed with the 200 free and 200 medley relays.

"It was the second year in a row she was 17th (in the 100 free) and she was disappointed," Chenault said. "I had a pep talk with her and reminded her it was the first time she'd had (at least) three events at state. She went after it as much as she could."

The other members of those relays - sophomore Erin Balasky and freshman Kirby Boes in the 200 medley and junior Erin Smith and sophomore Meredith Swartz in the 200 free - all are expected to return, as is the entire 400 free relay that finished 23rd (3:49.02). That consisted of Swartz, Smith, Balasky and junior Keiko Wilkins.

Senior diver Hailey Armstrong finished 24th (119.35 points).

The Unicorns tied Lexington for 14th (64) at state behind champion Gates Mills Hawken (360) as 45 teams scored.

CSG placed third in the CCL meet Jan. 28 at St. Charles, scoring 268 points to finish behind champion Watterson (363) and Hartley (274) and ahead of DeSales (146) and Ready (42). The Unicorns were third (202) in the Columbus Academy sectional on Feb. 11 behind champion Granville (336) and second (291) at district Feb. 17 at Ohio State behind the Blue Aces (475).

The Unicorns lose three seniors in Armstrong, Grubbs and Isabelle Bruner.

Co-coach Kelly Standley said at least 10 eighth-graders are interested in swimming next year, giving the Unicorns hope that even better seasons are ahead.

"The sky's the limit with this team," Chenault said. "If we get those kids in here next year that will start to give us the depth that we need going forward. You're always sad to see the season end, but we're excited about what's coming up."

•The basketball team finished 1-20, losing 62-13 to fifth-seeded Johnstown in a second-round Division III district tournament game Feb. 25 at New Albany. The Unicorns played without senior forward Jackie Carroll, who injured her ankle in a recent practice.

Junior forward Haleigh Wilson had five points to lead CSG, which had a first-round bye.

"I felt bad when I walked in and saw their best player on crutches," Johnstown coach Carl Dufford said. "They have a very young team, they play hard and they will keep getting better."

The Unicorns lose two seniors in Carroll and guard Jamilla Holland. Carroll was named second-team all-league.

Key returnees should include Wilson, junior guard Ashley Harris, sophomore guard Ashley Harrington and freshman guards Myrial Holbrook and Taylor Turley.

"We had some freshmen contribute on varsity as well as a handful of girls who didn't play last year, so we did have some positives," coach Stephanie Jones said. "Jamilla was a leader for us on and off the floor. No matter what the score or our record, she stayed positive and kept the girls going. Jackie was our leading scorer and rebounder. She really meant a lot to this team."

The Unicorns went 0-8 in the CCL to place fifth behind co-champions DeSales and Watterson (6-2), Hartley (5-3) and Ready (3-5).