Brittany Finlay did not get much sleep when she returned home from the Division I district swimming meet Feb. 20 at Ohio State. Finlay's mind was preoccupied wondering if she qualified for the state meet.

Brittany Finlay did not get much sleep when she returned home from the Division I district swimming meet Feb. 20 at Ohio State. Finlay's mind was preoccupied wondering if she qualified for the state meet.

That evening, Marysville coach Ann Rausch called Finlay. Rausch gathered some times from across the state and according to Rausch's calculations, Finlay probably qualified. But probably wasn't good enough.

Finlay did not officially find out until 11 a.m. the next day that she was among the qualifiers in the 100-yard breaststroke. The Division I state meet concluded last Saturday at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton.

"I stayed up all night," Finlay said. "I was excited from the district meet, and I was thinking about the state meet all night."

Finlay finished sixth at the district meet in 1 minute, 8.16 seconds as Dublin Coffman's Nichole Gill (1:05.20) won.

"She was out in the first 50 with the front of the pack," coach Chris Terzis said. "Her goal was to make the podium, which is the top eight. She wasn't necessarily thinking about the state meet."

Finlay entered the district meet seeded 10th at 1:10.71.

Finlay accomplished her goal of standing on the podium at the district meet. When the season began, Finlay had aspirations of reaching the state meet, but as the season continued, she adjusted her goal to be among the top eight at the district meet.

"Getting sixth I was so shocked," she said. "I started crying."

Finlay's tears not only represented her joy, but her satisfaction that the sacrifices she made finally paid off. During the past year, Finlay has dedicated herself to swimming. Numerous times Finlay said she put swimming ahead of her social life.

"I don't just sit at home," Finlay said. "Swimming takes up a lot of my time, especially on the weekends. I can't hang out with friends, but all my hard work has paid off."

Finlay's commitment to swimming enabled her to post a state-qualifying time, according to Terzis.

After Finlay found out she was a state qualifier, she also found out she was the first from Marysville to accomplish that feat.

"I'm surprised nobody has made it before," she said. "It makes me really proud to be the first person to be able to go there and represent Marysville High School."

Terzis and Rausch established the Marysville swimming program eight seasons ago. To have Finlay as Marysville's first state qualifier made it that more enjoyable.

In addition to Finlay's performance, the Marysville girls team had its best showing at the district meet. As a team, the girls finished 16th (39 points) behind champion Upper Arlington (472). The Monarchs were represented in seven events and set school records in five with Finlay in the 100 breast and 200 IM (2:23.41), Emily Rausch in the 200 free (2:03.21) and 500 free (5:31.92) and the 200 free relay of Finlay, Rausch, Maggie and Katie Helfrich (1:44.34).

•The wrestling team won the Division I sectional tournament Feb. 20 at Watkins Memorial with 239 points to finish ahead of Teays Valley (205.5), Gahanna (170) and Westerville North (167.5).

The Monarchs had four sectional champions in Noah Forrider (119 pounds), Jack McCombs (125), Caleb Marsh (160) and Nate Weeks (215). In all, Marysville qualified 10 wrestlers for the district meet at Hilliard Darby last Friday and last Saturday.

•The boys basketball team beat Groveport 58-36 in the first round of the Division I district tournament last Tuesday. Mike Romesburg led Marysville with 12 points as 10 players scored at least two points.

Marysville played the state's top-ranked team, Northland, last Friday in the second round. The winner plays in a district semifinal Friday at Fairgrounds Coliseum against Teays Valley or Independence.