The Columbus School for Girls swimming and diving team's four-year run of Division II sectional championships ended Feb. 10 at Columbus Academy, but coach Stephanie Donley doesn't believe that will impact the Unicorns' performance in the district meet.
CSG is seeking its fifth consecutive district title. The meet began Feb. 13 with diving at Dublin Community Recreation Center and will conclude Friday, Feb. 16, with the swimming events at Ohio University.
The top two finishers in diving advance to the state meet Wednesday, Feb. 21, at Branin Natatorium in Canton. In each swimming event, the top two placers automatically advance to state Feb. 22 and 23. In addition, 16 at-large state berths will be awarded for each swimming event based on times statewide.
"We knew we were in the fastest sectional and I feel we'll do well at district because of that," Donley said. "It was good to race the girls that we will see at district and we know what we'll be up against."
The Unicorns finished second (225 points) at sectional behind Hartley (228) as 18 teams scored. Academy (204) was third.
CSG had beaten Hartley in the CCL meet on Jan. 27, scoring 386 points. The Hawks were third (266) behind runner-up Watterson (325).
"We were disappointed that we didn't win sectional, but Hartley had a great meet," Donley said. "We swam well, but the district is our meet. Our girls will be rested for that."
At sectional, the winner of each swimming event advanced to district, along with 27 at-large qualifiers in each event based on sectional times.
Jordan Aurnou-Rhees led the Unicorns by winning the 100-yard butterfly in a meet- and pool-record 57.55 seconds and the 200 individual medley in 2:07.96. The sophomore is the top seed at district in both events.
Nyah Funderburke won the 50 freestyle in 24.61 to earn the top seed at district. She also placed second to Aurnou-Rhees in the 100 fly (59.06) and is the district's second seed.
Aurnou-Rhees and Funderburke teamed with Riley Rogers and Madeline Swoboda to win the 200 free relay in a meet- and pool-record 1:39.74 for the top seed at district. Aurnou-Rhees, Julia Lunt, Emily Dewolf and Swoboda comprised the runner-up 400 free relay (3:43.01), and AnnaRay Ziegler, Ava Fortney, Funderburke and Lunt were on the second-place 200 medley relay (1:53.25). Both relays are seeded second at district.
"We did what we needed to to get to district," Donley said.
"Our girls will be rested and ready to go this week."
Basketball team faces top seed in district
The basketball team is seeded 23rd in the 24-team Division III district tournament and will play at top-seeded Africentric in a first-round game Tuesday, Feb. 20.
The winner plays host to 24th-seeded Madison Plains in the second round Feb. 24.
Africentric was 19-3 after defeating Northland 44-43 in the City League championship game Feb. 10.
The Unicorns were 3-18 overall before playing Horizon Science on Feb. 13 and finished 0-4 in the CCL, behind champion Hartley (6-1).
Eva Nicolosi scored 17 points in a 36-30 loss to Patriot Prep on Feb. 8.
@ThisWeekHennenAt a glance
Below are the district qualifiers with sectional time and district seeds for the Columbus School for Girls swimming team:
Jordan Aurnou-Rhees: 100 fly (57.55, first), 200 IM (2:07.96, first); Emily Dewolf: 100 free (58.0, 15th), 200 free (2:06.81, 12th); Lauren Dittrick: 500 free (6:06.57, 25th); Ava Fortney: 100 breast (1:12.6, ninth), 500 free (5:45.35, 11th); Nyah Funderburke: 100 fly (59.06, second), 50 free (24.61, first); Lauren Gumina: 500 free (6:12.44, 27th); Mary Hernon: 100 fly (1:10.09, 25th); Julia Lunt: 100 free (57.36, ninth), 50 free (25.66, seventh); Cosette Persall: 50 free (26.27, 16th), 100 free (59.08, 22nd); Eleanor Richardson: 200 free (2:09.14, 20th), 500 free (5:52.91, 14th); Riley Rogers: 100 back (1:10.67, 28th), 50 free (25.66, eighth); Madeline Swoboda: 100 free (56.92, seventh), 200 free (2:05.93, ninth); AnnaRay Ziegler: 100 back (1:01.91, fifth), 100 fly (1:04.9, 17th); 200 free relay (1:39.74, first); 400 free relay (3:43.01, second); 200 medley relay (1:53.25, second)