The Columbus School for Girls swimming and diving team won its seventh consecutive Division II district championship while exceeding the expectations of coach Brian Botzman.
The Unicorns scored 401 points, nearly doubling up runner-up St. Clairsville (201) as 31 teams scored in the meet Feb. 12 at Ohio State.
“We estimated that we would score around 200 points and we scored over 400,” said Botzman, who earned his second consecutive district Coach of the Year honor. “It was a full team effort for us from the divers to the freshmen to the seniors.”
Granville (253) won the Division II boys championship ahead of runner-up Dover (243) as 34 teams scored. Columbus Academy tied Warsaw River View for sixth (111), as its four-year district reign was snapped.
The top two finishers in each swimming event automatically advanced to the state meet Feb. 20 and 21 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 16 at-large state berths will be awarded for each swimming event based on district times statewide.
Nya Funderburke powered CSG, winning a pair of events with meet-record performances. The junior won the 100-yard butterfly in 54.77 seconds and the 100 backstroke in 54.58, which also was a program record for the Unicorns.
Senior Jordan Aurnou-Rhees won the 200 individual medley in 2:05.97, and the Unicorns also won all three relays: the 200 medley (1:46.39), 200 freestyle (1:38.89) and 400 free (3:37.67).
In the boys meet, Grandview’s Charlie Ferguson won the 100 fly in 52.15.
Area divers fared well as boys and girls competed in Division II along with boys in Division I. The top two boys and top three girls in Division II advanced to state Feb. 19, and the top six boys in Division I qualified to compete at state Feb. 22.
Last season’s Division I district champion, Olentangy Liberty’s Jack Matthews, finished third (659.8 points) behind the New Albany duo of Jordan Rzepka (state-record 684.15) and Noah Duperee (674.2).
Matthews was runner-up and Rzepka placed third at state last year, but neither will compete in Canton because they will be participating in an international diving meet in Germany. According to district meet director Frank Croft, the seventh and eighth placers at district will take their spots at state.
Delaware’s Sam Sulek (516.25), Hilliard Darby’s Hayden Apel (511.8), Liberty’s Anthony Scuilli (502.4), Liberty’s Michael Boothman (414.45) and Delaware’s Mark Sulek (409.45) are the other state qualifiers.
Wellington divers George Callanan (559.9) and Taso Callanan (501.35) were the Division II boys state qualifiers.
Worthington Christian’s Lena Morgan (534.65) and the Wellington duo of Taylor Vargo (352.05) and Olivia Robinson (285.6) advanced for the girls in Division II.