Girls Swimming & Diving: Nyah Funderburke leads CSG to third place in Division II state meet

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Columbus School for Girls' Nyah Funderburke begins to celebrate as her team takes the title in the 200-yard medley relay in the Division II state meet Feb. 24 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. Funderburke also won the 100 backstroke and was runner-up in the 100 butterfly, helping the Unicorns finish third.

CANTON – Nyah Funderburke repeated as champion in the 100-yard backstroke to help Columbus School for Girls finish third in the Division II state girls swimming and diving meet Feb. 24 at Branin Natatorium.

Funderburke won the 100 back in 54.42 seconds and was second in the 100 butterfly in 55.44, finishing behind Dayton Chaminade Julienne’s McKenzie Reed (54.58). Funderburke won the 100 fly last season.

“That was a good way to finish off my (prep) career, especially after the 100 fly,” said Funderburke, an Ohio State signee. “It was a little disappointing (to finish second), but I’m grateful to have had a great race with my friend McKenzie, who is going to Miami (University).”

The Unicorns scored 133 points to finish behind Gates Mills Hawken (387) and Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown (260). Hawken won its 23rd consecutive title. Columbus Academy was 11th (56) and Grandview was 14th (42) as 59 teams scored.

CSG got started quickly by winning the opening race, the 200 medley relay, in a program-record 1:42.96. Funderburke led off and was followed by Ava Fortney, Bethany Spangler and Olivia Morse.

“That was amazing,” CSG coach Brian Botzman said. “That’s a race I’ll remember the rest of my life.

“The meet didn’t have the energy that it normally has, but we started off strong. I thought as the meet moved along, the lack of energy had an effect on a lot of the teams and swimmers. Hopefully, we’ll be back to the way it has been in the past next year.”

Academy reached the podium in the 200 medley relay, a race in which three teams were disqualified in the final heat. Mary Kate Prall, Emma Yakam, Lauren Klinefelter and Alexandra Butnariu finished in 1:49.39 to take fifth. Klinefelter also was sixth in the 100 fly (57.36).

Grandview’s Phoebe Ferguson was third in the 200 individual medley (2:06.65) and fifth in the 100 fly (57.16).

“I was happy with my IM because I went faster than in district (2:06.96),” Ferguson said. “In the fly, I was a little unhappy because I had a little trouble with the wall and still was able to make the top eight.”

Wellington’s Taylor Vargo finished 23rd (131.0) of 24 participants in diving. Cincinnati Wyoming’s Grace Courtney won with 485.8.

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