St. Charles Preparatory School swimming coach Kyle Goodrich headed to the state meet last year believing his team could outscore Cincinnati St. Xavier and capture its first championship.

St. Charles Preparatory School swimming coach Kyle Goodrich headed to the state meet last year believing his team could outscore Cincinnati St. Xavier and capture its first championship.

The Cardinals did, becoming the first boys team from central Ohio to win the title since Upper Arlington in 1987. They scored 266 points to edge St. Xavier (246), which had won the last nine titles and has 29 overall.

But this season he views St. Xavier as the overwhelming favorite to win in Division I.

"If we take them down this year, I'll be very surprised," said Goodrich, whose team returned only four state qualifiers from a year ago. "I told my team that, too. They're just so deep."

Goodrich doesn't want his team focusing on defending its title at the state meet, which runs today through Saturday at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton.

"I've tried to quash that," he said. "I don't want it to be us against the world, us against St. Xavier. I don't want us to get caught up in that. I don't want this young group obsessed with winning the state championship because we can't control what they do. I just want us to be focused on ourselves."

Goodrich, whose team was the runner-up to St. Xavier in 2006 and 2007, expects his team to battle Centerville and Cincinnati Moeller for second, with Toledo St. Francis and Upper Arlington also finishing in the top six.

"I'm excited about what we can do," he said. "As long as we swim well, I'll be happy."

St. Charles heads to state with the fastest time in four events. Seeded first are Erik Mai in the 200-yard individual medley (1 minute, 53.01 seconds), Nick Schuttinger in the 100 butterfly (49.68), Sandy Whitaker in the 100 backstroke (50.45) and Jay Schuh, Mai, Whitaker and Eric Grunden in the 200 medley relay (1:33.48).

Whitaker is seeded second in the 100 fly (49.7).

"We need to keep them grounded during the week because the seeding doesn't mean anything," Goodrich said.

St. Charles captured its fourth consecutive district championship last Saturday at Ohio State, scoring 496 points to finish ahead of runner-up UA (428.5). Dublin Scioto (154) was a distant third.

"I'm not surprised by how we did," Goodrich said. "I just didn't know how other teams like Upper Arlington would perform. I like the fact that we swam well."

The top three in each district swimming event and top five divers automatically qualified for state, with 11 at-large state berths also being awarded based on the times at the four district sites.

•Jared Bobulski isn't overly concerned about how he fares at the district bowling tournament Saturday at HP Lanes.

"I'll see if I can beat my (sectional) scores," he said. "If I don't make it (to state), oh well. I'll just try again next year."

Bobulski, a junior, became the first Cardinal to qualify for district -- the program is in its second season after five seasons with club status -- by rolling a personal-best 624 in the sectional Feb. 13 at Rainbow Lanes and securing the first of eight district-qualifying spots for individuals on non-qualifying teams.

He tied for 10th overall at sectional, rolling a season-high 243 in the first game, his second-highest score of 235 in the third game and a 146 in the second game.

"He picked a good time to (have his two highest scores)," coach Mike Warner said. "There is so much pressure. It can get you psyched out. But Jared was very relaxed and at ease. He showed a lot of maturity."

"I just told myself to go have some fun," Bobulski said. "As soon as you start to stress out, that's when you make mistakes. And when you make a mistake, you make more mistakes."

The top three on non-qualifying teams at district advance to state, which will be held March 7 at Tiki Lanes in Lancaster.

"I think he's just excited about being there," Warner said. "There's no expectations, no pressure. He can just go out and have fun. I haven't looked at the numbers yet. He averaged 208 over three games (at sectional). If he can do that again, I think he's got a shot."

St. Charles rolled a 3,032 at sectional to finish 15th of 20 teams. The top eight teams, led by champion Pickerington North (4,054) with Marion Pleasant (3,850) in eighth, qualified for district.

Nick Pirik was the Cardinals' second-highest finisher with a 478. He finished 81 pins behind the final individual district qualifier.

•Five members of the wrestling team advanced to Division I district tournament Friday and Saturday at Hilliard Darby.

Securing a district berth by placing in the top four at the sectional last Saturday at Watkins Memorial were Bear Rigsby (215 pounds, first), Kyle Sanders (189, first), Patrick Rigsby (171, second), Robert DeJaco (145, third) and Dan Latz (125, fourth).

Bear Rigsby and Sanders went 4-0 at sectional. Rigsby defeated Pickerington Central's Cory Cosby 12-4 in the championship match to improve to 38-6. Sanders beat Teays Valley's Sam Gilmore 9-2 in the final to improve to 40-1.

The top four in each weight class at district qualify for state March 5-7 at Ohio State.

Sanders, a three-time district qualifier, was the only Cardinal to advance to state last season, becoming the program's 10th state qualifier. He placed eighth, marking the first time a Cardinal has placed at state since 2004.

St. Charles scored 130 points at sectional to place fifth of 13 teams behind champion Teays Valley (257.5).

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the St. Charles basketball, hockey and swimming and diving teams:


*Last Friday -- Defeated Ready 49-38. Jourdan Wickliffe scored 15 points and Dane McLoughlin scored 12. The Cardinals' 19-game CCL losing streak ended.

Last Saturday -- Def. Springfield Catholic Central 72-54. McLoughlin scored 19 points and Jeffrey Sobecki scored 16.

Last Wednesday -- Played 10th-seeded Reynoldsburg in first round of Division I district tournament. The winner will play Hilliard Davidson or Walnut Ridge in the second round at 8 p.m. Saturday at Olentangy Orange. Davidson was 10-10 and Walnut Ridge was 10-9 before playing last Wednesday.

Of note: The Cardinals were 7-13 overall before last Wednesday and finished 1-9 in the CCL behind DeSales (9-1), Hartley (8-2), Worthington Christian (5-5), Ready (4-6) and Watterson (3-7).

*CCL game


Last Saturday -- Lost to DeSales 3-2 (2OT) in first round of district tournament. Tyler Brady and Charles Lacasse scored.

Of note: The Cardinals finished 12-22-1 overall and 7-9 in the CHC.


Last Saturday -- Finished first (496) ahead of runner-up Upper Arlington (428.5) in Division I district meet at Ohio State. State qualifiers with event, district time and state seed were Eric Grunden (100 breast, 59.28, eighth; 50 free, 21.61, 16th), Sam Kocher (200 free, 1:42.33, seventh; 100 free, 47.13, 13th), Erik Mai (200 IM, 1:53.01, first; 100 breast, 58.25, third), Jay Schuh (100 back, 53.51, 13th), Nick Schuttinger (100 fly, 49.68, first; 100 free, 47.63, 20th), Justin Shotwell (200 IM, 1:56.56, 10th), Corey Taylor (200 IM, 1:58.28, 17th; 100 breast, 1:00.52, 21st), Sandy Whitaker (100 back, 50.45, first; 100 fly, 49.7, second), the 200 medley relay (1:33.48, first), the 200 free relay (1:26.67, fourth) and the 400 free relay (3:10.59, fourth). Others who competed at district, with event, time and place, were Matt Brown (100 fly, 55.99, 14th; 500 free, 5:01.76, 10th), Kevin Coppel (200 free, 1:49.18, 10th; 500 free, 4:56.41, seventh), Max Herath (200 free, 1:50.96, 13th; 500 free, 5:10.39, 15th), Zach Poltor (200 IM, 2:02.38, seventh; 100 back, 55.42, sixth), Schuh (100 free, 48.86, 10th), Shotwell (100 breast, 1:00.57, fifth), Mark Stechschulte (50 free, 22.95, 13th), Orion Swanson (200 free, 1:46.99, seventh; 500 free, 4:52.7, sixth), Joe Wehinger (diving, 305.55, seventh), Brian Willi (100 fly, 53.84, eighth; 100 back, 57.1, 11th) and David Yarnell (50 free, 22.97, 14th).

Today-Saturday -- At state meet at Branin Natatorium in Canton