Emmit Bryan did not expect to make it to the Division I state meet, but the sophomore for the St. Charles Preparatory School track and field team knows the experience could lead to future success.
Bryan finished 13th in the 400 meters (50.68 seconds) at state, which was held June 7 and 8 at Ohio State.
"I would have liked to have done better, but it was good just to be here," he said. "Just being here will help when I make it back here.
"This is by far the biggest meet that I have been to. I could tell that when we pulled in to park. The atmosphere is crazy."
The Cardinals were not among the 62 teams that scored as Lakewood St. Edward won with 62 points.
Bryan said his start to the 400 was not what he was hoping for.
"My start wasn't very good and I lost a lot of momentum there," he said.
"I tried not to get too nervous or take (the race) too lightly. I tried to stay loose and be ready to go."
Bryan didn't think he would have a chance to run at state. He said things started to click midseason.
"I didn't think it was possible to even get (to state) as a sophomore because I was getting blown away in the first couple of meets," said Bryan, who ran a personal-best 49.51 in the regional held May 29 and 31 at Pickerington North. "I play basketball (in the winter) and was going up against people who ran indoor track.
"I started coming around at the (Huber Heights) Wayne Invitational (on May 2 and 3). I was fifth and came back and won my (preliminary) heat (and finished sixth in 51.18 in the final). Things got a lot better after that."
CCL title highlight for tennis team
The tennis team finished 10-7 overall and won the CCL at 4-0 ahead of Watterson (3-1), DeSales (2-2), Ready (1-3) and Hartley (0-4).
The doubles team of seniors Jack Groeber and Trey Stranges reached the Division I district tournament held May 24 and 25 at Hilliard Davidson, but lost to New Albany's Nick Blair and Alex Kobelt 6-1, 6-1 as the top four finishers in singles and doubles advanced to state.
"It's kind of hard to go in against the top seed to open district, so they were kind of in a David and Goliath situation," said coach Linda Myers, who completed her fifth season. "They played well and did a good job of working hard to make it to district.
"Jack and Trey started tennis in high school. ... It was great that they were able to make it to district."
Groeber and Stranges, the team's only seniors, placed fourth in a sectional May 16 and 18 at Upper Arlington. Competing at sectional but not advancing were junior William Niermeyer (2-1), sophomore Connor Yakubov (2-1) and freshman Sam Sullivan (0-1) in singles and juniors David Kellogg and Connor Mentel (1-1) in doubles.
Others expected to return include sophomore Stephen Susa and freshmen Alex Dabek, Colin O'Connor and Connor Timmons.
"We were over .500 and we played the toughest schedule possible," Myers said. "We won the CCL and had a young team. We had talent, but not a ton of experience.
"We had players with great strokes, but they have to get more match-playing experience and face good competition in the offseason. We have some good players coming back and some good players who look to be joining us next year."