Casey Culhane is happy to be competing one more week.
The junior sprinter for the St. Charles Preparatory School track and field team will compete in the Division I state meet Friday, June 6, and Saturday, June 7, at Ohio State with teammates Justin Law, Najeem Babatunde, and Alex Polinsky in the 400-meter relay.
"(Going to state) is going to be exciting," Culhane said. "I've heard it's intimidating, but it's also really fun because the state environment is really sweet. It will be cool. I've never (competed) there before."
The 400 relay finished second (42.67 seconds) behind Westerville Central (42.47) in the regional meet held May 28 and 30 at Pickerington North after it won the district 2 title (43.2) on May 24 at Hilliard Darby. The top four in each district event advanced to regional, and the top four in each regional event advanced to state.
"We really didn't expect (to be going to state)," Culhane said. "When we're at district, we just wanted to get top four, and we ended up winning it. We came (to regional) and we wanted to get top four and (qualify for state), and we end up getting second. We haven't really gotten that far before, so it was fun."
Coach Al Hostetler said the 400 relay just keeps improving.
"How far we have come has just been awesome," he said. "We've dropped three seconds as a relay in six weeks. To drop a half second from (district) to (regional) has been a great thing."
Sr. Charles tied for 22nd (10 points) at regional behind champion Pickerington North (74) as 37 teams scored.
The Cardinals were eighth (40) at district behind champion Watkins Memorial (108) as 17 teams scored.
Emmit Bryan finished seventh in the 400 (49.51) at regional after finishing third (48.82) at district.
The 1,600 relay of Bryan, Law, Greg Suh and Quentin Francis was ninth (3:24.92) at regional after finishing fourth (3:23.39) at district.
David Heil finished 14th in the discus (124 feet, 5 inches) at regional after finishing fourth (138-2) at district.
Baseball team falls in district final
The baseball team finished 22-7 overall, losing to 11th-seeded Gahanna 5-3 in nine innings May 22 in a Division I district final at Otterbein.
The seventh-seeded Cardinals had a first-round bye before defeating 20th-seeded New Albany 4-1 on May 15 and ninth-seeded Upper Arlington 10-6 on May 20 to reach their first district final since 2003.
The Cardinals finished second (6-2) in the CCL behind Watterson (7-1) and ahead of DeSales (3-5), Hartley (3-5) and Ready (1-7).
The team MVP was shortstop Jacob Weikert, who was second-team all-district and first-team all-league after batting .391 with one home run, 16 RBI, 23 runs and seven doubles.
Senior outfielder/pitcher Trey Willard (second-team all-district, first-team all-league) was 8-2 with a 2.55 ERA in 46 2/3 innings. He also hit .395 with 10 runs, 18 RBI and four doubles.
Senior second baseman Charlie Kolp (honorable mention all-district, first-team all-league) batted .396 with 25 RBI, 24 runs and five doubles. Senior catcher Andrew Fenlon (second-team all-league) hit .244 with 19 RBI, 10 runs and five doubles.
The 13-member senior class also included outfielder Ryan Bailey (.329, 14 RBI, 23 runs, 2 triples) and pitchers Jacob Myers (6-0, 1.91 ERA, 36 2/3 innings) and Graham Plageman (1-0, 1 save, 2.85 ERA, 19 2/3 innings).
"These guys had no quit, and (the seniors) won 61 games over a three-year period," 14th-year coach Ray Benjamin said. "That's pretty impressive and shows what they meant to the program."
Junior outfielder Matt Martin was first-team all-district and all-league, batting a team-high .443 with 10 RBI, 23 runs and seven doubles.
Junior outfielder/pitcher Nick Pappa (first-team all-league) was 5-3 with one save and a 1.56 ERA in 54 innings. He also hit .323 with nine RBI and 13 runs.
Junior Matt Cooke (OF/INF) hit .346 with 13 RBI, 20 runs and three triples. Junior Jacob Moehrman (1B) batted .309 with 18 RBI, 10 runs, six doubles and two triples. Junior Tommy Ryan (P/INF) was 2-1 with a 2.95 ERA in 21 1/3 innings.
Also expected back are juniors Jimmy Holtz (INF/OF/P), Danny Mackessy (OF/P) and Nick Mitevski (INF) and freshman Chase Sanders (C/OF).
"We have a good foundation coming back," Benjamin said. "The seniors will be hard to replace, but we have to get back at it and keep going. We should be in good shape."
Young tennis team excels on court
The tennis team finished 11-3 overall and won its third consecutive CCL title, going 4-0 to finish ahead of Watterson (3-1), DeSales (2-2), Ready (1-3) and Hartley (0-4).
The Cardinals had three courts advance to the Division I district tournament May 23 and 24 at Hilliard Davidson, but no one qualified for state.
Freshman Evan Yakubov defeated Davidson's Chris Codogni 6-0, 6-2 then lost to UA's Chase Shewalter 6-0, 6-2 in a state qualifying-match.
The doubles teams of senior Will Niermeyer and junior Connor Yakubov and sophomore Sam Sullivan and freshman Vinh Thai lost in the first round.
At sectional, which concluded May 18 at Reynoldsburg, Evan Yakubov was the runner-up in singles and Sullivan and Thai won a sectional doubles title.
Seniors David Kellogg and Connor Mentel also competed in singles at sectional.
Also expected to return are juniors Konrad Kappel and Stephen Susa, sophomores Alex Dabek, Ian George, Firas Houssein, Colin O'Connor, Aiden Robinson, Connor Timmons and Ryan Zesch and freshmen Windsor Niermeyer, Michael Rocca and David Suh.
Lacrosse team falls to Liberty
The lacrosse team finished 12-7, losing to fifth-seeded Olentangy Liberty 7-1 on May 24 in the first round of the Division I Central Region tournament.
Alex Shuster scored for the eighth-seeded Cardinals and Nic Carducci had 13 saves.