As usual, the St. Charles Preparatory School cross country team heads into the Division I postseason as the CCL champion.

A pack mentality paid off in the league meet for the Cardinals, whose top five runners placed in the top seven Oct. 14 at Otterbein. They totaled 24 points to win their 11th consecutive league title and 18th in 19 seasons.

Watterson (54) was runner-up, followed by DeSales (78), Hartley (89) and Ready (136).

Kenton Colvin led the Cardinals by finishing second (17 minutes, 6.43 seconds) behind Watterson's Nick Kuraly (16:57.43).

"We knew (Kuraly) would probably win it and then our pack would come out and do what they are supposed to do," coach Damien Brandon said. "It was good that Kenton was able to step up as a senior and be our leader. He had a good race."

Also competing were Ryan O'Brien (fourth, 17:16.05), Iain Karas (fifth, 17:19.14), Mitch Whittaker (sixth, 17:22.27), Ethan Encarnacion (seventh, 17:37.59), Liam O'Reilly (ninth, 17:52.02) and Owen Karas (15th, 18:12.51).

"I felt pretty good that whole race and we had that pack going," Colvin said. "It always feels pretty good when we have the pack like that. If we get our pack going in district like we had here then we should get out to regional."

The Cardinals compete in the district 1 meet Saturday, Oct. 21, at Watkins Memorial. The top five teams and top 20 individuals advance to the regional Oct. 28 at Pickerington North.

Last fall, the Cardinals finished seventh in district 3 as Kevin Hennessey, a 2017 graduate, was second (15:33.15) and Iain Karas took the final regional-qualifying spot by finishing 20th (16:49.12).

"We will need to have that pack going strong and pick up about 10 seconds if we want to get out (to regional)," Brandon said. "There are some good teams at district, so we'll have to work to get out."

Football team to face La Salle

The football team travels Friday, Oct. 20, to Cincinnati La Salle, which has won the last three Division II state championships.

The Lancers improved to 6-2 by defeating Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary 17-9 on Oct. 13. They are led by senior quarterback Griffin Merritt, who has completed 106 of 182 passes for 1,256 yards with eight touchdowns and four interceptions.

Merritt's primary targets are senior tight end Josh Whyle (27 catches, 284 yards, 3 touchdowns), sophomore wide receiver Jake Seibert (20 catches, 284 yards, 1 touchdown) and senior wide receiver Jake Roberts (15 catches, 242 yards). Sophomore Cameron Porter leads the running game with 527 yards and four touchdowns.

The Cardinals dropped to 1-7 overall and 0-2 in the CCL with a 31-7 loss to Watterson on Oct. 13. Brooks McCann was 6-for-15 passing for 94 yards and a 7-yard touchdown to Jax Geist, and Peter Griffith had three receptions for 41 yards.

Golfers fall short of reaching state

The golf team finished fourth (312) in the Division I district tournament Oct. 10 at Apple Valley as Dublin Jerome (294) and Olentangy Liberty (307) advanced to state along with Central Crossing's Caleb Davern (71) and Thomas Worthington's David LaLonde (72).

Seniors Jack Kozlowski (76), Anthony Ricaurte (77), Keagan Younkin (79) and Andrew Shyu (80) and freshman Reece Yakubov (82) played for the Cardinals.

"I'm not happy, we didn't make it," said Brian Unk, who shared coaching duties with another fourth-year coach, Tod Hecht. "Our goal was to make it and we didn't do it, but overall it was a good season. We set our goals high and didn't play our best (at district)."

St. Charles shot 300 to win a sectional title Oct. 3 at Clover Valley ahead of runner-up Upper Arlington (311) and advance to district.

The Cardinals won their 10th consecutive CCL championship, going 6-0 in the league. Hartley and Watterson tied for second (3-3) and DeSales was fourth (0-6).

Soccer team to open tourney

The fourth-seeded soccer team is 12-2-2 and opens the Division I district tournament Saturday, Oct. 21, at home against 26th-seeded Groveport or 28th-seeded Pickerington Central in a second-round game.

The winner advances to a district semifinal against 10th-seeded Hilliard Darby, 24th-seeded Big Walnut or 37th-seeded Columbus West on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the home of the better seed. The district final is Oct. 28 at a site to be determined.

Ian Smith and Owen Sullivan scored as St. Charles closed the regular season by defeating Bexley 2-0 on Oct. 14. Goalkeeper Joseph Marchionda had 13 saves.

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