Will Herriman expects the best from the St. Charles Preparatory School track and field team's 1,600-meter relay.

Will Herriman expects the best from the St. Charles Preparatory School track and field team's 1,600-meter relay.

The relay had a rough road to the Division I regional meet, which concluded May 25 at Pickerington North. The top four in each event advanced to the state meet Friday, June 1, and Saturday, June 2, at Ohio State.

The Cardinals had been running without anchor Stevyn Spees, but the senior's return made a difference May 19 during the district 2 meet at Hilliard Darby. At district, the 1,600 relay of sophomore Ben Carlisle, Herriman, junior Brady Wilson and Spees finished first in 3 minutes, 22.09 seconds.

"We're all close and we all work hard, and we do our best with the pressure of competition," said Herriman, a junior. "That's definitely going to happen."

Herriman has state experience after finishing second in the 3,200 relay last season in a program-record 7:47.53 with Spees and 2011 graduates Colin Merrill and Chris Quinn.

Spees missed seven weeks this season with a stress reaction in his left foot, an ailment that is a precursor to a stress fracture.

"A lot of kids had to step up when Stevyn was injured and they gained a lot of valuable experience," coach Al Hostetler said. "It hurt to have Stevyn out this year, but I think it will help our younger runners in the long run."

Spees, who will compete for the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., reached the final in the 400 at district, although he was limping after his preliminary race May 16.

But he won the 400 final in 48.7 on May 19. Last season, he finished 11th at state in the 400 (49.5).

"We weren't sure if he was going to be able to run anymore; we thought he was done," Hostetler said. "But we talked to the doctors and they thought it was just soreness from not competing for so long. Stevyn had kept himself in shape by swimming and with other activities, but he was just going through the soreness of not racing. He went out and had a great workout on (May 17), so we knew he was back."

Also competing at regional was the 800 relay of junior John Radney, Wilson, Spees and junior Myles Everett. Herriman competed in the 300 hurdles.

Baseball team expects to return top talent

The baseball team finished 19-11 overall, losing to ninth-seeded Olentangy 9-3 in a Division I district semifinal May 14 at Dublin Jerome.

"We came out and walked guys and gave up some early hits and started playing from behind," said coach Ray Benjamin, whose team reached its first district semifinal since 2003 and the second for the program since moving to Division I in 2002. "We started to get our offensive confidence (by finishing with 12 hits), but it wasn't enough."

The Cardinals defeated Newark 6-3 in the opening round May 7 and beat sixth-seeded Westerville North 3-2 on May 9 in the second round.

St. Charles finished third (5-3) in the CCL behind DeSales (7-1) and Watterson (6-2) and ahead of Ready (2-6) and Hartley (0-8).

The Cardinals lose six seniors in Jon Alexander (INF), Chris Fenlon (OF/P; .261 batting average, 3 doubles, 4 triples, 22 RBI, 21 runs), Calvin Flinders (INF; .333, 3 doubles, 10 RBI, 27 runs), Joey Gilmore (OF/P; .347, 5 doubles, 2 triples, 1 home run, 23 RBI, 17 runs), Zak Stephenson (P) and J.D. Vrabel (1B/P).

"The seniors really meant a lot to the program," said Benjamin, who completed his 15th season leading the program. "Really, one of the things that impressed me was the way they handled themselves on and off of the field. Whether it was in the weight room or the classroom, they were great leaders for us. Then they came out and played hard every day. They will be tough to replace."

Gilmore led the pitching staff, going 4-0 with a 1.92 ERA in 43 2/3 innings with 28 strikeouts and 24 walks. Vrabel was 4-4 with a 4.62 ERA in 36 1/3 innings with 23 strikeouts and 21 walks.

Junior Jonathan Ogden was 5-4 with a 4.11 ERA in 44 1/3 innings with 16 strikeouts and 19 walks. Sophomore Trey Willard was 3-1 with a 3.17 ERA, 16 strikeouts and 23 walks. Junior Lucas Glover had eight saves in eight opportunities, striking out 10 with seven walks and a 0.54 ERA in 13 innings.

Expected to return are juniors Louie Altomare (1B), Chris Brake (3B/P; .262, 4 doubles, 13 RBI, 15 runs), John Galden (INF/P), Glover (1B/P; .314, 2 doubles, 2 triples, 17 RBI, 8 runs), Jerad Kitzler (.380, 19 runs, 14 RBI, 3 triples), Ogden, Leo Piela (OF/P), Patrick Quinlan (OF/P) and Will Stechschulte (C), as well as sophomores Andrew Fenlon (C; .250, 2 doubles, 2 triples, 5 RBI, 5 runs), Charlie Kolp (2B; .371, 7 doubles 14 RBI, 18 runs), Jacob Weikert (INF;.354, 4 doubles 10 RBI, 11 runs) and Willard (OF/P).

"We have a ton of talent coming back, which is exciting," Benjamin said. "We had Andrew Fenlon throwing out two runners trying to steal (in the district semifinal) and he's only a sophomore. Then we have Charlie Kolp coming back at second and Jacob Weikert at short, and they're both sophomores. They should be flipping double plays for a while."

Lacrosse team made strides

The lacrosse team finished 10-7 overall, losing to Dublin Coffman 6-4 on May 19 in a first-round Division I Central Region tournament game. The Cardinals beat Pickerington North 13-5 in a play-in game May 17.

"We had a pretty good year and fell two goals short against Coffman, which was good considering we had lost to them 17-10 (on April 20)," said coach Mark Berndt, who completed his first season. "Our defense was leaps and bounds better than we were earlier in the year and our offense carried us at times, especially early."

Senior attacker Ryan Finneran led the team with 47 goals and 28 assists and junior midfielder David Shuster had 30 goals and 10 assists. Junior attacker Marcus Ward scored 25 goals with 27 assists and sophomore attacker Ryan Cleary had 21 goals with 18 assists.

Junior midfielder Stuart Hudelson scored 23 goals and senior midfielder Garrett Cargin had 12 goals and 14 assists.

Cargin and Finneran were captains. Other seniors included Jack Bengel (defender), Michael Clouser (defender), Jake Holway (midfielder), Frankie Jeny (goalkeeper), Dominic Julian (midfielder), Isaac Kebe (midfielder), Trevor Lawler (defender), Zack Rikk (goalie), Conner Skufca (defender), Alex Travis (defender) and Brooks Wagstaff (defender).

"We had 13 great seniors and most of them had played all four years," Berndt said. "We changed a lot of what we do and they really bought into that and they will be missed.

"We have a handful of guys who will be hard to replace, including Ryan Finneran, who was our offensive MVP. Dominic Julian, Isaac Kebe and Garrett Cargin were our jacks of all trades in the midfield with help offensively, in face-offs and defensively. Also, Jack Bengel and Trevor Lawler were huge contributors on defense."

The Cardinals relied on a pair of freshmen goalies in Nicolas Carducci and Jack Cleary.

Also expected back are juniors Nic Herfel (midfielder), Phil Kebe (defender) and Sterling Parker (midfielder) as well as sophomores John Browne (attacker), Kevin Caldwell (midfielder), Michael Hamrock (midfielder) and Henry McCann (midfielder).

"I think we have quite a bit of offense coming back with Ryan Cleary and Marcus Ward putting up big numbers, and David Shuster will be a leader in the midfield next year," Berndt said. "We had a pretty young defense, but Phil Kebe is coming back as a long-stick midfielder and both Kevin Caldwell and Nic Herfel did a good job moving from midfield to defense."