Brian Willi has the best time in the 100-yard butterfly entering the Division I state boys swimming and diving meet, and the St. Charles Preparatory School senior hopes to parlay that into a title.

Brian Willi has the best time in the 100-yard butterfly entering the Division I state boys swimming and diving meet, and the St. Charles Preparatory School senior hopes to parlay that into a title.

Willi and the Cardinals will compete at state Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25-26, at Branin Natatorium in Canton.

St. Charles finished second (347 points) behind champion Upper Arlington (432) in the district meet Feb. 19 at Ohio State. The Cardinals had won the five previous district titles.

"For the team that we had this year, we had a really good day," coach Geoff Gear said. "We swam well and Brian really had a great performance. He put in a lot of hard work and has really come a long way in his four years with the program."

Willi won a district title in the 100 fly in 50.49 seconds, two seconds better than his previous best. He also qualified for state in the 100 backstroke and is seeded 19th with a 53.52.

As a member of the 200 medley relay, Willi joined Alex Kocher, Chris D'Angelo and Zach Poltor to finish second (1:35.98) behind UA (1:35.88). The relay is seeded seventh at state.

Gear said the effort helped to jumpstart the Cardinals.

"Our medley relay was second, which was a good start to the meet and kind of set the tone for us," Gear said. "After that, everyone believed that we were going to have a good day."

The 400 freestyle relay of Hayden Birnbrich, Orion Swanson, Daniel Cogan and Caleb Jack advanced in 3:17.29 as the 24th seed. The 200 free relay of Birnbrich, Nick McKinley, Matt Brown and Will Grodesky qualified with a 1:28.96 as the 21st seed.

McKinley qualified in the 200 individual medley (1:57.89, 21st) and the 100 breaststroke (59.85, 22nd). Swanson advanced in the 100 fly (52.55, 17th) and 100 backstroke (53.64, 20th).

Also competing at district were Sam Aslaner: 200 IM (2:01.82, 14th), 500 free (4:56.92, 10th); Birnbrich: 50 free (22.42, 12th), 100 free (49.22, 10th); Brown: 100 fly (53.31, eighth), 100 breast (1:02.6, 16th); Cogan: 200 IM (2:05.75, 15th), 100 fly (55.39, 17th); Josh Cohen: 100 free (50.5, 20th), 50 free (22.89, 20th); D'Angelo: 100 breast (1:01.13, 9th); Grodesky: 100 free (49.05, ninth), 50 free (21.95, fifth); Max Herath: 200 IM (2:00.23, ninth), 100 breast (1:00.95, eighth); Jack: 500 free (4:51.33, fifth), 200 free (1:49.56, 11th); Franz Kabelka: 500 free (4:53.58, seventh), 200 free (1:49.92, 13th); Kocher: 100 free (50.27, 19th), 100 back (55, 11th); Natty Patterson: 500 free (4:54.48, eighth), 200 free (1:49.49, 10th); and Poltor: 50 free (22.04, eighth), 100 back (54.69, ninth).

•The hockey team improved to 17-13-3 by defeating Olentangy Orange 2-1 in a second-round district tournament game Feb. 20 at the Dispatch Ice Haus. The seventh-seeded Cardinals had a first-round bye.

Eric Cooke scored both goals for St. Charles to set up a third-round game against third-seeded Dublin Coffman at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at the Ice Haus.

"It's always good to play a team like Coffman because they are a team that you measure yourself against all year," coach Art Roehrenbeck said.

"You strive to be mentioned in the same breath and are happy to be on the ice with that team because of their tradition."

The Shamrocks improved to 22-8-1 by defeating Worthington Kilbourne 7-1 in a second-round game on Feb. 20. Coffman beat St. Charles 5-3 on Jan. 1 and 10-3 on Feb. 10 in the opening round of the Blue Jackets Cup.

"We played them well for the first couple of periods in the first game, but we were without a couple of defenders in the Blue Jackets Cup game and the score showed that," Roehrenbeck said. "We should have a better performance this time."

The winner will advance to play second-seeded Olentangy Liberty or Olentangy at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27, in a district semifinal at the Ice Haus.

The Cardinals split with Liberty, winning 4-2 on Dec. 11 in the Adam Allgeyer Memorial and losing 8-3 on Feb. 6 in Capital Hockey Conference play.

Olentangy went 2-1 against St. Charles. The Braves won 8-7 on Dec. 5 in the Wolves Invitational and 4-3 in the losers bracket of the Blue Jackets Cup on Feb. 11.

The Cardinals won 10-1 on Jan. 28 in CHC play. The district final will be at 5 p.m. March 5 at the Ice Haus.

•The basketball team was 11-9 overall before opening the Division I district tournament against Whetstone on Feb. 22.

The winner plays seventh-seeded Dublin Coffman or Logan in the second round at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, at Hamilton Township.

Coffman was 16-3 before playing Logan. The Chieftains were 5-15 overall.St. Charles did not play either team this season.

The winner plays sixth-seeded Walnut Ridge, Dresden Tri-Valley or Grove City in a district semifinal at 7 p.m. March 5 in the Fairgrounds Coliseum.

The Cardinals closed the regular-season with three consecutive wins. On Feb. 15, they defeated Watkins Memorial 71-40 as Dane McLoughlin led with 12 points. Dan Hennessey, Jimmy Ryan, J. Schroeder and Joe Spahr all scored eight points.

In the CCL finale, the Cardinals downed Ready 58-41 on Feb. 18 as McLoughlin scored 18 points, Spahr had 14 points and Schroeder added nine points.

Hartley won the CCL championship at 7-1 followed by DeSales (6-2), Watterson (4-4), St. Charles (3-5) and Ready (0-8).

On Feb. 19 in the regular-season finale, the Cardinals defeated Springfield Catholic 52-33. McLoughlin led with 19 points, Ryan had 15 points with five 3-pointers and Spahr added nine points.

•Ryan Sanders won a Division I sectional wrestling title at 215 pounds as the Cardinals advanced four competitors to district Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25-26, at Hilliard Darby.

The Cardinals finished 10th (64.5) of 13 teams behind champion Hilliard Davidson (239.5) in the sectional at Marysville, which concluded Feb. 19.

Sanders improved to 31-10 overall by going 4-0 at Marysville, beating Thomas Taylor of Marysville 4-2 in the final. The senior will open at district against Olentangy Orange sophomore Jacob Selbe (19-12 overall).

The top four in each weight class at sectional advanced to district, and the top four at district will advance to state March 3-5 at Ohio State.

Also advancing for St. Charles were Adam Suhr (112), Chris Suozzi (135) and Lloyd Furuta (140), all placing fourth.

Suhr (20-19) went 3-2 at Marysville and will open with Miamisburg sophomore Jordan Branham (34-5). Suozzi (24-13) went 3-2 at sectional and will face Groveport senior David Reynolds (24-11) in the first round. Furuta (19-21) was 2-2 at sectional and goes up against Marion-Franklin senior Chad Jones (35-3) to open district.

Also competing for St. Charles at sectional were Mike George (103, 1-2), Alex Dang (119, 1-2), Matt Bernert (125, 0-2), Andy Speed (130, 0-2), Mason Tigner (145, 0-2), Luke Klingler (152, 2-2), Kenny Sweeney (160, 0-2) and Eric Knisley (171, 0-2).

The Cardinals did not have competitors at 189 or heavyweight.


Below are the recent results for the St. Charles bowling team:

Feb. 18 - Finished 17th (3,055) in 22-team sectional at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl behind champion Jonathan Alder (4,056). Joining Jonathan Alder as district-qualifying teams were Circleville (3,922), Big Walnut (3,881), Westerville Central (3,834), Gahanna (3,759) and Hilliard Bradley (3,719).

Of note: The Cardinals finished 11-3 overall.