St. Charles Preparatory School senior Michael Gutman will be focused and ready for his final trip to the Division I state swimming and diving meet.

Gutman will be making his fourth appearance at state, and he does not expect to be in awe of the experience at Branin Natatorium in Canton like he was three years ago.

Swimming preliminaries are Friday, Feb. 23, and finals are Saturday, Feb. 24.

"Coming from my freshman year to my senior year, I feel like a completely different person," Gutman said. "I feel like the mental edge has really changed over the four years because I've been able to really grow mentally. My freshman year I was scared to death at state. This year I'm coming in confident and I feel a lot better about myself."

Gutman will compete in the 100-yard butterfly and as a member of the 200 freestyle and 200 medley relays. He is seeded 13th at state in the 100 fly after finishing second (50.8 seconds) at district Feb. 17 at Ohio University.

He joined Patrick Pema, Mitchell List and Alex Nash on the 200 medley relay that finished first (1:34.86) at district and is seeded sixth at state.

"We focus on our taper, and coach (Geoff Gear) tries to have us rested and bring our all to (district)," Nash said. "He expects us to make it here. Anything (this) week (at state) is icing on the cake."

Gutman, Jonathan Sugar, Nash and Andrew Shyu were on the 200 free relay that was runner-up (1:26.52) at district and is seeded ninth at state.

"In that second heat, we just wanted to be confident and put in a good time and put ourselves in a good position," Shyu said. "It's really exciting. We don't focus too much on sectionals; that's why our seeding isn't that great, so we give it our all in this district meet."

Pema will compete in two individual events at state. He won the 100 backstroke (50.41) at district and is seeded fifth at state, and he was second in the 500 free (4:35.94) and is the sixth seed.

The 400 free relay is seeded 16th at state after finishing third (3:11.95) at district with Pema, Sugar, Nash and Griffin Beam.

Sugar also was fifth at district in the 50 free (21.52) and is seeded 22nd at state.

The top two placers in each swimming event at district automatically advanced to state. In addition, 16 at-large state berths were awarded for each swimming event based on district times statewide.

St. Charles did not have any divers qualify for state.

The Cardinals finished second (285 points) behind Dublin Jerome (303), breaking their string of four consecutive district titles as 29 teams scored.

Hockey team to battle UA in district tourney

The hockey team continues district tournament play with a quarterfinal against fifth-seeded Upper Arlington at 2:45 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at OhioHealth Ice Haus.

The third-seeded Cardinals are 20-11-1-1 and have split four meetings with the Golden Bears this season.

In Capital Hockey Conference play, St. Charles won 2-1 in overtime Jan. 5 and lost 2-1 on Jan. 28. The Cardinals also won 3-0 on Nov. 25 in the Chiller Thanksgiving Classic and lost 3-2 on Dec. 17 in the Parma Padua Holiday Tournament.

The winner advances to a district semifinal at 3:45 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25, against top-seeded Jerome or seventh-seeded Springboro at the Ice Haus.

St. Charles went 1-2 against the Celtics this season. The teams split in the CHC, with the Cardinals winning 3-2 on Dec. 9 and Jerome winning 4-2 on Jan. 7. The Celtics won 6-2 on Nov. 27 in the Chiller Thanksgiving Classic.

The Cardinals defeated Springboro 4-2 on Dec. 1 in league play.

The district final is March 3 at the Ice Haus.

St. Charles defeated 11th-seeded Olentangy Orange 5-2 on Feb. 18 in the second round. Noah Kiger had two goals and Will Hoag, Matt Silva and Nic Zimmerman all scored once.

Wrestlers prepare for sectional tournament

The wrestling team will compete in a Division I sectional tournament Saturday, Feb. 24, at Newark.

The top four finishers in each weight class advance to district March 2 and 3 at Hilliard Darby.

The Cardinals finished ninth (107.5) in the 14-team Nye Cardinal Classic at home Feb. 17 behind champion Lancaster (315).

Kenton Colvin (126 pounds) and Ian Noonan (138) were champions and Marvin Moore (220) was runner-up. Moore was competing in the place of senior Jacob Waltermeyer, who is out for the postseason with a broken left leg.

Sean Grim (160) placed third and Steve Metzger (145) was sixth.

The Cardinals finished second in the CCL duals Feb. 22. They defeated Ready 48-24 in a first-round match before losing to host Hartley 44-27 in the championship match.

Basketball team set to battle top-seeded team

The basketball team opens the Division I district tournament Saturday, Feb. 24, at top-seeded Pickerington North.

The Cardinals are seeded 44th and have not played the Panthers this season.

The winner advances to a second-round game March 2 against 34th-seeded Columbus West at the home of the better seed.

St. Charles finished the regular season 5-14 overall and 1-7 in the CCL after losing to DeSales 41-37 in overtime Feb. 16. Spencer Martin led with 20 points and six 3-pointers.

Bowling team gets ready for sectional

The bowling team competes in the Division I sectional Friday, Feb. 23, at HP Lanes.

The top 16 teams and top 16 individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district March 3 at HP Lanes.

The Cardinals finished 13-4 overall and 9-3 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-D Division after defeating Columbus East 1,915-1,131 on Feb. 12. William Ullom was medalist with a 349.

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen

At a glance

Below are the members of the St. Charles swimming & diving team who competed at district but did not qualify for state:

Chase Bateman: 200 free (1:50.23, 21st), 500 free (5:05.48, 27th); Griffin Beam: 100 back (54.04, 10th), 200 free (1:44.81, sixth); Will Elsrod: 200 IM (2:01.56, 15th); Dominic Francescon: diving (280.9, 16th); Michael Gutman: 50 free (21.62, sixth); Stephen Julian: diving (361.65, eighth); Thomas Lennox: 100 back (53.87, ninth), 200 IM (1:59.34, 10th); Mitchell List: 100 breast (59.14, seventh), 200 IM (2:04.45, 21st); Ben Mooney: 100 fly (53.79, ninth), 200 IM (2:02.56, 17th); Trey Moore: 100 free (50.15, 26th); Alex Nash: 100 fly (53.26, eighth), 50 free (22.39, 20th); Sean Noonan: 200 free (1:53.88, 30th); Ryan Seidt: 100 back (54.05, 11th), 100 free (49.57, 18th); Andrew Shyu: 100 fly (56.53, 24th); Michael Shyu: 100 breast (1:04.75, 27th); Jonathan Sugar: 100 free (47.71, eighth)