The St. Charles Preparatory School swimming and diving program reached the podium only once in the Division I state meet, but it was a strong performance from a team filled with young talent.
The 200-yard medley relay of sophomores Will Elsrod and Mitchell List, junior Alex Nash and senior Jon Sugar tied for fourth in 1 minute, 33.32 seconds on Feb. 23 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. List said the members of the relay accomplished their goal.
"It's a huge deal for us (to place at state)," List said. "Our goal every year is to get into sectional and move up, get into district and move up and get into state and move up and we've accomplished all three of those now."
Elsrod also was pleased with the finish, especially by the performance of Sugar in his anchor leg.
"This means a lot for our team because most of our relay is coming back next year," Elsrod said. "We only have Jon as a senior, and he came back at the end and out-touched everyone. We were toward the back and he got us all the way to fourth. It was his fastest split ever (at 20.34)."
Sugar also competed in the 50 freestyle, finishing 10th in 21.17, and swam on the 11th-place 200 free relay (1:25.83) with Nash, senior Griffin Beam and freshman Spencer Aurnou-Rhees.
List also was 13th in the 100 breaststroke in 58.02.
"It's the strongest I've ever felt in the 100 breast," List said. "Previously I've been strongest in the 200 breast outside of high school meets. I feel like my 100 breast is coming around."
Elsrod also was 15th in the 100 breast (58.56) and 23rd in the 200 individual medley (1:56.55), and Aurnou-Rhees was 11th in the 500 free (4:38.6) and 14th in the 200 IM (1:54.53).
The Cardinals wrapped up a season in which they won their 21st consecutive CCL title, scoring 481.5 points in the league meet Jan. 26 at Columbus School for Girls to easily outdistance runner-up Hartley (267.5).
"We're all super close in and outside of swim (season)," Elsrod said. "We all love to compete and practice and a lot of us are teammates in both swim and water polo."
Grim leads wrestlers to district tourney
Sean Grim won the championship at 170 pounds to lead the wrestling team in a Division I sectional Feb. 23 at Marysville.
The senior advanced with two teammates - Adyn Snyder at 132 and Will Susa at 182 - to the district tournament Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2, at Mentor. The top four finishers in each weight class at district qualify for state March 7-9 at Ohio State.
In the sectional championship match, Grim pinned Pickerington North's Elliot Mahaffey in 1:53 to improve to 31-6. He will be making his third district appearance, missing only his sophomore season because of injury.
"I think it might be better that I'm going to Mentor instead of (Hilliard) Darby for district because of the good kids already there (at Darby)," Grim said. "Mentor will have some really good kids as well who might not be rated as high as some of the people down here because it's tough up there."
Snyder, a junior, was runner-up at sectional after being pinned by Ashland's Jake Visintine in 1:26 in the final.
Susa, a senior, finished fourth after being pinned by Mansfield Madison's Hunter Borden in 2:00 in the third-place match.
Sophomore Declan Cooper (160) and junior Steve Metzger (152) placed fifth and are district alternates.
Flory to bowl at district
Senior Grant Flory will compete in the Division I district bowling tournament Saturday, March 2, at HP Lanes.
Flory rolled a 590 three-game series at sectional Feb. 23 at HP Lanes to finish as the seventh of 16 individual qualifiers to district. He placed 35th overall as the Cardinals finished 20th (3,560) of 42 teams behind champion Marion Harding (4,336).
Olentangy Orange (3,644) was the 16th and final team qualifier to district.
Dominick Koeth (531) was 69th and the only other Cardinals bowler to roll three games.
At district, the top three individuals not on qualifying teams advance to state March 9 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
Hockey team falls in district quarterfinal
The hockey team lost to fourth-seeded New Albany 5-1 in a quarterfinal of the district tournament Feb. 23 at OhioHealth Ice Haus.
The fifth-seeded Cardinals finished 16-10-3-1 overall, including 1-2-1 against New Albany. They won 2-1 on Dec. 8, tied the Eagles at 2 on Jan. 4 in Capital Hockey Conference-Red Division play and lost 4-3 on Feb. 7 in the first round of the Blue Jackets Cup.
In the district quarterfinal, senior defenseman Nic Zimmerman scored off assists from sophomore forward Diego Pitones and freshman defenseman Erich Schoettmer.
The Cardinals finished fifth (16, 7-6-1-1) in the six-team CHC-Red behind champion Dublin Jerome (28, 14-1) to earn the right to continue to play in the league's upper division next season.
Pitones led St. Charles with 12 goals in league play, followed by junior forwards Owen Zimmerman (9) and Marco Giambrone (8). Freshman goaltender Cooper Tyson had an .887 save percentage.
Basketball team falls short against Cruisers
The 23rd-seeded basketball team lost at 21st-seeded Groveport 50-40 on Feb. 23 in the opening round of the Division I district tournament.
Junior forward Victor Searls led with 12 points and freshman guard Jared Frey added 10 for the Cardinals, who finished 12-9 overall.
St. Charles finished third (4-4) in the CCL behind co-champions DeSales and Watterson (both 6-2).
Frey averaged a team-high 17.1 points, and Searls averaged 9.0 points and 6.0 rebounds.