St. Charles Preparatory School senior Justin Efebera was sporting a broad grin as he ended his CCL track and field career as a champion.
Efebera not only won both the 110-meter hurdles and 300 hurdles in the CCL meet that concluded May 8 at Columbus School for Girls, but he was a key contributor in helping the Cardinals regain the league championship after DeSales won it last year.
St. Charles scored 174 points to outdistance DeSales (154), Hartley (83), Watterson (72) and Ready (9). It was the Cardinals' fifth CCL title in seven seasons.
"It's always a good validation to win a league title," said Efebera, who won the 110 hurdles in 15.0 seconds and the 300 hurdles in 41.68. "That trumps everything else, and it feels good to get that gold medal around your neck. No matter where it is, winning always feels good.
"(Winning a league title) is what we do this for. It's nice to win individual titles, but we do this for winning team titles."
Kaleb Simpson won two individual events and was a member of two first-place relays. The junior won the 100 in a program-record 10.77 and was first in the 200 in 22.08. He joined Isaiah Yarngo, Donavan Allen and Roland Rowe on the winning 400 relay (42.98) and 800 relay (1:30.6).
"I'm so surprised," Simpson said. "I thought my (100) time would max out at 10.8, but they told me it was a 10.77. I felt like I had an 11-second run. I'm so surprised at how I'm doing now.
"It means a lot (to win a league title). Last year we were a small team, and this year we have more out and some great athletes. We have a lot of juniors or below that, so that's good."
Owen Karas won the 3,200 in 9:56.01 and Liam O'Reilly was runner-up in 10:21.35. Iain Karas was first in the 1,600 (4:33.13).
Rowe was runner-up in the 100 (11.14) and the 3,200 relay of O'Reilly, Cameron DeShetler, Will Blubaugh and Iain Karas also was second (8:14.1).
The Cardinals are competing in the Division I, district 1 meet, which began May 14, continues Thursday, May 16, and concludes Saturday, May 18. The top four finishers in each event advance to regional Wednesday, May 22, and May 24 at Pickerington North.
"The guys really stepped up for us and had some great performances," coach John Leskovich said. "This is a really good springboard going into district. We're really looking forward to seeing what our guys can do when they peak."
Yakubov wins sectional tennis championship
Coming off a sectional singles championship, Reece Yakubov will compete in the Division I district tennis tournament Thursday, May 16, and Saturday, May 18, at Reynoldsburg.
The top four finishers in singles and doubles will advance to state May 24 and 25 at Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason.
Yakubov, a sophomore, went 5-0 in a sectional held May 9 and 11 at Reynoldsburg. He defeated Thomas Worthington's Kai Britz 6-4, 6-1 in the final.
Also competing in singles for St. Charles were junior Evan Porshinsky (0-1) and freshman Brady Pema (1-1).
Senior Ben Wolfe and freshman Kellen Karas were 1-1 in doubles, and senior Will Prophater and freshman Daniel Ferguson were 0-1.
The Cardinals also won their eighth consecutive CCL championship, finishing 4-0 by defeating Watterson 3-2 on May 8.
Baseball team opens tourney
The 22nd-seeded baseball team was 12-15 overall after defeating 33rd-seeded Westerville North 1-0 on May 13 in the first round of the Division I district tournament.
Aidan Rice tossed a two-hitter with five strikeouts and two walks. Charlie Duross doubled and singled.
The Cardinals played at 20th-seeded Groveport on May 15 in the second round, with that winner playing in a district semifinal Monday, May 20, at a neutral site against top-seeded New Albany, 39th-seeded Teays Valley or 43rd-seeded Logan. The Cardinals defeated Teays Valley 2-0 on April 2.
The district final is Wednesday, May 22, at a neutral site, with fifth-seeded Gahanna or 15th-seeded Central Crossing as possible opponents. The district champion advances to a regional semifinal May 30 at Dublin Coffman.
The Cardinals finished 2-6 in the CCL.
Lacrosse team begins postseason
The sixth-seeded lacrosse team opened the Division I, Region 3 tournament May 14 at fifth-seeded Thomas.
The winner plays in a regional quarterfinal against third-seeded New Albany or 15th-seeded Gahanna on Friday, May 17, at the home of the better seed. The Cardinals lost to New Albany 9-6 on March 26.
The regional semifinal is Tuesday, May 21, at a neutral site. Top-seeded UA is a possible opponent. The regional final is May 24.
The Cardinals finished the regular season 8-8 after losing to Watterson 11-8 on May 9. Karson Doon and Max Lyski both had three goals, and goalkeeper Zach Lowis had 17 saves.