Notebook: CCL champion St. Charles Cardinals prep for swimming postseason

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Will Elsrod and St. Charles will compete in a Division I sectional Feb. 13 in their home pool. On Jan. 30 at home, the Cardinals captured their 22nd consecutive CCL championship.

The St. Charles swimming and diving team is preparing for the Division I postseason after maneuvering through an “unprecedented” regular season and winning its 22nd consecutive CCL championship Jan. 30 in its home pool.

Coach Kyle Goodrich said it’s all about getting his athletes mentally prepared by having them embrace the changes and curves posed by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s unique, it’s unprecedented and it’s fun,” Goodrich said. “If we can just convey that to our swimmers, then we’re doing the right thing. If we approach with timidity or apprehension or whatever, it’s going to challenge them across the board. We don’t ever expect to do these things again, so let’s have fun with it. Let’s embrace it.

“Every day they get to come to practice. Others don’t. Every day you get to compete in a meet like (the CCL). Enjoy it, because some people won’t get that opportunity.”

The Cardinals will compete in a home sectional Feb. 13. There are no automatic berths to the district meet Feb. 21 at Bowling Green. The top 24 in individual events and the top 16 relays advance based on sectional times. 

St. Charles scored 539 points in the league meet to easily outdistance DeSales (217), Hartley (196), Watterson (115) and Ready (2).

The Cardinals won all three relays. Will Elsrod, Matt Kravitz, Lukas Rakowsky and Austin Grzybicki were on the 200-yard medley relay (1 minute, 44.16 seconds), and Ryan Alfred, Spencer Aurnou-Rhees, Mitchell List and Nolan Weger made up the 200 freestyle relay (1:33.7).

The 400 free relay (3:23.31) featured Angus Moore, Sean Noonan, Donnie Richardson and Rakowsky.

“The coaches learned how to adapt to the schedule and we learned that we can still do what we want in these hard times with the sport despite the restrictions,” Kravitz said. “We were still able to continue the legacy (by winning the CCL).”

Individual champions included Moore in the 50 free (22.9), List in the 100 free (50.58), Chase Bateman in the 200 free (1:50.83) and Aurnou-Rhees in the 500 free (5:03.43).

“I think (the CCL meet) is a good place to get a win before the postseason,” Moore said. “It gives us a chance to work on relay exchanges, starts and turns and the other little things that are important.

“We just have to keep focused on the sport, and don’t let the other stuff get to us. We just have to roll with what happens, and we’ll do fine.”

Also taking first were Rakowsky in the 100 butterfly (53.55) and Elsrod in the 100 backstroke (56.57).

“We realize that this is a blessing and we don’t want to take anything for granted,” Goodrich said. “We want to enjoy the brotherhood and camaraderie as much as we can.”

•The Bexley boys and girls swimming teams begin the postseason with a Division II sectional at Columbus Academy. The girls are scheduled to compete Feb. 13 and the boys Feb. 14.

There are no automatic berths to the district meet Feb. 18 at Bowling Green. The top 24 in individual events and the top 16 relays advance based on sectional times. 

The Lions competed in the MSL-Ohio meet in preparation for the postseason. The boys finished second (208) behind host Academy (337) on Feb. 29 as six teams competed.

Nicholas Minkin won the 100 back (56.76) and was runner-up in the 100 fly (57.29). Eli Dresbach (500 free, 5:27.82) and Ryan Kemp (100 breaststroke, 1:11.21) both placed fourth.

The girls were fourth (157) of eight teams Jan. 30 behind champion and host Columbus School for Girls (394).

Anja Hoy was second in the 100 back (1:03.35) and third in the 200 individual medley (2:21.94), and Ally Grieshop was third in the 500 free (5:48.35). Annabel Long placed fourth in the 100 breast (1:17.48) and 100 fly (1:05.14).

Hoy and Long joined Olivia Mitchell and Arianna Martin on the third-place 200 medley relay (2:05.02).

Regan Comstock and Bexley earned the third seed for the Division II district tournament. The Lions open with a second-round game Feb. 19 at home against eighth-seeded Jonathan Alder.

•Maddy Young became the career leader in 3-pointers for the Bexley girls basketball team during a 76-16 win over Wellington on Jan. 30 in the first round of the MSL-Ohio tournament. The senior guard scored 13 points with three 3s to increase her career total to 155, one more than 2008 graduate Monica Gustin.

Young just missed tying the single-game record with seven 3s in a 23-point performance during a 61-23 win over Grandview in the second round. Gustin holds the record of eight. Young’s career total after the victory was 162.

The Lions were 12-2 overall and 8-1 in the MSL-Ohio before facing Worthington Christian on Feb. 5 in the league tournament championship game.

Bexley is seeded third for the Division II district tournament behind Granville and Hartley. The Lions have a first-round bye before playing at home Feb. 19 against eighth-seeded Jonathan Alder.

•The St. Charles basketball team remained in the hunt to defend its CCL championship.

The Cardinals were 6-4 overall and 4-1 in the league before playing DeSales on Feb. 5.

Chase Walker scored 16 points and Doogie James added 12 as the Cardinals defeated Watterson 50-36 on Feb. 2 in league play.

St. Charles travels to Ready on Feb. 12 in CCL play before playing at Logan on Feb. 13.

Through 10 games, James was averaging 14.6 points, 4.9 assists and 3.6 steals to lead the Cardinals in those categories. Walker was averaging 10.6 points and a team-leading 6.1 rebounds. 

Other top scorers were Isaiah Wilkins (9.2), Josh Whiteside (8.7) and Ryan Utt (7.0).

•The CSG basketball team is seeded 15th of 17 teams in the Division II district tournament and has a first-round bye.

The Unicorns will face top-seeded Granville or 17th-seeded Hamilton Township on Feb. 19.

CSG, which also had a bye in the first round of the MSL-Ohio tournament after Buckeye Valley was in quarantine because of the coronavirus, lost 64-17 to Worthington Christian on Feb. 2 in the second round. Emma Spangler led the Unicorns with eight points.

CSG was 4-5 overall and 3-5 in the league before facing Wellington on Feb. 5 in the fifth-place matchup.

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