Notebook: Bexley, CSG, St. Charles track athletes qualify for state meet
Sydnie Smith has had no problem with the Bexley girls track and field team moving up to Division I competition.
Without a season last year, the sophomore doesn’t know anything else. Smith made her first trip to the state meet June 4 and 5 at Hilliard Darby, the same location that she found district success.
Smith was second in the shot put (36 feet, 4 1/4 inches) and discus (124-6) in the regional May 26 and 28 at Pickerington North. The top four in each event advanced to state. Also, two at-large state berths were awarded for each event based on times and distances statewide.
Smith won the discus (121-4) and shot put (37-9 1/2) in the district 1 meet that concluded May 22 at Darby.
“This has been nice,” said Smith, the daughter of former Bexley football coach John Smith and the niece of former Ohio State and WNBA great Katie Smith. “This is pretty special, especially being a sophomore and not having a season last year. It’s been really surreal just being able to do this. I didn’t think I’d be here (at regional), so it’s just going out and giving it everything.”
Smith was joined at state by senior Maria Steinke, who finished fifth at regional in the 3,200 meters (11 minutes, 14.96 seconds) and earned an at-large berth.
The Lions tied for 10th (21 points) at regional behind champion Gahanna (84) as 38 teams scored.
Spencer Stevenson and Mason Louis led the Bexley boys squad in the Division II regional May 27 and 29 at Lexington. The state meet was June 4 and 5 at Pickerington North.
Stevenson won the 800 (1:57.09), and Louis was first in the 400 (49.43), second in the 200 (22.79) and fourth in the 100 (11.32). Louis also joined Stevenson, William Petry and Nicholas Eddy on the third-place 1,600 relay (3:26.84).
“I didn’t have my best time, so I’m more hungry now,” Louis said. “My start didn’t feel right in the 100. It just wasn’t my day.”
Bexley finished fourth (42) behind champion Sandusky Perkins (77) as 40 teams scored.
Columbus School for Girls had its 1,600 relay qualify for state with an at-large berth in Division II, as the Unicorns were 28th (8) at regional behind champion Gates Mills Gilmour Academy (71) as 38 teams scored.
Jameson Pillifant, Carly Priest, Kayden Edwards and Fabi Corso were on the fifth-place 1,600 relay (4:05.03), just behind fourth-place Oak Harbor (4:04.98).
“We knew we had a chance to make it (to state), and we’re so proud because it’s our best time of the year,” Edwards said. “Carly Priest ran it with us (at regional) and she did a great job and we had our best time.”
St. Charles had one participant in the Division I state meet in Owen Karas. The senior was fourth in the 1,600 (4:22.61) at regional as the Cardinals tied for 30th (5) behind champion Darby (68) with 36 teams scoring.
•First-year St. Charles lacrosse coach Kyle Andrews was proud of how his third-seeded squad battled top-seeded Upper Arlington during an 11-9 loss May 27 in the Division I, Region 3 final.
The Cardinals were playing without their leading scorer, senior attacker Blake Roller, who scored three goals in an 8-5 win at second-seeded Worthington Kilbourne on May 24 in a regional semifinal. Despite that, they seemed to have an answer for everything UA threw at them.
“I’m super proud of these guys,” Andrews said. “They battled every second. They never thought they were out of it. We had an All-American performance out of our goalie (senior Brodie Sullivan).”
Senior attacker Thomas O’Reilly had three goals, junior attacker Griffin Burkey had two and Sullivan made 20 saves for the Cardinals, who finished 14-6.
St. Charles reached its first regional final in Division I. The last time the Cardinals reached a regional final was in 2003 in Division II.
“This was a special senior class and a special senior year,” Andrews said. “They went into every game thinking they were going to win it.”
Roller (second-team all-region) led the Cardinals in goals (36) and had 14 assists and 69 ground balls, and O’Reilly (honorable mention all-region) had 33 goals and a team-high 21 assists. Senior midfielder Henry Mauntel (second-team all-region) had 33 goals, nine assists and 59 ground balls, and senior defender Quinn Matteson (honorable mention all-region) had 65 ground balls.
Senior William Ruess (M) had 69 ground balls, and senior Tommy Cloran (M) had 23 goals and 15 assists. Senior Jack Lindemann (D) had 48 ground balls, and senior T.J. Martin (M) had 44 ground balls. Senior Colin McClain (A) had 13 goals and one assist, and Sullivan (second-team all-region) had 232 saves.
Juniors expected to lead the team next season include Burkey (28 goals, 14 assists, 41 ground balls), Patrick Cahill (M; 8 goals, 6 assists) and Gavin Williams (M/A; 16 goals, 12 assists).
•First-year Bexley boys lacrosse coach Mike Bassani wasn’t as concerned with wins and losses as building a foundation for future success.
The seventh-seeded Lions got that and more as they finished a program-best 11-6, losing 12-4 to top-seeded DeSales on May 20 in a Division II, Region 7 quarterfinal.
“In terms of what we wanted to accomplish, we wanted to be building culture and expectations, and the kids did a great job,” said Bassani, who took over a program whose best record had been 9-7 in 2011. “We’re learning how to close the gap between us and teams like DeSales.”
The Lions had just two seniors in midfielder Matt Cohn and goalie Tyler Owens-Terwilliger. Cohn (second-team all-region) led the team with 38 points, scoring 22 goals with a team-high 16 assists. Owens-Terwilliger (first-team all-region) had a 62.9 save-percentage.
Junior midfielder Bennett Bartz (honorable mention all-region) led the team with 26 goals and had 11 assists, and junior defender Elliot Goldman (11 goals) was the Region 7 Defensive Player of the Year.
Other key players were sophomore attackers Tate Stark (15 goals, 3 assists) and Seth Rosenberg (12 goals, 3 assists), sophomore midfielder Carter Lavelle (10 goals, 1 assist) and sophomore midfielder/defender Bennett Bloebaum (honorable mention all-region).
“Our seniors meant a lot to us and we’ll have some big shoes to fill,” Bassani said. “We’ll be strong defensively next year, but we have to replace Tyler in goal. Also, we have to develop a face-off guy and we want to work on our offensive players becoming better shooters and initiate offense.”
•The Bexley baseball team finished third (8-4) in the MSL-Ohio behind co-champions Buckeye Valley and Worthington Christian (11-1) but struggled in non-league play.
The Lions finished 12-13 overall, losing 4-1 to fifth-seeded Hartley on May 20 in the second round of the Division II district tournament. They were seeded 11th.
“From the beginning to the end of the season, we learned how to compete,” first-year coach Joe Krabill said. “Early in the year we would’ve been in awe of certain teams and wouldn’t have processed situations as well as we did at the end. We learned to respect our opponents but not be intimidated by the name on the shirt or by where this kid or that kid was going to college.”
Junior catcher Joey Shapiro (second-team all-district, second-team all-league) led the Lions with a .478 batting average and a .557 on-base percentage. He had 21 RBI, 25 runs and nine stolen bases.
Junior Ryan Bernstein (1B/P) batted .391 with 23 RBI and nine runs, and sophomore Josiah Old (OF/P; second-team all-league) hit .366 with 16 RBI and 19 runs. Senior Tim Old (OF; honorable mention all-district, first-team all-league) hit .361 with 20 RBI, 26 runs and 13 stolen bases, and senior Tommy Bloebaum (SS/3B/1B/P; second-team all-district) batted .346 with team highs of 25 RBI and 14 stolen bases and also scored 23 runs.
Jon Spiess (P/SS/3B; honorable mention all-league) batted .338 with 13 RBI, 27 runs and a team-leading nine doubles. On the mound, the sophomore was 3-2 with a 2.97 ERA, 48 strikeouts and 14 walks in 30 2/3 innings. Senior Cade Phillips (SS/3B/P) was 1-7 with a 5.13 ERA, 39 strikeouts and 24 walks in 42 innings and batted .239 with 13 RBI and 16 runs.
Freshman Jamey Wright (2B) batted .320 with 10 RBI, 17 runs and eight stolen bases, and senior Jackson Remeis (OF) hit .305 with 15 RBI, 17 runs and nine stolen bases.
•The fourth-seeded St. Charles volleyball team lost to third-seeded Olentangy 25-23, 22-25, 25-23, 25-17 in the Division II, East Region final May 28 at Westerville Central.
The Cardinals defeated top-seeded Kilbourne 25-22, 19-25, 25-23, 25-27, 15-13 on May 26 to reach the final, and seventh-year coach Ned Gruber was pleased with the progression his team made.
“We thought going into the season that if we were playing for a regional title it would be a good season,” said Gruber, whose team finished 18-9 overall and tied DeSales for the CCL title at 5-1. “We lost a whole season last year, and we had a bunch of question marks as to who would play where.”
Junior outside hitter Nick Bennison (first-team all-state) led the Cardinals with 412 kills, followed by senior middle/outside hitters Josh Thomas (221) and Ben Franz (125). Franz led in blocks with 77 and senior middle hitter Zach McClimon had 60 blocks.
Junior setter Miller Kuntz (honorable mention all-state) had a team-high 652 assists, while junior libero Narit Mongkollugsana led in digs with 263.
“We have a good group of juniors and a good corps of younger guys expected back next year,” Gruber said.
•Record: 12-13 overall
•MSL-Ohio standings: Buckeye Valley and Worthington Christian (11-1), Bexley (8-4), Columbus Academy (5-6), Grandview (4-8), Whitehall (2-9), Wellington (0-12)
•Seniors lost: Tommy Bloebaum, Tim Old, Cade Phillips and Jackson Remeis
•Key returnees: Ryan Bernstein, Josiah Old, Joey Shapiro, Jon Spiess and Jamey Wright
•Postseason: Defeated Johnstown 3-1; lost to Hartley 4-1 in second round of Division II district tournament
BEXLEY BOYS LACROSSE
•Record: 11-6 overall
•Seniors lost: Matt Cohn and Tyler Owens-Terwilliger
•Key returnees: Bennett Bartz, Bennett Bloebaum, Elliot Goldman, Carter Lavelle, Seth Rosenberg and Tate Stark
•Postseason: Def. Jonathan Alder 5-4; lost to DeSales 12-4 in Division II, Region 7 quarterfinal
ST. CHARLES LACROSSE
•Record: 14-6 overall
•CCL standings: St. Charles (2-0), DeSales (1-1), Watterson (0-2)
•Seniors lost: Benjamin Auletta, Tommy Cloran, Drew DeShetler, James Foos, Jack Lindemann, John Martin, T.J. Martin, Quinn Matteson, Henry Mauntel, Colin McClain, Samuel Nori, Thomas O’Reilly, Nate Polinsky, John Protz, Blake Roller, William Ruess, Brant Shepherd, Brodie Sullivan and Joel Tobler
•Key returnees: Griffin Burkey and Gavin Williams
•Postseason: Def. Gahanna 20-0; def. Hilliard Davidson 13-3; def. Worthington Kilbourne 8-5; lost to Upper Arlington 11-9 in Division I, Region 3 final
ST. CHARLES VOLLEYBALL
•Record: 18-9 overall
•CCL standings: DeSales and St. Charles (both 5-1), Watterson (2-4), Hartley (0-6)
•Seniors lost: Josh Birtcher, Ben Franz, Kian Haghnazari, Noah Kurtz, Zach McClimon, Alex Michalec and Josh Thomas
•Key returnees: Nick Bennison, Miller Kunz and Narit Mongkollugsana
•Postseason: Def. Watterson 25-17, 25-8, 25-13; def. Kilbourne 25-22, 19-25, 25-23, 25-27, 15-13; lost to Olentangy 25-23, 22-25, 25-23, 25-17 in Division II, East Region final