Their final state swimming and diving meet came with mixed moments for Hartley High School seniors Ronnie Bolden and Andrea Cottrell on Feb. 21 and 22 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
Bolden reached a personal goal of swimming faster than 21 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle as he finished in 20.93, but he settled for second even though that time was faster than a year ago when he won the title in 21.13.
Cottrell swam nearly the same time as a year ago when she won the 100 breaststroke but ended up third, and she also felt relieved to finish fourth in the 200 individual medley after struggling in the preliminary race.
Pepper Pike Orange senior Jack Nee won the boys 50 free in 20.88.
Bolden, who will compete for Kentucky, also was third in the 100 butterfly (50.13).
"I've only raced him at state and last year he ended up getting fifth (in the 50 free)," Bolden said of Nee. "I thought I did everything that I could. I wanted to get into the 20s in the 50 free and 48 (seconds) in the 100 fly. I did my best in the 50 free but could have done better in the 100 fly."
Cottrell swam 1:03.46 in the 100 breast, compared to 1:03.32 a year ago, and cut more than two seconds off her preliminary time in the 200 IM to finish in 2:05.06.
"I was really lucky to even make the top eight (in the 200 IM)," said Cottrell, who has signed with Louisville. "This meet was not my meet. I did not perform the way I wanted, but I performed my hardest. I definitely wish I could have had it back."
Also competing at state was the boys 200 medley relay, which was 23rd (1:45.25) with Bolden, senior Vince Canini, sophomore Patrick Lawrence and freshman Jonathan Kluczynski.
The boys tied for 21st (33 points) behind champion Dayton Oakwood (288) as 58 teams scored. The girls finished 19th (31) behind champion Gates Mills Hawken (321) as 47 teams scored.
Rathburn, Hill qualify for state in wrestling
The wrestling team will be represented in the Division III state tournament Thursday, Feb. 28, through Saturday, March 2, at Ohio State by junior Grant Rathburn (132 pounds) and sophomore Kristopher Hill (113).
In the district meet Feb. 22 and 23 at Duncan Falls Philo, Hartley placed 15th (44.5) behind champion Amanda-Clearcreek (147.5) as 54 teams scored.
Rathburn won his first three matches before getting pinned by West Jefferson's Gennar Feucht in 1:38 to finish second. He enters state at 34-10.
Hill won his first two matches before losing to Woodsfield Monroe Central's Rodney Richter 16-12 in a semifinal. He bounced back to win his next two and placed third. He is 33-8.
"I thought Grant had an excellent tournament," coach Kevin Petrella said. "The kid from West Jefferson is a buzz saw. Grant just wrestled tough all weekend and put himself in a good position for state, and so did Kristopher.
"Kristopher was up 6-2 (on Richter) and ended up losing that match. The one thing we're happy about is that he kind of lost that match because of his lack of experience."
Rathburn went 0-2 at state at 126 a year ago.
"I feel like I wrestled very well (at district)," he said. "I scored points and I stayed on top in the bigger matches. I think this year it's more of a goal to place (at state). Last year I went 0-2 at state and this year I won't go in overwhelmed because I know what it's like."
Also competing at district but failing to advance were Luke Wulf (106, 0-2), Jack Zang (145, 2-2), Jacob Croswell (160, 1-2) and Jared Croswell (195, 0-2).
Girls basketball team advances to semi
The third-seeded girls basketball team played seventh-seeded Granville in a Division II district semifinal Feb. 27.
The winner advanced to play fourth-seeded Utica or sixth-seeded DeSales for a district title at 7 p.m. Friday, March 1, at Gahanna. The district champion will play Carrollton, Zanesville Maysville, Wintersville Indian Creek or Millersburg West Holmes in a regional semifinal at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, at Zanesville.
Hartley beat Licking Valley 49-37 in the second round Feb. 20 to improve to 19-4 and set up the rematch with Granville, which it lost to 48-43 in its opener Nov. 26.
Sophomore post player Marissa Brown had 12 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks against Licking Valley.
"I thought Licking Valley was definitely a solid team, but our girls executed the offense well," coach Mike Lanza said. "We were communicating and it was just a complete effort."
Hartley swept DeSales during the regular season, winning 41-33 on Jan. 12 and 31-30 on Feb. 9.
The Hawks defeated Utica 55-53 on Dec. 22.
Boys basketball team to face Red Devils
The boys basketball team opens the Division II district tournament at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at home against 11th-seeded Marion-Franklin in a second-round game.
The fifth-seeded Hawks have been off since closing the regular season Feb. 15 with a 37-34 loss to St. Charles. That was their fourth loss in five games.
Marion-Franklin improved to 11-12 by opening the tournament with a 79-34 win over Jonathan Alder on Feb. 23.
"Marion-Franklin has a 6-8 kid (senior forward Marquiez Lawrence) who is a decent player," coach Randy Kortokrax said.
"They've got talent. For us to win that game, we're going to have to play big and that's going to put a tremendous amount of pressure on us to shoot well."
The winner advances to a district semifinal against fourth-seeded Buckeye Valley or 12th-seeded Beechcroft at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 6, at Newark.
Bowling season ends at district
The girls bowling team had two competitors in the district tournament Feb. 23 at HP Lanes but neither advanced to state.
Senior Melanie Hutton was 78th (387) and junior Molly Stitt tied for 82nd (372) as the top three individuals not on qualifying teams advanced.
Hartley was third (8-2) in the 11-team Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-Central Division behind Ready (10-0) and Northland (9-1).
On Feb. 15 in a sectional at Eastland Lanes, the Hawks were 11th (2,731) of 26 teams behind champion Lancaster (3,159) as the top nine advanced to district.
Stitt was 14th (460) and Hutton tied for 27th (422) while qualifying for district.
Also competing at sectional were senior Mackenzie Pugh (125th, 126), junior Chelsea Craft (136th, 110) and freshman Sara Strapp (123rd, 149).
The boys were ninth (8-7) of 16 teams in the COHSBC-Central behind champion Ready (14-1).
Hartley then was 24th (2,953) of 30 teams in a sectional Feb. 16 at Columbus Western Bowl behind champion Newark (4,030).
Junior Corey Wilbur placed 59th with a 490, followed by senior William Ball (82nd, 448), junior Daniel Supino (90th, 424) and sophomores Jared George (101st, 388) and Mark Thiel (tied for 118th, 334).