In the Division II state track and field meet a year ago, the Hartley High School boys team's only competitor was 2012 graduate Isaiah Walls, and he turned in a runner-up finish in the 300-meter hurdles in 38.95 seconds.
Nearly duplicating that place and bettering that time this season was senior Hezekiah Moore.
He ran 38.82 during the 300 hurdles preliminary and improved on that the next day, finishing in 38.76 to place third behind Watterson's Dominic Lombardi (38.13) and Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy's Evan Carroscia (38.16).
Moore, who plans to attend Kent State with hopes of walking on to the track team, was one of two Hartley boys to place at state, which was held June 7 and 8 at Ohio State. Sophomore Cameron Hart finished fifth in the long jump (21 feet, 9 1/2 inches).
Hartley tied for 22nd (10 points) behind champion Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (49) as 73 teams scored.
"(Moore) is a senior but this is his first year running for us, so he's like a freshman running the 300 hurdles," coach Reggie Osborne said. "It's a huge accomplishment. He had a great race. The race was probably won over the last hurdle. Being third in the state is not too bad."
For Moore, the effort capped a season that included runner-up finishes in the 110 hurdles (14.8) and 300 hurdles (40.0) and a championship on the 400 relay with Hart, senior Michael Reese and sophomore Kristopher Hill (43.9) in the CCL meet May 16 and 18 at Columbus School for Girls.
Those performances helped Hartley place fourth (77) in the league behind St. Charles (175), DeSales (81) and Ready (79) and ahead of Watterson (74).
Then in the district 2 meet May 21, 22 and 25 at Westerville South, Moore won the 200 (22.41) and was second in the 110 hurdles (14.46) and 300 hurdles (39.73). Also moving on were Hill in the 200 (third, 22.67) and Hart in the long jump (third, 20-5) to help Hartley place sixth (47) of 13 teams behind champion Caledonia River Valley (128).
In the regional May 30 and June 1 at Welcome Stadium in Dayton, Moore won the 300 hurdles (39.23) and was sixth in the 110 hurdles (15.52) and seventh in the 200 (23.97), while Hart was fourth in the long jump (21-11 1/2). Hartley placed 11th (20) behind co-champions Versailles and Dayton Dunbar (66) as 47 teams scored.
At state, Hart cleared 21-6 on his third jump and went 21-9 1/2 on his final attempt to secure fifth place. He won the high jump (6-4) and long jump (21-1) in the league meet.
"Considering this is my second year of track, it felt amazing," Hart said. "There was a little anxiety, but once I got out the nerves I was fine."
In addition to Hart and Hill, Hartley is eligible to return juniors Brian Hearns (high jump) and Paul Matheke (middle distance), sophomore Austin Mauk (sprints) and freshmen Jared Coswell (shot put, discus), Sheldon Henderson (sprints) and Michael Morgan Jr. (middle distance).
Greer takes sixth at state
Junior Naja Greer led the girls track team in the Division I state meet with a sixth-place finish in the 200 (25.09).
Greer ran 24.67 during the preliminary for the fifth-best time entering the final. She and Reynoldsburg senior Diamond Gause, who won in 23.96, were the only two from the Central District to reach the final.
Her three points gave Hartley a tie for 55th behind champion Solon (47) as 74 teams scored.
"I was expecting to run 24 seconds, but coming from lane two, I knew that would be hard to get," Greer said. "After this result, I'm determined to drop my time."
Also competing at state but failing to score were the 1,600 relay of senior Mallory McCormick, sophomores Emily Franz and Sydney Williams and Greer (13th, 4:01.28) and junior Deja Martin in the 100 (14th, 12.298).
Greer won the 200 (25.2) and 400 (57.9) and ran on the first-place 1,600 relay (3:59.8) in the league meet as the Hawks were fourth (102) behind DeSales (114), CSG (112) and Watterson (105) and ahead of Ready (55).
Then in the district 1 meet May 21, 23 and 25 at Hilliard Darby, Greer was first in the 200 (24.8) and Martin won the 100 (12.46). Franz was runner-up in the 800 (2:15.13) and the 1,600 relay also was second (3:57.1). McCormick added a fourth in the 400 (59.25) as Hartley finished seventh (41) of 17 teams behind champion Hilliard Davidson (90).
On May 29 and 31 in the regional at Pickerington North, Hartley tied Westerville North for eighth (28) behind co-champions Gahanna and Pickerington Central (55) as 39 teams scored.
Greer was second in the 200 (24.81), the 1,600 relay was first (3:54.58) and Martin was fourth in the 100 (12.47) to advance, while Franz was fifth in the 800 (2:14.1) and McCormick took eighth in the 400 (60.31).
"It was a good season," said McCormick, who plans to attend Ohio Wesleyan. "I was happy with it."
The other seniors were Paige Caldwell (shot put, discus) and Nala Key (sprints). Caldwell won the shot put (33-3 3/4) in the league meet.
In addition to Greer, Franz, Martin and Williams, Hartley is eligible to return juniors Jalisa Howard (long jump) and Madeline Menzie (middle distance), sophomore Chika Odemena (hurdles, high jump) and freshmen Tyla Jones (middle distance) and Briana Sharp (sprints).
Odemena won the 110 hurdles (16.1), Franz was first in the 800 (2:16.5) and Martin won the 100 (12.5) in the league meet.
"I thought we came together pretty well this year," Greer said. "We made it to state this year, so we're pretty happy with that."