Just about everything went according to plan for Hartley High School girls track and field athletes Emily Franz and Naja Greer in the Division I regional meet May 28 and 30 at Pickerington North.
Although the duo wasn't able to get the 1,600-meter relay through to the state meet Friday, June 6, and Saturday, June 7, at Ohio State, Greer won the 200 (24.49 seconds) and Franz was second in the 800 (2:14.32) to advance.
They helped the Hawks take ninth (21) behind champion Pickerington Central (75) as 41 teams scored.
"Both of them executed their race plans well," coach Reggie Osborne said.
"We've been working with something in (Greer's) race. Our (1,600 relay) had its best time, but it just wasn't quite good enough."
Last season at state, Greer took sixth in the 200 (25.09) and Franz and Greer both ran on the 1,600 relay that was 13th (4:01.28).
Greer ran 24.68 in the preliminary regional race of the 200 to have the best time heading into the final, just ahead of Dublin Coffman's Beatrice Hannan (24.7) and New Albany's Karrington Winters (24.99), but Hannan didn't run the final and Winters struggled to finish the race (1:01.66).
"I've started to beat some pretty big competitors this year like Karrington who I've never really beaten before," Greer said.
"I've been feeling pretty good."
Franz, who is a three-time state qualifier in cross country, will compete at state track in an individual event for the first time.
Joining Franz and Greer on the 1,600 relay (sixth, 3:59.89) were Ky'leana Allen and Kristian Brown.
Also competing at regional but failing to advance were Deja Martin in the 100 (12th, 12.83), the 400 relay of Brown, Martin, Briana Sharp and Taneyzia Robinson (13th, 51.26) and the 800 relay of Allen, Franz, Greer and Martin (11th, 1:47.43).
Hill, relay advance to state for boys
The boys track team scored 11 points in the Division II regional May 29 and 31 at Lexington to tie for 22nd behind champion Pemberville Eastwood (61) as 46 teams scored.
Moving on to state were Kristopher Hill in the 200 (third, 22.57) and the 800 relay of Hill, Richard Jones III, Jacob Mercier and Alonzo Saxton (fourth, 1:30.21).
Osborne believed it was going to be difficult for the 800 relay to make it to state after entering the preliminary with the fourth-best time (1:30.9), but it improved on that time in the final to edge Bellevue (1:30.26) for the last qualifying spot.
Also helping was that Caledonia River Valley, which had the best preliminary time, didn't finish the race.
"They've been doing pretty well," Osborne said.
It was a tough end to the season for junior Cameron Hart, who was fifth at state a year ago in the long jump.
He was unable to compete in the long jump at regional May 29 because of an injury and then was unable to clear a height in the high jump May 31.
Softball team losing six seniors
The six seniors on the softball team helped Hartley reach a Division II district semifinal in 2011 and earn district runner-up trophies in 2012 and this season.
Seniors Alexis Britford (1B), Kristen Culbertson (3B), Sidney Melton (SS), Cassie Plageman (P) and Mariah Rock (LF) all started as seventh-seeded Hartley lost to top-seeded Licking Valley 8-2 in a district final May 24 at Pickerington Central.
Nicole Weldon (OF) rounded out the class for a team that finished 15-12 overall and second (3-3) in the CCL behind DeSales (6-0) and ahead of Ready (2-4) and Watterson (1-5).
"They're all four-year varsity players who contributed," coach Meghan Zuercher said. "The seniors all started since they were freshmen and we made some noise in the league. This program didn't have much success in the (1990s) or early 2000s."
Freshman Tatum Wise was the team's No. 1 pitcher, earning wins over Brookhaven (20-0 on May 15), Bloom-Carroll (6-0 on May 16) and Lakewood (4-3 on May 19) in the district tournament.
Sophomore Maria Cegledy started in center field and also spent time in the circle.
Junior Miranda Golden served as the team's designated player and sophomore Lexi van Ooyen started at second base.
"We've got Maria Cegledy, who was our leadoff batter, coming back along with Lexi van Ooyen, Miranda Golden ... and Tatum Wise," Zuercher said. "They'll be our leaders next year."