The already stellar careers of Hartley High School juniors Andrea Cottrell and Ronnie Bolden added a new dimension last weekend.

The already stellar careers of Hartley High School juniors Andrea Cottrell and Ronnie Bolden added a new dimension last weekend.

After both reached the awards podium in two individual events a year ago, Cottrell and Bolden each left the Division II state swimming and diving meet, which was held Feb. 22-24 at Branin Natatorium in Canton, with one championship.

"I can't imagine much bigger of a thrill than standing on top of the state podium," coach Tony Phillips said. "We've had relays win titles before, but this might be the first time we've had individual state champions. They worked hard all year long."

Bolden captured the title in the 50-yard freestyle in 21.13 seconds and, shortly afterward, added a fifth-place finish in the 100 butterfly (50.18).

Cottrell won the championship in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.32) and was third in the 200 individual medley (2:04.57).

Cottrell, who was second in both the 200 IM and 100 breast a year ago, helped the girls place 13th (70 points) of 45 teams that scored as Gates Mills Hawken (360.5) captured the title.

Cottrell swam on the state-champion 200 medley relay as a sophomore and also was second in the 100 breast and third in the 200 IM that season.

"I can't explain how exciting it was," Cottrell said. "To get second two years in a row (in the 100 breast) was annoying. Getting second is great because any time you can place in the top eight it's great, but getting second (the last two years in the 100 breast) definitely motivated me."

Bolden helped the boys team place 14th (60) of 57 teams that scored as Hunting Valley University School (237.5) won the title.

He took third in the 50 free and 12th in the 100 fly as a freshman before placing third in the 100 fly and fourth in the 50 free last season.

"It was such a great relief to win," Bolden said. "It was just pure luck. I wasn't expecting to win it. My goal was always to be a state champion, but it surprises me that I got it as a junior."

The state meet also was memorable for senior Patrick Kelly. He finished sixth in both the 200 IM (1:55.56) and 100 backstroke (53.04) and swam on both the 200 free relay (21st, 1:32.03) and 200 medley relay (24th, 1:44.07).

Kelly was joined on both relays by Bolden, junior Patrick Lawrence and freshman Michael Bungard.

Competing individually for the girls team were seniors Jessica Carpenter and Becky Hunold.

Carpenter was 10th in the 100 fly (58.33) and 22nd in the 100 free (54.34), and Hunold placed 12th in diving (334.9).

Carpenter and Cottrell were joined on the ninth-place 200 medley relay (1:50.15) by junior Hope Kahrig and freshman Lauren Bailey and on the 15th-place 200 free relay (1:42.77) by Kahrig and sophomore Alexa Williams.

Other seniors in the program included Ethan Bolger for the boys and Abby Evans, Amber Krieger and Amanda Rochford for the girls.

The boys placed a program-best second (164) of 39 teams that scored in the Division II district meet Feb. 17 at Ohio State, behind Granville (325). The girls were fourth (203) of 36 teams that scored at district, behind champion Granville (475).

The boys were third (175) of 21 teams that scored in the sectional Feb. 11 at Columbus Academy, behind champion Granville (252) and the host Vikings (196). The girls were fourth (148) of 20 teams that scored at sectional, behind champion Granville (336).

According to Phillips, numerous program records were set this season.

"I think if you would have asked us early in the season whether they thought we'd see our team so high on the scoreboard (at state), there probably would have been a lot of doubters," Phillips said. "We were really pleased. We had a lot of new faces up in Canton to keep our team competitive, and we had some nice seniors."

•After nearly a two-week break, the boys basketball team returns to action at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 1, against Lakewood in the second round of the Division II district tournament at Dublin Scioto.

The last time the Hawks played was Feb. 17, when they beat St. Charles 45-32 to close the regular season on a six-game winning streak and improve to 16-3 overall.

Lakewood beat Whitehall 49-42 in the first round Feb. 21 but is just 6-15 overall.

The Hartley-Lakewood winner advances to a district semifinal against fourth-seeded Watterson or 11th-seeded Big Walnut at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, at Scioto.

Watterson, which won the CCL at 7-1 while the Hawks were second at 6-2, opened the district tournament with a 63-23 win over Sparta Highland on Feb. 22.

Hartley lost to Watterson 36-34 on Dec. 16 and 36-34 on Jan. 31.

The district final is 6 p.m. March 9 in the Fairgrounds Coliseum, where second-seeded Brookhaven, ninth-seeded Marion-Franklin, Beechcroft or Bexley would be the opponent.

"The biggest reason we wanted a (first-round) bye was because we played quite a few games over the past few weeks," coach Randy Kortokrax said. "I just felt like we'd played five pretty good teams at the end of the season, and as a coaching staff we just needed a break. Everybody needed to get out of the gym. Any time you can take a bye, it's a good thing."

In addition to the rest his team gained, Kortokrax believes every day of practice is a positive considering Jacob Matuska and Jordan Fair didn't see their first court time until mid-January.

"Right now (Matuska's) been helping us on the boards," Kortokrax said. "He's never going to get 100 percent, but every extra day he gets is a good day."

•The girls basketball team took a 17-5 record into a Division II district semifinal Feb. 29 against eighth-seeded Mifflin.

The Hawks, who are the second seed, would move on to play top-seeded Jonathan Alder or third-seeded Centennial in a district final at 7 p.m. Friday, March 2, at Pickerington North if they beat the Punchers.

The district champion will play Marietta or Washington Court House in a regional semifinal at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, at Zanesville. The regional final is 7:30 p.m. March 9 at Zanesville.

Hartley beat Whitehall 38-27 in the second round of the district tournament Feb. 25 to move into the matchup against Mifflin.

Alexis Britford scored 13 points and Jaana Motton had 12 for the Hawks, who also defeated the Rams 48-40 on Feb. 1.

Providing optimism to Hartley coach Mike Lanza as his team prepared to face Mifflin was the depth the Hawks have been building.

During one sequence in the first half against Whitehall, Lanza simultaneously brought in five players from the bench.

"I think Whitehall is a really good team," Lanza said. "We played great defense and it came down to how we executed on offense. (La'Quana) Hordge came off the bench and gave us some great minutes. We had a great week of practice, and I keep telling them that our eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th players all are a part of this."