Hartley High School track and field coach Reggie Osborne believed his boys team's 400-meter relay was capable of becoming special once all its members were healthy.
They went a long way toward proving that in the CCL meet May 16 and 18 at Columbus School for Girls.
Sophomore Kristopher Hill, who missed time in late April and early May because of a hip injury, returned to join seniors Michael Reese and Hezekiah Moore and sophomore Cameron Hart in the league meet.
They ran 43.9 seconds to edge DeSales (44.0) for the title.
"It's been a while since we've had all four of us together," Reese said. "I was actually pretty happy about (how we ran). I've got high hopes for district."
The Hawks finished fourth (77) behind St. Charles (175), DeSales (81) and Ready (79) and ahead of Watterson (74).
Hart won league titles in the high jump (6 feet, 4 inches) and long jump (21-1). Moore was runner-up in the 110 hurdles (14.8) and 300 hurdles (40.0).
The Hawks are competing in the Division II, district 2 meet that was held May 21 and 22 and concludes Saturday, May 25, at Westerville South. The top four in each event advance to the regional May 30 and June 1 at Welcome Stadium in Dayton.
Reese competed at district in the 400 relay as a freshman but didn't compete at district either of the last two seasons.
He was expecting to run the 100 and 200 as well as the 400 relay and 800 relay at district.
"We hit the weight room a lot this year and I also did indoor, so that's helped," Reese said.
Osborne was pleased with the performances of both his teams in the league meet.
The girls also were fourth (102), behind DeSales (114), CSG (112) and Watterson (105) and ahead of Ready (55).
Winning titles were Deja Martin in the 100 (12.5), Naja Greer in the 200 (25.2) and 400 (57.9), Emily Franz in the 800 (2:16.5), Chika Odemena in the 100 hurdles (16.1), Paige Caldwell in the shot put (33-3 3/4) and the 1,600 relay (3:59.8) of Franz, Greer, Sydney Williams and Mallory McCormick.
The 800 relay of Greer, Martin, McCormick and Nala Key was second (1:47.4).
The girls team is competing in the Division I, district 1 meet that was held May 21 and 23 and concludes Saturday, May 25, at Hilliard Darby. The top four in each event advance to the regional Wednesday, May 29, and May 31 at Pickerington North.
"Naja ran well (in the league meet) and Deja ran extremely well," Osborne said. "Nala Key has had a little bit of a struggle with injuries."
Baseball team falls to Academy
The baseball team gave up nine runs in the top of the seventh inning and lost 10-6 to 14th-seeded Columbus Academy in the second round of the Division III district tournament May 16.
The Hawks, who were the ninth seed, finished 11-13 overall.
Hartley committed four errors against Academy and had just four hits. Junior pitcher Andrew Gilliland entered with the bases loaded and the Hawks leading 6-5 but allowed a grand slam.
"It was a tough game, a tough loss," said coach Morgan Assmann, who completed his 15th season. "They hit the ball and we didn't. The runs we got were gifts from them, but we were in control and should have won the game."
The Hawks went 2-6 in the CCL to finish last behind St. Charles (7-1), DeSales (4-4), Watterson (4-4) and Ready (3-5).
They lose eight seniors in Austin Gault (P/1B), Luke Heinmiller (P/3B), Nick King (INF), Caleb Lowell (C), Davis MacCartney (1B), Alex Rupert (OF), Kevin Tillery (P) and Adam Zevchik (P).
Heinmiller hit better than .400 and was a key player since his freshman season.
The top hitters were juniors Sam Montgomery (OF) and Drew Onega (OF), who both hit better than .420.
Last season, Hartley went 6-15 overall and 0-8 in the CCL.
"This year we had double-digit wins and we had some sophomores come up that are going to be good," Assmann said. "We had two freshmen that are going to help us. These two years were just bumps in the road."
Girls lacrosse season ends
The girls lacrosse team's season ended May 13 with an 11-8 loss at Cincinnati Wyoming in the first round of the Division I South/Central Region tournament.
The Hawks finished 8-8 overall.
"They came out with a lot of fire and heart (against Wyoming)," coach Molly Gilbert said. "They put up a great fight but just couldn't catch them."
Hartley went 3-4 in the Central Independent League to finish behind Columbus Academy (7-0), Bexley (5-2), DeSales (4-2-1) and CSG (4-3) and ahead of Watterson (2-4-1), Granville (2-5) and Wellington (0-7).
Hartley loses five seniors in Victoria Barlay (midfielder/attacker), Dory Cassidy (defender), Clare Kossler (defender), Kim Osborn (attacker) and Sara Sweeney (attacker).
Sweeney suffered a season-ending injury during a 19-3 loss to Worthington Kilbourne on April 25. Hartley won three of its next four heading into the postseason.
Juniors Rylee Paxton (defender) and Briana Wahle (defender) and sophomores Colleen Feeney (attacker), Maddy Montgomery (midfielder), Alex Orkis (midfielder) and Maria Taylor (goalkeeper) are among the top expected returnees.
Defensive struggles doom softball team
The softball team committed six errors and lost to fourth-seeded Granville 8-6 in the second round of the Division II district tournament May 15.
The Hawks, who were the eighth seed, closed the season by losing to Olentangy 8-5 on May 17 and finished 12-15 overall.
"This season was a constant battle of trying to become better defensively," coach Meghan Zuercher said.
"We were a lot better defensively in practice than we were in games. Without a doubt we lost that game (to Granville) because of our errors. ... It was disappointing because we hit the ball well."
Hartley, which opened the postseason with a 22-0 win over Columbus East on May 13, tied Ready and DeSales for second (2-4) in the CCL behind Watterson (6-0).
The Hawks lose seniors Anna Kirk (SS), Allie Smith (CF), Tiffany Wolf (P) and Emily Davis (designated player). Kirk was the district's Player of the Year last season but missed this season with a knee injury.
Junior Sidney Melton (INF) and junior Cassie Plageman (C) both hit better than .400.
Freshman Maria Cegledy and sophomore Lindsay Lafferty are expected to be the top returning pitchers next season.
"Toward the end of the season Maria Cegledy was starting to pitch more," Zuercher said. "We'll be losing an everyday starter in Allie Smith, who was a tremendous center fielder, so that's huge."
Boys tennis season ends at sectional
The boys tennis team had no players advance to district from a Division II sectional at CSG.
Junior Andrew Nouanesengsy won his opening match 7-5, 6-3 over Granville's Will Strohmeyer but lost to Watterson's Ryan Bibo 6-0, 6-0 in the second round May 16.
Senior Stu Burkett lost to Watterson's Kevin Beattie 6-2, 6-3 in his opening match. Senior Tyler Schaeffer and junior Max Steele lost their opening doubles match 6-0, 6-0 to Bexley's Ethan Goodstein and Tyler Seckel.
Hartley, which competed all season with only four players, went 0-10 overall and 0-4 in the CCL.
St. Charles won the league title at 4-0, followed by Watterson (3-1), DeSales (2-2) and Ready (1-3).