The empty feeling last year's postseason created has been replaced by a more fulfilling one this time through for the Hartley High School girls track and field team.
A season after not having any qualifiers for the Division I state meet, the Hawks turned in a top-10 regional finish and advanced two individuals and a relay to state, which will be held Friday, June 7, and Saturday, June 8, at Ohio State.
"It's really exciting compared to last year," junior Deja Martin said.
Hartley, which won the 2011 Division II state title before moving up last year, tied Westerville North for eighth (28) behind co-champions Gahanna and Pickerington Central (55) in the regional May 29 and 31 at Pickerington North as 39 teams scored.
Martin, who competed on the 400-meter relay that took third at state in 2011, is back at state as an individual after placing fourth in the 100 (12.47 seconds) at regional.
Also moving on were junior Naja Greer in the 200 (second, 24.81) and the regional-champion 1,600 relay (3:54.58) of senior Mallory McCormick, sophomores Emily Franz and Sydney Williams and Greer.
"I'm very proud of them," coach Reggie Osborne said. "This is pretty much how we thought we could do and they all did a very nice job."
In the 2011 state meet, Greer ran on the state-champion 800 and 1,600 relays as well as the 400 relay. McCormick ran on the 1,600 relay during the preliminary.
In this year's regional, the 1,600 relay had the second-best time entering the final but held off Pickerington Central (3:54.68) to capture the championship.
"I thought we had a good chance of getting top four (to advance to state), but I didn't know we'd get first," McCormick said. "I'm really surprised."
Advancing to finals at regional but failing to qualify for state were McCormick in the 400 (eighth, 60.31) and Franz in the 800 (fifth, 2:14.1).
Hartley was seventh (41) in the 17-team district 1 meet that concluded May 25 at Hilliard Darby behind champion Hilliard Davidson (90). Martin was first in the 100 (12.46), McCormick took fourth in the 400 (59.25), Franz was second in the 800 (2:15.13), Greer won the 200 (24.8) and the 1,600 relay was second (3:57.1).
Moore, Hart advance to state
The boys track team will be represented in the Division II state meet by senior Hezekiah Moore in the 300 hurdles and sophomore Cameron Hart in the long jump.
Moore won the 300 hurdles (39.23) and Hart was fourth in the long jump (21 feet, 11 1/2 inches) in the regional May 30 and June 1 at Welcome Stadium in Dayton.
Hartley placed 11th (20) behind co-champions Versailles and Dayton Dunbar (66) as 47 teams scored.
Moore settled for sixth in the 110 hurdles (15.52) and seventh in the 200 (23.97).
"The conditions were very windy and with the (little) rest difference between the 300 hurdles and the 200, he was just too tired," Osborne said. "But he performed well. We may have taken away his abilities in one of them by having him do all three, but he's a senior and those are the events he wanted to do.
"We expected Cameron to win (the long jump) if he was in the 21 to 22 feet range, but it was a good field."
Also competing at regional but failing to advance was sophomore Kristopher Hill in the 200 (ninth, 23.67).
The Hawks were sixth (47) in the 13-team district 2 meet that concluded May 25 at Westerville South behind champion Caledonia River Valley (128).
Moore was first in the 200 (22.41), second in the 110 hurdles (14.46) and second in the 300 hurdles (39.73). Hill was third in the 200 (22.67) and Hart was third in the long jump (20-5).
"For a small team, I think we've done well this year," Osborne said.
Last season at state, 2012 graduate Isaiah Walls was runner-up in the 300 hurdles (38.95) as the team's only representative.