With Ronnie Bolden competing for the University of Kentucky after placing in the top three in two state events a year ago, junior Patrick Lawrence is among those who have tried to step up this winter for the Hartley High School boys swimming and diving team.
While it might be a challenge for the Hawks to reach the podium in the Division II state meet that concludes Friday, Feb. 21, at Branin Natatorium in Canton, Lawrence has taken steps toward that goal.
In the district meet Feb. 14 at Ohio State, Lawrence placed fifth in the 100-yard butterfly (53.73 seconds) and joined junior Michael Bungard and sophomores Jonathan Kluczynski and Bruce Kotlinski on the fourth-place 200 medley relay (1:43.92) to advance to state.
Lawrence is seeded 19th at state and the relay is seeded last of 24 entries.
"I felt like I needed to step up this year," Lawrence said. "Without guys like Ronnie Bolden and (2012 graduate) Patrick Kelly, we've all stepped up."
The boys team placed sixth (148) at district behind champion Dover (259) as 41 teams scored. The girls were fifth (105) behind champion Columbus School for Girls (413) as 30 teams scored but didn't have any state qualifiers.
The top two finishers in each district swimming event automatically qualified for state, and there also were 16 at-large qualifiers in each event based on district times statewide.
Also reaching the district podium by placing in the top eight for the boys were Bungard in the 100 breaststroke (eighth), Brian Hearns in diving (second), Kluczynski in the 100 backstroke (seventh), Lawrence in the 100 freestyle (seventh) and the 400 free relay (fifth) of Bungard, Kluczynski, Kotlinski and Lawrence.
Placing for the girls team were Carly Archambeau in the 100 fly (seventh), Hayley Elizondo in the 200 individual medley (seventh), the 200 free relay (sixth) and the 200 medley relay (fifth). Archambeau, Elizondo, Erin Carmon and Sidney Melton swam on both relays.
"Everyone from start to finish swam personal-bests," coach Tony Phillips said. "(Kluczynski and Lawrence) are our only club swimmers that go all year long, but those other guys have found their niche."
Boys basketball team set for tourney
An 11-day break will precede the Division III district tournament opener for the top-seeded boys basketball team.
The Hawks open the postseason Wednesday, Feb. 26, at home against 20th-seeded Madison Plains in the second round. The winner plays ninth-seeded Liberty Union, 10th-seeded Fredericktown or 11th-seeded Northridge in a district semifinal March 4 at Hilliard Davidson.
Hartley beat Wellington 71-37 on Feb. 15 to close the regular season at 14-7.
The Hawks lost to St. Charles 41-40 on Feb. 14 to tie Ready and the Cardinals for second (4-4) in the CCL behind Watterson (8-0) and ahead of DeSales (0-8).
"I don't think it's a bad time of year to take a (first-round) bye when you're kind of tired," coach Randy Kortokrax said. "It's good to get refreshed and try to make a tournament run."
Against St. Charles, Chris Moxley scored 18 points and Drew Onega made four 3-pointers and had 14 points. The Cardinals' Nick Pappa made a 3-pointer with 0.2 left.
"We'll be prepared (for the tournament)," Kortokrax said. "We've got a good chance to win if we play our game."
Girls basketball team begins postseason
The girls basketball team played 16th-seeded Columbus South in its Division II district tournament opener Feb. 17.
If they beat the Bulldogs, the sixth-seeded Hawks would play host to 15th-seeded Caledonia River Valley in a second-round game Thursday, Feb. 20.
The second-round winner plays third-seeded Centennial or 18th-seeded Whitehall in a district semifinal Wednesday, Feb. 26, at Gahanna.
The district final is March 1 at Gahanna.
The Hawks closed the regular season with a 72-53 loss to Worthington Christian on Feb. 13. They were 11-9 before playing South.
Centennial was 15-7 and Whitehall was 3-19 before playing Feb. 19.
Against Worthington Christian, Marissa Brown scored 18 points and Alexis Britford had 15.
Wilbur advances to district in bowling
The boys bowling team will be represented in the Division II district tournament Saturday, Feb. 22, at HP Lanes by senior Corey Wilbur, who placed 54th (504) of 170 competitors in a sectional Feb. 14 at Sawmill Lanes.
The Hawks finished 21st (3,128) in the 30-team sectional behind champion Buckeye Valley (4,195) as the top 14 teams and top 14 individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to district.
The top three individuals not on qualifying teams at district advance to the state tournament Feb. 28 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl.
Also competing were Daniel Supino (88th, 432), Mark Thiel (90th, 419), John Thiel (138th, 270 in two games), John Amland (155th, 140 in one game) and Ben Makowski (158th, 134 in one game).
The girls team competes in a Division I sectional Friday, Feb. 21, at Eastland Lanes.
The top 12 teams and top 12 individuals not on qualifying teams advance to district March 1 at Eastland Lanes.
Six wrestlers qualify for district tourney
The wrestling team is coming off a sectional title and will take six competitors to the Division III district tournament Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22, at Heath.
Hartley scored 190.5 points to top an 18-team sectional field Feb. 14 and 15 at Cardington.
Winning titles were Kristopher Hill (113 pounds, 40-4 overall), Grant Rathburn (138, 37-10) and Jacob Croswell (160, 35-9), while Jared Croswell (220, 30-12) was runner-up. Placing fourth were Trey Hampton (182, 22-17) and Josh Heinmiller (120, 24-16), as the top four in each weight class advanced.
The top four finishers in each weight class at district will advance to state Feb. 27-March 1 at Ohio State.