June 3 was a day full of emotions for the Hartley High School girls track and field team.
In the final of the 400-meter relay in the Division I state meet at Ohio State, seniors London Ladd, Gana Lopez and Taneyza Robinson and junior Amaiah Jones turned in a fifth-place finish in 47.71 seconds.
The three 12th-graders, who helped the relay post the sixth-fastest semifinal time (48.15) on the opening day of state June 2, graduated on the morning of the state final.
"It's been a busy week," Ladd said. "We're a little disappointed because we thought we could have done better, but we're just happy to be back at state."
The relay featured four state-meet veterans, with Lopez competing at state in each of her prep seasons and the other three joining Lopez on the 400 relay that took third (47.61) at state last year.
Robinson also was the team's alternate in the 1,600 relay as a sophomore.
The 400 relay made it to state by capturing a regional title in 47.65 on May 26 at Pickerington North.
Their performance at state produced four points for Hartley, which tied it for 41st behind champion Cincinnati Withrow (58) as 62 teams scored.
Lopez is considering running for Ohio State or Kent State while Robinson is planning to run for Jackson State.
The relay provided the brightest moments during a season in which the Hawks were runners-up in the CCL meet May 8 and 10 at Columbus School for Girls, behind Watterson (159) and ahead of DeSales (89.5), the host Unicorns (73.5) and Ready (45).
The Hawks totaled 14 points at regional to tie Westerville South for 17th behind champion Gahanna (97) as 35 teams scored. Lopez added an eighth-place finish in the 100 (12.53) and senior Maggie Farrell took sixth in the long jump (17 feet, 3 inches).
Other key seniors included Katie Page, who was new to track this season but helped the 800 relay reach the regional meet, Kacey Ragland (sprints), Arianna McPheters (shot put, discus) and Carly Archambeau (high jump).
Joining Jones as key sprinters expected to return are junior Liana Burk and freshman Bailey Smith.
Juniors Casey King (middle distance) and Rachael LeMay (high jump), sophomores Cara Luallen (middle distance), Hannah Thompson (hurdles) and Bailee Zacovic (distance) and freshmen Olivia Bergmann (middle distance), Hope Matfield (shot put, discus) and Kate Sheely (distance) also are eligible to return.
"Mostly all of our sprinters were young," coach Reggie Osborne said.
Boys track team
losing just one senior
The boys track team is losing just one senior in Gabriel Levert, who ran on the 1,600 relay that won a CCL title (3:28.16).
The Hawks didn't advance any athletes to the Division II state meet. In the regional May 25 and 27 at Lexington, sophomore Patrick Scurlock was 10th in the 110 hurdles (16.13) and ran on the ninth-place 1,600 relay (3:29.76) with Levert and sophomores Ben Dankow and Chase Rawlins.
Hartley scored 56 points to place fourth in the CCL meet behind St. Charles (173), DeSales (153) and Watterson (89) and ahead of Ready (17).
Others eligible to return include juniors Alexander Blackmon (discus, shot put), Elijah Carter (sprints), Benjamin Ingraham Dwyer (sprints), Patrick Gilliland (discus, shot put) and Evan Vautour (middle distance) and freshmen Miles Fleming (sprints), Chase Orndoff (distance) and Myles Smith (sprints).
"The boys were really young," Osborne said. "I'm looking forward to their season next year. We got a couple guys to the regional final so we're hoping we'll see improvement."