Matt McElligott couldn't help but feel "a little antsy" during the hours leading up to the Hartley High School baseball team's Division II district final against DeSales on May 17 at Gahanna.
It never showed, though, as he and Luke Rawlins combined to throw a no-hitter as the sixth-seeded Hawks beat the second-seeded Stallions 1-0.
Hartley, which improved to 19-7, will try to show the same mental toughness that helped it win its first district title since 1996 when it competes in the regional at Mason.
The Hawks play New Richmond or Dayton Chaminade Julienne in a regional semifinal Thursday, May 24, with the winner to face Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, Tipp City Tippecanoe or Hamilton Ross in the regional final Friday, May 25.
The regional champion advances to a state semifinal June 1 at Huntington Park.
"(I) got myself prepared and came out and just tried to throw strikes," McElligott said. "My job is to get through the lineup once without them scoring, and I just kept doing it."
Jacob Culbertson, who tossed a three-hitter as Hartley beat fourth-seeded Jonathan Alder 4-0 in a district semifinal May 16 at Beavers Field in Lancaster, could get the call on the mound in the regional semifinal.
In the district final, McElligott struck out three and walked three in five innings and Rawlins pitched the final two innings to pick up the save.
Rawlins' first-inning single to left scored Phillip Cole for the game's only run.
Hartley and DeSales had split their two CCL contests during the regular season, with the Hawks losing 10-0 on April 18 and winning 14-10 on April 30 to secure a share of the league title with the Stallions.
"It was a complete team victory," coach Chris Sawyer said. "Our pitchers went out and beat up the zone. Honestly, a no-hitter in a district final, that's unbelievable. I couldn't be prouder of our kids."
Hartley took advantage of three errors by Jonathan Alder in the district semifinal as Cole had two hits and James Farrell had two RBI in support of Culbertson, who recorded three strikeouts.
"It feels great for us," Culbertson said. "People were doubting us this year, but we've had a great season and have to keep moving forward."
Track squads set for regional
The track and field teams will be well represented in the Division II regional meet Thursday, May 24, and Saturday, May 26, at Lexington.
In the district meet that concluded May 19 at Westerville North, both the boys in district 1 and the girls in district 2 left with championship hardware.
The boys team scored 120 points to finish first of 12 teams, ahead of runner-up Buckeye Valley (101), while the girls team scored 115 to share the title with Jonathan Alder as 12 teams scored.
"I thought our guys were going to win district," coach Reggie Osborne said. "The girls team did it by doing the little things. (We) had a very good day."
For the boys team, Miles Fleming won the 100 meters (11.25 seconds) and was runner-up in the 200 (22.73), Patrick Scurlock won the 110 hurdles (16.7) and 300 hurdles (40.69), Chase Rawlins finished first in the 800 (1:56.61) and was runner-up in the high jump (5 feet, 11 inches) and Ben Dankow was runner-up in the 400 (50.57) and placed third in the long jump (20-0).
Also winning were the 400 relay of Fleming, Elijah Carter, Kason Sunderland and Cameron Thomas (43.39), the 800 relay of Dankow, Fleming, Sunderland and Thomas (1:30.61) and the 1,600 relay of Dankow, T.J. Johnson, Rawlins and Scurlock (3:26.78).
The top four finishers in each district event advanced to regional.
Winning for the girls team were Bailey Smith in the 100 (13.07), the 400 relay of Liana Burk, Amaiah Jones, Smith and Alexis Wade (51.7) and Burk in the long jump (15-8 3/4).
Placing second were Hannah Thompson in the 100 hurdles (16.73), England Ladd in the 200 (27.63), Emily Moore in the 300 hurdles (48.54), Rachael LeMay in the 400 (1:02.94) and Abby Rhodes in the long jump (15-8).
Ellie Kitsmiller was third in the high jump (4-8), Hannah Thompson placed third in the 300 hurdles (50.08), Bailee Zacovic was third in the 1,600 (5:37.97) and the 1,600 relay of Pailyn Groene, LeMay, Cara Luallen and Moore was fourth (4:18.38).
The 3,200 relay of Groene, Luallen, Megan Luallen and Zacovic placed fifth (10:22.86) to just miss advancing.
At regional, the top four finishers in each event advance to state June 1 and 2 at Ohio State.
Girls lacrosse team falls in tournament
The sixth-seeded girls lacrosse team entered its Division II, Region 7 quarterfinal May 19 on an eight-game winning streak.
The Hawks were unable to keep that streak going, as they lost at third-seeded Worthington Kilbourne 17-7 to finish 9-6. The contest was a rematch of last year's quarterfinal, which the Wolves won 19-10.
Hartley rolled past 11th-seeded Dayton Carroll 18-7 in a first-round game May 17, as Luci Kanowski had five goals, Killian Sweeney scored four and Hannah McFeeters, Sydney Onega and Tommie Lipp each scored two.
McFeeters and Sweeney each scored two goals against Kilbourne.
Tennis team looking to build program
Every member of the boys tennis team who competed in the Division II sectional May 10 at Columbus Academy was a senior.
That means the Hawks will enter next season with limited experience, but first-year coach Daniel Chun is hoping more young players try out for the team.
"I'm proud of what we did as a team this year," Chun said. "If we can start building a program with a handful of freshmen and sophomores; we're trying to build a program where we're not just a senior-based team."
Sophomore Andrew Croswell and freshmen Nick Chovan and John Hoover are eligible to return after gaining experience during the regular season.
The Hawks finished 5-4 overall and placed fourth in the CCL at 1-3, behind St. Charles (4-0), Watterson (3-1) and DeSales (2-2) and ahead of Ready (0-4).
At sectional, senior Collin Bender, who was seeded third, lost to Academy's Ryan Wahl 6-7, 6-2, 6-2 in a quarterfinal to fall one win shy of advancing to the district tournament held May 17 at Academy and May 19 at Upper Arlington.
Also in singles, seniors Peyton Eads and Max Sauer each lost in the second round. In doubles, seniors Evan Armstrong and Sulimaan Priest lost in the second round, as did seniors Ryan Ruth and Mac Wieging.
"Both of my doubles teams won their first(-round) matches (at sectional), and I think it was the first time in a long time that Hartley had all three of their singles (players) win a first-round match," Chun said.
"All in all, I was very happy with the effort we put forth in all of our matches.
"It was a pretty enjoyable season. We had a good group of seniors. All 10 of our players got a varsity match in and every kid got a varsity win at some point this season."