The season is just a few weeks old but there already have been encouraging signs for the Hartley High School girls track and field team.

The season is just a few weeks old but there already have been encouraging signs for the Hartley High School girls track and field team.

The biggest might have come March 29 when the Hawks placed second (111 points) behind Northland (122) in the 10-team Hamilton Township Booster Invitational despite not running all of their athletes in what coach Reggie Osborne expects to be some of their best events.

The team's best sprinter, junior Gana Lopez, ran just one race that day.

"We've had a good start to the season," said Osborne, who is in his fourth season. "I think we could have won (the Booster Invitational), but we just didn't run some people in some races they could have run in. The girls look pretty good."

Lopez sat out the first half of last season because of the OHSAA's transfer rule after previously attending Gahanna Christian. She then ended up being the team's top state finisher.

In the Division I state meet, she took fourth in the 100 meters (12.08 seconds) and 200 (24.56) and also ran on the 15th-place 1,600 relay (4:02.98) with 2015 graduate Emily Franz and returnees Mary Hennessey and Rachael LeMay.

Franz, who added a fifth-place finish in the 800, now is competing for the University of Notre Dame.

In the Booster Invitational, Lopez joined juniors Kacey Ragland and Taneyza Robinson and sophomore Amaiah Jones to win the 400 relay in a stadium-record 49.29.

Hennessey, a junior, and LeMay, a sophomore, also are joined in sprints by juniors Ky'leana Allen, London Ladd and Molly Van Horn and sophomore Kennedy Taylor. LeMay also is competing in the high jump.

Junior Maggie Farrell is the top hurdler and long jumper, and freshmen Cara Luallen and Bailee Zacovic lead the distance corps.

Junior Arianna McPheters is the top competitor in the shot put and discus.

Boys track team also has high hopes

Despite losing all five of its competitors from the Division II regional meet, including an eventual state champion, the boys track team isn't expecting to take a huge step back.

The Hawks should be strong in middle distance, and Osborne also is hoping a sprint corps comprised mostly of juniors and seniors can provide points on a consistent basis.

"The boys actually should do pretty well," Osborne said. "We've got some good athletes that we've added to our core group. The boys run pretty much a Division I schedule most of the year, which benefits them a lot once they get into the postseason."

In the Booster Invitational, Hartley finished sixth (52) of 12 teams behind champion Hamilton Township (108.5) as the 3,200 relay of senior Sheldon Henderson, junior Gabriel Levert and sophomores Ben Dankow and Chase Rawlins placed first (8:47.55).

Last season, Henderson placed eighth at district in the 400 (52.12).

Seniors Rian Anderson, Richard Jones III and Michael Morgan and juniors Jaden Manley and Samuel Tutu lead a sprint corps that also includes freshman Patrick Scurlock.

Sophomore Evan Vautour is among the key distance runners while sophomore Alexander Blackmon competes in the shot put and discus.

The biggest loss to graduation was Cameron Hart, who won the state championship in the long jump (23 feet, 3 1/4 inches) and now is competing at Eastern Michigan. He also ran on the 400 and 800 relays that advanced to regional.

Tennis team plans to take another step

After going 0-9 in 2014, the boys tennis team improved to 6-9 overall last spring and won a league match for the first time since 2011.

With each of their top seven players back and with nine newcomers, the Hawks are expecting that progression to continue.

"We've got 16 guys now," third-year coach Heath Goolsby said. "I tell the guys it's a good problem to have."

Sophomore Collin Bender is back at first singles after also starting in that spot last season. He reached the quarterfinal round in a Division II sectional last spring.

Junior Connor Liden has returned after playing second singles last season, although he battled a leg injury during the preseason. He and senior Marty Gillies, another returnee, should be the other regular singles players.

Also back after winning a sectional match are senior Alex Kirali and junior Mark Chovan, although Goolsby said the two might not always be doubles partners this season.

The others who saw postseason action are seniors Ivra Bass and Juan Durano. They lost their opening sectional doubles match.

Senior brothers Nick Dawes and Alex Dawes are newcomers looking to contribute.

Hartley opened April 12 at Ready. Last season, the Hawks beat Ready 3-2 and went 1-3 in the CCL.

"We're looking to finish .500 or better as a team," Goolsby said. "Our doubles will be fairly fluid."

Schedules

BOYS TENNIS

*April 12 -- at Ready

April 13 -- vs. Groveport

April 14 -- at Watkins Memorial

*April 15 -- at St. Charles

April 18 -- at Whitehall

April 20 -- at Grandview

April 21 -- Madison Christian at TBA

April 22 -- at Fisher Catholic

*April 26 -- vs. DeSales

April 27 -- at Reynoldsburg

April 29 -- at Canal Winchester

*May 2 -- vs. Watterson

May 9 -- vs. Shekinah Christian

TRACK & FIELD

March 29 -- Hamilton Township Booster Invitational

April 5 -- Huber Heights Wayne Relays

April 8 -- Licking Heights Invitational

April 15 -- Hawks Invitational at home

April 16 -- Mansfield Mehock Relays

April 20 -- Gahanna Relays

April 22 -- Lancaster Fulton Relays (boys only)

April 23 -- Kellner Invitational at Hamilton Township (girls only)

April 27 -- Braves Invitational at Whetstone

April 30 -- Gary Smith Invitational at Thomas Worthington

May 4 -- Eastmoor Relays at St. Charles

May 6 -- Larkin/Crosten Invitational at Upper Arlington

May 11, 13 -- CCL meet at DeSales

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Hartley baseball, girls lacrosse and softball teams:

BASEBALL

April 14 -- Home vs. Bexley

April 16 -- At Hamilton Township (DH)

*April 18 -- At DeSales

*April 20 -- At St. Charles

GIRLS LACROSSE

*April 14 -- At DeSales

*April 19 -- Home vs. Bexley

SOFTBALL

April 16 -- At Pickerington Central with Lakewood

*April 18 -- Home vs. Ready

April 19 -- Home vs. Buckeye Valley

*League contest