Denison Golf Club at Granville proved to be a crucial course for Hartley High School boys golfer Trent Tipton this season.
After not getting off to as strong of a start as he was hoping, he found his groove Sept. 16 at the Rodney Butt Classic when he shot 3-under over the final seven holes to finish with a 71 and earn medalist honors.
The shot of confidence he gained that day has helped him march back to the Division II state tournament.
In the district tournament Oct. 4 at the same course, Tipton again carded a 71 to capture medalist honors and earn the district's individual state berth. He will compete in the state tournament Friday, Oct. 13, and Saturday, Oct. 14, at NorthStar.
"I actually think (my turnaround) started here," Tipton said moments being announced as district champion. "At the Rodney Butt (Classic) ... I was able to taste some good golf for the first time all year and was able to figure out some things moving forward."
Tipton, who was last year's state runner-up, then shot a 68 on Sept. 23 in the Watterson Invitational at Clover Valley and followed with another 68 in the sectional at Oakhaven to earn medalist honors at both events.
At state last year at Ohio State's Scarlet Course, Tipton shot a 149 to finish five strokes behind the champion, Bexley's Trevor Binau (144), and one stroke ahead of third-place Charlie Toman (150) of Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin.
At this year's six-team district tournament, Hartley shot a 322 to finish third behind state-qualifier Columbus Academy (302) and Bexley (306). Binau ended up tied for fourth with a 75 to fall short of state.
Toman, who was the state champion in 2014, is a Valparaiso commit who Tipton expects to be among his toughest competition at state.
Tipton has committed to West Virginia.
"I'm really happy I was able to pull it out and I'm excited for state," said Tipton, who had an eagle on No. 12 and four birdies at district. "I'm really happy that I get a chance to play this year and try and get back what I didn't win last year."
Also competing at district for the Hawks were senior Andrew Berger (78), sophomore Andrew Inthavongsone (84) and juniors Jack Shisler (89) and Thomas Mayhan (90).
"I was so impressed with how they all played," coach David Liskowiak said. "They were smart but aggressive and gave us a shot. We just ran into two great teams (in Academy and Bexley).
"I don't know who the favorite is going to be (at state), but Trent will have to be up there in the top tier. He was disappointed in getting a runner-up finish last year and feels like he has something to prove."
Runners prep for
fall's biggest meets
The cross country teams will compete in the CCL meet Saturday, Oct. 14, at Otterbein University. The girls compete at 10:30 a.m., followed by the boys at 11 a.m.
Junior Bailee Zacovic and freshman Ellie Kitsmiller have been the girls team's top runners. Other key girls have included senior Audrey Bailey, sophomore Kate Sheely and freshmen Pailyn Groene and Anna Woods.
Senior Chase Rawlins has led the boys team, while other key boys have included senior Evan Vautour, junior Christopher Wolf, sophomores Adam Dinovo and Chase Orndoff and freshmen Luke Brandewie and Luke Vautour.
"They're all doing extremely well," coach Reggie Osborne said. "They're right on pace and just have to execute."
Girls golfers enjoy
solid first season
Freshman Nicole Deline of the girls golf team came up one stroke shy of advancing to the Division I district tournament.
In a sectional Oct. 3 at Mentel Memorial, Deline bounced back with a 39 on the front 9 after carding a 45 on the back 9 to finish with an 84.
In its first season as a program, Hartley finished sixth (374) in the 12-team sectional behind champion Dublin Jerome (314). The Hawks placed ahead of DeSales, which was seventh (377).
Deline finished ninth overall. Also competing for Hartley were junior Kennedy Knuth (94), senior McKenna Casson (95) and freshman Caroline Berger (101).
The sectional was just the second time the Hawks had all four of their players available to compete in an 18-hole match this season. The first was Sept. 30 when Hartley scored a 374 to place ninth in the 12-team Canal Winchester Invitational, behind champion Upper Arlington (310).
"(Deline) hit one out of bounds on her first hole but got it going later in the round," coach John Casson said. "It's tough to be (playing No. 1) as a freshman and learning how to go to school and play golf at the same time. The biggest adjustment is (the golfers) slowing themselves down. But we had a good tournament, and we had a good tournament the week before at Canal Winchester. It was a fun year."
Two of top tennis
players to return
The girls tennis team's season came to a close Oct. 6 in a Division II sectional at Columbus School for Girls.
Two of the Hawks' three entrants in singles at the sectional, freshman Gia Green and sophomore Laurynn Caldwell, are among those eligible to return. Green played first singles most of the season.
At sectional, Green lost to Jonathan Alder's Mikayla Holland 6-1, 6-1 in a quarterfinal, Caldwell lost CSG's Emma Showe 6-0, 6-1 in the second round and senior Londynn Caldwell lost to Wellington's Isabella Vegas 6-0, 6-1 in the second round.
"We lost a lot of seniors from last year, but this year we got a lot of new seniors," Laurynn Caldwell said. "I enjoyed playing singles more than doubles because I feel like I improved more."
In doubles at sectional, senior Annie Robinson and senior Lexi Parker lost in the second round and seniors Hannah McFeeters and Abby Thompson lost in a quarterfinal.
McFeeters and Thompson went 12-5 at doubles on the season.
Hartley finished 7-10 overall and 1-3 in the CCL, placing fourth behind behind CSG (4-0), Watterson (3-1) and DeSales (2-2) and ahead of Ready (0-4).
Others eligible to return include sophomores Elise Amorati and Leah Herbert and freshman Morgan Liden.
"We have a great group of girls and they all get along really well," coach Lynn Winters said. "It's a joy to have a team like this. (They're) very united and they want to work hard and want to win and practice hard."
Below are the coming schedules for the Hartley cross country, field hockey, boys soccer, girls soccer and girls volleyball teams:
Oct. 14 -- CCL meet at Otterbein
Oct. 18 -- At third-seeded Granville in second round of district tournament. Winner plays fifth-seeded Watterson or 13th-seeded Columbus School for Girls on Oct. 24 in second round. Hartley is the 14th seed.
Oct. 12 -- Home vs. Worthington Christian
Oct. 17 -- At 10th-seeded Independence in first round of Division II district tournament. Winner plays at sixth-seeded Watterson or host to 22nd-seeded Eastmoor Academy on Oct. 21 in second round. Hartley is the 17th seed.
Oct. 12 -- At Worthington Christian
Oct. 16 -- Home vs. 11th-seeded London in first round of Division II district tournament. Winner plays at third-seeded Jonathan Alder or host to Columbus International on Oct. 19 in second round. Hartley is the seventh seed.
Oct. 16 -- Home vs. 49th-seeded Mifflin in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays 43rd-seeded Briggs on Oct. 18 in second round at site of better-seeded team. Winner plays fifth-seeded Pickerington North, 37th-seeded Groveport or 39th-seeded Licking Heights on Oct. 24 at Franklin Heights in district semifinal. Hartley is the 11th seed.