The relationship between a senior and a freshman who are competing in the same event on a boys track and field team can be a complicated one.
Just ask Hartley High School senior Patrick Scurlock, who is one of the area's best in both the 110-meter hurdles and 300 hurdles. He has been challenged all season for team supremacy in the 300 hurdles by freshman Trey Saunders.
"We're always pushing each other," Scurlock said. "My job as a senior is to help him get comfortable, but at the same time we're trying to beat each other. (Saunders) has the mentality that he's a freshman and if he can beat a senior, that's great. My mentality is I'm a senior and I shouldn't let a freshman beat me. We're open about what we expect of each other, but we couldn't be closer teammates for events like the 300 hurdles and the 110 hurdles.
"We're really starting to take shape this year. Trey has been a phenomenal hurdler coming in as a freshman, especially in the 300s. As we move forward with our relays, we're starting to get the handoffs down."
Scurlock and Saunders figure to be among the impact athletes at the CCL meet Monday, May 6, and Wednesday, May 8, at Columbus School for Girls.
In last week's area honor roll, Scurlock had the 12th-best time in the 110 hurdles (15.35 seconds) and Saunders had the 14th-best time in the 300 hurdles (41.13). Scurlock has been clocked at 41.25 in the 300 hurdles this season, but has a personal-best time of 40.26.
Scurlock placed third in the 60 hurdles (8.43) at the state indoor meet March 2 at SPIRE Institute in Geneva and believes participating in that event has helped him in the 110 hurdles.
Scurlock also is on the 1,600 relay that eventually should include junior Miles Fleming, who still is rounding into shape with the league and postseason approaching.
On April 24 while the Hawks were competing in the Braves Invitational at Whetstone, Fleming was on a football visit to Notre Dame, according to coach Reggie Osborne.
The boys team had the area's best times among Division II programs in both the 400 relay (43.23) and 800 relay (1:31.9) in last week's area honor roll.
"We've got a few guys that are running really, really well," Osborne said. "Patrick and Trey in the hurdles are running well and our relays are doing OK. Daniel Tooson has been doing extremely well (in the shot put) as a freshman."
The girls team has been led by its 400 relay of juniors Bailey Smith and Alexis Wade and freshmen Zaria Robinson and Kayla Walker, whose time of 50.72 ranked first among Division II teams in last week's area honor roll.
The 3,200 relay of seniors Cara Luallen and Kayla Williams, junior Bailey Smith and sophomore Megan Luallen also has been solid, according to Osborne. Williams is a first-year track athlete.
"Bailey Smith has been doing well in both hurdles, and (sophomore) Emily Moore also has done well in the 300 hurdles," Osborne said. "Our (3,200 relay) has done well in the meets we've gone to."
Softball squad staying optimistic
Its record might not be the best indicator of the softball team's competitiveness this spring.
That's coach April Wooten's takeaway after factoring in losses to programs such as Pickerington Central (7-2 on March 29), Lancaster (11-0 on April 1) and Groveport (7-2 on April 5) as well as the Hawks' CCL schedule.
Hartley was 5-15 overall and 0-5 in the CCL before playing Ready on April 29.
One of the Hawks' more encouraging moments took place April 13 when they rallied from an 8-2 deficit to beat Johnstown 13-8.
"This team just doesn't quit," Wooten said. "Even though our record may not reflect the type of success I feel we've achieved this year compared to years prior, we're continuing to build our confidence and battle every time we take the field. Offensively, this team is going to put up runs. We've played some tough competition this regular season. ... In order to be the best, you have to play the best. We're learning how to apply the lessons learned from those games."
Through 17 games, Kami Kortokrax (SS) had a team-best .600 batting average with four home runs, 32 RBI and 42 runs scored, Tori Garey (3B/C) was batting .500 with 25 RBI, Allyssa Thompson (3B/1B) was hitting .453 with four home runs and 27 RBI, Sophia Cegledy (P/CF) had two home runs and had scored 32 runs and Audrey Smith (RF) had scored 31 runs.
Another standout, according to Wooten, has been catcher Lauren Barclay, who had allowed just three stolen bases through 17 games.
"(Kortokrax is) a staple at shortstop," Wooten said. "Hit the ball anywhere on the left side of the infield and there's a chance she's going to make the play. She also leads the team in practically every offensive category there is."
The Hawks received the 35th seed for the Division I district tournament and will open Monday, May 6, at 23rd-seeded Hilliard Davidson, with the winner to play Wednesday, May 8, at 20th-seeded Hilliard Darby in the second round. The winner plays top-seeded Westerville Central or 41st-seeded Columbus West on May 13 in a district semifinal at a site to be announced.
Baseball team in thick of CCL race
After sharing the CCL title with DeSales last season, the baseball team is looking to win another title.
The Hawks were 14-2 overall and 2-1 in the CCL before facing Ready on April 29 and St. Charles on May 1.
Hartley had a 14-game winning streak snapped with a 6-3 loss to DeSales on April 24. The Stallions led 4-3 heading into the seventh inning before tacking on two additional runs to seal the win.
Through 14 games, Philip Cole (.571), Adam McVicker (.488), Mason Sawyer (.438) and James Farrell (.404) each ranked among the area leaders, Cole had 25 RBI and 26 runs and Sawyer had 24 RBI. Pitcher Jacob Culbertson won his first six decisions.
Below are the coming schedules for the Hartley baseball, girls lacrosse, softball, boys tennis and track & field teams:
May 4 -- Home vs. Columbus Academy
*May 6 -- At DeSales. The Hawks lost to the Stallions 6-3 on Aug. 24.
*May 2 -- Home vs. Watterson
May 6 -- At Westerville Central
May 8 -- At Delaware
May 2 -- At Reynoldsburg
May 6 -- At 23rd-seeded Hilliard Davidson in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays May 8 at 20th-seeded Hilliard Darby in second round. Hartley is the 35th seed.
May 2 -- Home vs. Centennial
May 6 -- Home vs. Grandview
*May 7 -- Home vs. Watterson
TRACK & FIELD
May 3 -- Larkin/Crosten Invitational at Thomas Worthington
May 6, 8 -- CCL meet at Columbus School for Girls