Hartley Roundup: Hawks swimmers starting to peak as postseason nears

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Hartley's Abby Di-Nardo finished second in the 100 breaststroke during the CCL meet Jan. 30 at St. Charles as the Hawks girls team finished runner-up to Watterson.

The word “confusing” was among those senior Megan Luallen used to describe what this season has been like for the Hartley girls swimming and diving program.  

As she and her teammates have gotten used to the protocols involved in having practices and meets during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, there also have been enjoyable moments along the way.  

“At first there were a lot of different protocols that kept changing, but I’m glad we were able to figure it out, go to practice and see everyone,” Luallen said.   

While the OCC elected not to have league meets for its five divisions, the CCL held a league championship Jan. 30 at St. Charles.  

It was among the final preparations for the Hawks before the Division II postseason, which begins with a sectional this weekend at Columbus Academy. There are no automatic berths to the district meet Feb. 18 at Bowling Green. The top 24 in individual events and the top 16 relays advance based on sectional times.  

“We’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well they’ve been performing considering the long layoff most of them faced with so many pools closed throughout the spring, summer and fall,” coach Tony Phillips. “Of course, that takes a back seat to maintaining safe practices each day, but we’re cautiously hopeful for a nice crop of district and maybe even state qualifiers.   

“We’ve only had half a dozen meets and the first two meets were virtual, so they felt like an inter-squad meet. I don’t really know yet if there’s going to be some adjustments to the relays. We’re getting ready to start resting, and normally you start training faster right before the rest. It’s not uncommon to see the times go up before they go down. Everybody is kind of heavy and sluggish right now, which is very common. We’re having a season, and I’ve said that anything we do on top of that is just going to be gravy.”  

At the league meet, the girls team finished second (324) behind Watterson (462) and ahead of DeSales (281) and Ready (28), and the boys finished third (196) behind St. Charles (539) and DeSales (217) and ahead of Watterson (115) and Ready (2).  

Senior Emma Simone was first for the girls team in the 100-yard butterfly (1 minute, 4.3 seconds), while the Hawks got second-place finishes from sophomore Mackenzie Frizzell in the 100 backstroke (1:10.02), sophomore Abby Di-Nardo in the 100 breaststroke (1:15.47), the 200 freestyle relay of senior Ellie Kitsmiller, Lily Lindemann and Simone and sophomore Grace Goodwin (1:49.03). 

Taking third were Goodwin in the 50 free (26.85) and 100 free (1:01.47), Kitsmiller in the 100 fly (1:04.86), senior Liza McClung in the 100 breast (1:19.55) and the 400 free relay of Kitsmiller, Luallen, Lindemann and Frizzell (4:09.67).  

“We seemed to drop time in several events,” Kitsmiller said. “I thought it went pretty well.”  

Leading the boys team at the CCL meet was senior Leo Noll, who won the 100 back (1:07.06). He also swam on the 200 medley relay with seniors DeAndre Hodge and Sam LeMay and junior William Sheridan (1:47.72) and on the 200 free relay with Hodge, LeMay and junior Stuart Landry (1:38.27) that both took second.  

“A couple of our short relays (in boys and girls) have a decent shot (of going deep into the postseason),” Phillips said. “Within the last two or so weeks, we’ve been noticing stronger swims from everyone in practice and are optimistic that will start translating into faster times at the meets here soon.”  

Girls basketball team  

having strong season  

The girls basketball team received the No. 2 seed for the Division II district tournament and will open the postseason Feb. 19 at home against 16th-seeded Utica.  

The next-highest seeds in Hartley’s bracket are Whitehall (fourth) and Heath (fifth). 

After reaching a Division I district semifinal a year ago, the Hawks played their 11th game against a Division I program this season when they faced Watterson on Feb. 9 with first place in the CCL on the line.  

Hartley was 10-4 overall and 2-1 in the league after beating DeSales 77-51 on Jan. 28. The Hawks still must play two league games against Ready, which is in quarantine until Feb. 9.  

Senior forward Kami Kortokrax was averaging 19 points through 14 games, followed by sophomore post player Ella Brandewie (12.0), sophomore guard Kiarra McElrath (7.5) and senior guard Milayna Williams (6.5).  

Boys basketball team  

preps for postseason  

The boys basketball team has a pair of games scheduled before it opens the Division II postseason, which is set to begin Feb. 23.  

The Hawks beat Marion-Franklin 62-45 on Jan. 30 and lost to DeSales 51-33 on Feb. 2 to fall to 8-6 overall and 2-4 in the CCL.  

Senior guard Dejon Donnell was averaging a team-best 15 points and senior forward Will Miller was adding 12 points per contest through 14 games.

julrey@thisweeknews.com  

@UlreyThisWeek