Hartley Roundup: Hawks boys bowling team gets boost from focus on mental approach

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Brody Halenar and the Hartley wrestling team will compete in a Division II sectional Feb. 26 and 27 at Licking Valley. Halenar was 19-10 at 182 pounds as the Hawks finished 18-13 overall and 3-0 in the CCL to win their eighth consecutive league title.

During a season in which the 2020 portion of the schedule for the Hartley boys bowling team was canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, junior Marlin Yarborough and his teammates talked extensively about their mental approach.  

Yarborough believes those discussions helped the Hawks qualify for the Division II district tournament for the second consecutive season and also should provide dividends going forward as the program continues to grow under third-year coach Chris Blum.  

“The key for us is to stay mentally focused, try not to get too caught up in our heads,” Yarborough said. “If we’re too low, we try not to get too down on ourselves. If we have a good streak, try not to get too cocky and stay straight with ourselves.   

“We did get a lot of practice time in, which is always good because any time I can bowl I want to do it. Regulated matches we didn’t have a lot of, but with all the practice time we got in, that really helped.”  

Yarborough turned in a fourth-place finish (588) on Feb. 13 in the sectional at HP Lanes as the Hawks finished 10th (3,278) of 27 teams behind champion Heath (3,772). 

The top 12 teams advanced to district Feb. 15 at HP Lanes, where Hartley shot 3,453 to place fifth of 12 teams as Heath (3,755) and Cardington (3,740) advanced to state.  

Yarborough led Hartley at district as well, finishing 28th (511) as the top two individuals not on qualifying teams advanced to state.  

Senior Andrew Grosko finished 30th (506) and junior Ayden Jordan was 40th (480) at district, and senior Ben Gegorski, junior Noah Shultz and sophomore Shane Shultz also competed.  

Gegorski turned in the Hawks’ second-best score at the sectional with a 502 (39th), while Grosko was 53rd (468).  

The girls team was scheduled to compete in a Division I sectional Feb. 18 at HP Lanes, with the top 16 teams and top 16 individuals not on qualifying teams advancing to district Feb. 22 at the same site. The top four teams and top four individuals not on qualifying teams at district advanced to state March 5 at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.  

“(The boys team) improved by (nearly) 200 pins (at district) from (our sectional score),” coach Chris Blum said. “We improved all across the board and that’s what we were trying to do.”  

Yarborough averaged 180.1 in league action as the Hawks went 7-2 overall and won the CCL at 6-2.  

Gegorski averaged 168.0 and Grosko averaged 167.9 in league matches.  

“I thought we navigated (the season) really well,” Blum said. “We accomplished a couple things as a team that we haven’t accomplished in a couple years like beating St. Charles twice, and we beat DeSales (once). We were really competitive in the CCL and we bowled well. I’m really proud of this season, especially with all the obstacles and everything.”  

Wrestlers win CCL,  

prepare for sectional  

The wrestling team will compete in a Division II sectional Feb. 26 and 27 at Licking Valley, with the top four in each weight class advancing to district March 5 and 6 at Wilmington.  

The Hawks finished 18-13 overall in duals, including beating Watterson 42-30 on Feb. 10 at home to finish 3-0 in the CCL to win their eighth consecutive league championship.  

“It was fantastic how energetic our team was this year and how we could pull through and get the eighth (league title in a row),” senior Cody Ihm said. “We’ve just been working our hardest in the practice room, making each other better and cheering each other on.”  

Although Ihm will compete at 145 pounds in the postseason, he believes that practicing with senior Brody Halenar, who wrestles at 182, has helped them both. 

Ihm closed the regular season at 24-14 while Halenar was 19-10.  

“Some of us don’t have partners around our weight,” Ihm said. “My partner, Brody Halenar, is 182, and he’s helped me wrestle kids that are bigger than I am. I help him with the kids that are faster and more agile.”  

Other seniors likely to be in the postseason lineup for the Hawks include Noah Houchins (17-14 at 126) and Tony Thivener (31-5 at 220).  

Sophomore Dylan Newsome enters the postseason at 170 after going 35-0 during the regular season.  

Others with winning records heading into the tournament are sophomores Isaac Asiedu (12-11 at heavyweight), Griffin Halenar (24-6 at 182/195) and Eyan Jackson (12-4 at 182/195) and freshman Cooper Rathburn (30-7 at 113/120/126).  

“It’s fun, especially when you see guys rally around each other,” coach Kevin Petrella said. “Our guys are competing, which is fun to see, especially some guys that have struggled and maybe had a little bit of adversity.  

“I feel good (about the postseason). I was surprised actually, not knowing what to expect this season. We got a lot of matches in and a lot of our guys are up around 30 matches. Maybe not as much as we have in the past, but I feel like we definitely got enough work put in and will be ready come the sectional.”  

Swimmers open  

postseason action  

The boys and girls swimming and diving teams began their postseasons with Division II sectional competition Feb. 12 for the girls at Columbus School for Girls and Feb. 14 for the boys at Columbus Academy.  

District competition was Feb. 18 at Bowling Green, with the top two finishers in each event automatically advancing to the state meet which was Feb. 24 for girls and will be Feb. 25 for boys in Canton. The remaining state qualifiers were determined based on times from all district meets statewide.  

At the sectional, the girls team finished runner-up (275) behind host CSG (452) and the boys were fifth (154) of 10 teams behind champion Granville (273).  

For the girls district meet, the 200-yard freestyle relay was seeded fourth, the 200 medley relay was seeded fifth and Grace Goodwin was seeded fourth in the 50 free.  

Also advancing from the sectional for the girls were the 400 free relay, Abby Di-Nardo (100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley), Mackenzie Frizzell (100 backstroke and 200 IM), Goodwin (100 free), Ellie Kitsmiller (100 butterfly and 200 free), Lily Lindemann (50 free and 100 free), Megan Luallen (200 free and 500 free), Liza McClung (100 breast) and Emma Simone (100 fly and 200 IM).  

Advancing for the boys were Sam LeMay (50 free and 100 fly), Leo Noll (50 free and 100 breast), William Sheridan (100 back and 200 IM), the 200 free relay, the 200 medley relay and the 400 free relay.

julrey@thisweeknews.com  

@UlreyThisWeek  

BOYS BOWLING   

•Record: 7-2 overall  

•League finish: 6-2 (first) in CCL  

•Seniors lost: Ben Gegorski and Andrew Grosko   

•Key returnees: Ayden Jordan, Noah Shultz, Shane Shultz and Marlin Yarborough  

•Postseason: 10th (3,278) at Division II sectional behind Heath (3,772); fifth (3,453) at district behind Heath (3,755)