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Hartford Press Box

Track and Field earns co-team title at Regional meet

Last week, the Hartford Husky / Lady Husky high school track and field teams contested just one competition, but it was for the beginning of the postseason. Both teams traveled to Bangor on Friday, May 17, to compete in an MHSAA Division 3 regional meet, which featured a total field of fifteen teams. When the final results were entered, the Hartford men finished as the co-champions in the team race, as both the Huskies and the Lawton Blue Devils finished with a total of 77 points, while the Hartford ladies finished in thirteenth place, with a total of 20 points.

Congratulations Hartford Track and Field Team, Regional Co-Champions!

While it’s immediately not known the last time that Hartford took home a regional championship trophy on the men’s side, it is widely believed that it occurred before the turn of the millennium. What a valiant effort by a group of athletes, who waited until the right time to put forth their best effort of the season, to help the team pull off this incredible achievement.

In addition to the team championship that they will share, the pristine weather conditions were ripe for a run at potential school records. We are excited to report that two records, on the men’s side, that stood on the board are no more, with new names set to grace those feats for the next wave of athletes to try to attack. What a night it was on the track!

Looking at individual state qualifiers that resulted, a total of nine student-athletes, all on the men’s side, will be representing Hartford. The state finals will take place on Saturday, June 1, at Kent City High School.

Standout performances by the Hartford men had one individual champion, who scored a pair of wins in his events. Caiden Smith was the double winner, taking victory in the long jump, with his school record jump of 22 feet, 2 inches, besting the field by nearly two feet. Smith also claimed top honors in the 200 meter dash, with a time of 22.61 seconds, while he also qualified for state in the 100 meter dash, finishing in second place.

BREAKING THE SCHOOL RECORD! In the recent MHSAA Division 3 regional competition, Hartford’s Caiden Smith launches off the board, looking to wrap up a birth in the state finals. Not only did he score the victory at regionals, in his first jump of the finals, but his leap of 22 feet, 2 inches broke a long-standing school record. (TCR photo by Jerrod Birmele)

Also qualifying for state, as meet runners-up, were Carlos Ruiz in the 3200 meter run and the 400 meter relay, where the team of Austin Reyna, Julien Rodarte, Alex Saldana and Smith ran a school record time of 44.46 seconds. Meanwhile, the 3200 meter relay, consisting of Aiden Mcdonald, Robert Lenza, Josaias Robles and Alex Diaz, finished in fourth place, but ran under the additional qualifying time, earning them a shot at the state finals.

In terms of standout performances by the Hartford ladies, the best finish by the Lady Huskies came from Savannah Mullins, who finished fourth place in the discus.

The teams are scheduled to compete in a single meet this week, with conference honors on the line. Prior to this column being released, the track and field teams will have competed in the Southwest 10 Conference finals held at Lawrence on Tuesday, May 21.

Baseball splits doubleheaders with Marcellus, Bloomingdale

The Hartford Husky varsity baseball team returned to the diamond to play their two scheduled doubleheaders, both of which would count towards the final league standings. Recent successes have placed the squad back around .500, so they hoped to continue their fine play.

The team traveled to Marcellus on Monday, May 13 for a pair of games against the host Wildcats. When the final outs were recorded, Hartford was swept, losing game one, 13-1, before dropping the nightcap, 12-5.

Game one lasted just five innings, due to the mercy rule. The Huskies would get on the board, with a run in the top of the fourth inning. Timmy Wimbley took the loss on the mound for Hartford.

In game two, Brody Johnson took the loss on the mound for Hartford. The offense mustered ten hits, led by a three-hit performance from Alex Morsaw, while Timmy Wimbley also recorded a multi-hit game. Five players, including Braeden Birkhead, Johnson, Morsaw, Bryson Prillwitz and Wimbley drove-in a run each.

POSTSEASON HURDLE RACES… In the recent MHSAA Division 3 regional competition, Hartford’s Lillian Wolf races her Kalamazoo Christian opponent on the outside lane, during a heat of the 300 meter hurdles. Wolf finished with a season-best time of 52.37 seconds earning seventh place overall, securing two points in the team race for the Lady Huskies. (TCR photo by Jerrod Birmele)

On Wednesday, May 15 the team traveled to Bloomingdale, for a pair of games against the host Cardinals, and earned the sweep, winning game one, 24-10, before taking the nightcap, 6-3. Game one lasted just five innings, due to the mercy rule, but you’d thought it was football season, and the Huskies won by two scores! While Bloomingdale had back-to-back four run innings in the early going, to make it a game, Hartford scored in every inning. Jaylin Bachman earned the victory on the mound for Hartford. Brody Johnson drove-in a team-high five RBI.

In game two, the matchup went the full distance. The Cardinals got to within 5-3, but Hartford’s run in the top of the seventh inning was enough. Timmy Wimbley earned the victory on the mound for Hartford. The offense mustered six hits, led by a two-hit effort from Isaiah Lovell. Johnson drove in the lone RBI of the evening game.

Hartford Baseball is currently 7-9 on the season and is 6-7 in Southwest 10 Conference play. This week, the Huskies will have hosted Comstock in conference action on Monday, May 20, before Niles Brandywine came to town, for two non-conference games on Wednesday, May 22.

Softball has 5-1 week

The Hartford Lady Husky varsity softball team played a total of six games over the course of just three days. As part of a winning trend, the ladies went into play winning six of their last seven games.

The team traveled to Marcellus on Monday, May 13, for a conference doubleheader against the Lady Wildcats where Hartford took both games, winning game one, 7-3, before taking the nightcap by the same score.

In game one, it looked like it would go back-and-forth, but once the Lady Huskies settled in, they took control. Hartford scored a run in the top of the first inning, but Marcellus bounced back with three runs in the bottom of the opening frame. From there, it was green and white all the way while holding the Lady ‘Cats in check.

In terms of individual and team statistics, Abby Valdes earned the victory on the rubber for Hartford. The offense churned out eleven hits, led by Ava Bachman’s three-hit game, while Brooke Birmele and Madison Whitman both had two-hit performances. In terms of RBI, Whitman drove in a team-high three runs.

Game two looked like the first matchup, but the Lady Huskies were the more consistent team. Abby Valdes earned the victory on the rubber for Hartford. The offense churned out ten hits, led by multi-hit efforts from Brooke Birmele, Nevaeh Parks and Madison Whitman. Four players each drove in a run, but Ava Bachman’s single in the top of the seventh inning gave her a team-high two RBI.

In their second scheduled matchups of the week, which was a home non-conference doubleheader against the visiting Lady Bees of Bridgman, on Wednesday, May 15, the Lady Huskies were looking to keep their roll going, while earning revenge against the team that knocked them out in district play last spring, by a measly run. When the final outs were recorded, the two teams both recorded a victory, as Hartford took game one, 5-4, in extra innings (nine), before Bridgman rebounded in game two, taking the nightcap, 9-6.

Their third matchup saw the team travel to Bloomingdale on Friday, May 17 for a conference doubleheader against the Lady Cardinals. Hartford earned the sweep, as they took game one, 16-2, before winning the nightcap, 17-2. Both games were ended prior to the full distance, thanks to the mercy rule being in effect.

Hartford Softball is currently 14-12 on the season and is 10-3 in Southwest 10 Conference play. The Lady Huskies are scheduled to play three game dates on the calendar this week, including one counting towards the final league standings. They traveled to Cassopolis on Monday, May 20, and finish the week by playing on back-to-back nights, starting on Thursday, May 23, when they travel to Watervliet, before hosting Three Oaks River Valley, for a doubleheader, on Friday, May 24.

Girls Soccer sweeps

Bloomingdale, Eau Claire

during late stretch

Despite a losing record, the Lady Husky high school girls team has been playing improved soccer of late, which leads to successful results.

In their first match of last week, Hartford traveled to Bloomingdale on Monday, May 13, for a conference match against the Lady Cardinals. These two league foes first met back on April 18, and things didn’t go well for Hartford but when the final horn sounded, the Lady Huskies earned a hard-fought win, taking this one, 2-nil.

The Lady Huskies traveled to Eau Claire on Wednesday, May 15, for a non-conference match and finished with another victory, earning the win, 7-2. Girls soccer is currently 7-8-1 on the season and finished 4-4-0 in Southwest 10 Conference play. The Lady Huskies are scheduled to play two matches this week, including their final regular season match and the opening of postseason action.

The team traveled to New Buffalo on Monday, May 20 and finish the week by making the trek to South Haven on Friday, May 24, for a district quarterfinal match. The winner of this match will move on to the semifinals, to play Buchanan.

As always, GO GREEN! GO WHITE!

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