Experiencing the state track and field meet firsthand has become close to an annual experience for Ready High School senior Caitlin McAndrew and her family.
Each year from 2005-08, McAndrew's older sister, Jenna, competed at state in at least one relay. Jenna McAndrew helped the Silver Knights' 400-meter relay place eighth (51.48 seconds) in Division III in 2007.
Although Caitlin McAndrew didn't run as a freshman in 2009 on the 400 relay that was 12th in the Division II state meet, she competed at state as a sophomore.
In 2010, McAndrew ran on the 400 relay with Carly Culbertson, 2011 graduate Clare Bochy and 2010 graduate Heather Manning. They placed 14th (50.79) in the Division II state meet.
Last season, McAndrew, Bochy, Culbertson and Holland Jones settled for ninth (52.08) in the regional meet at Welcome Stadium in Dayton.
Now in her final prep season, McAndrew is hoping to re-establish the family tradition by competing at state one more time.
"(Jenna) was a great role model to look up to," McAndrew said of her sister, who is majoring in special education at the University of Cincinnati. "State was amazing. I liked it a lot. It's really thrilling. I was very nervous (two years ago), but it was really cool just being around that atmosphere. I want to go back to state again real bad."
She and Culbertson are competing on the 400 relay again this spring.
Although the postseason won't begin until the Division II district meet is held May 15, 16 and 19 at Westerville South, senior Chloe Bowman and freshman Oluchi Obiagwu are among the top candidates to also compete on the relay.
McAndrew, Culbertson and Obiagwu also have been running on the 800 relay with senior Ciara Carr.
On April 17 in a meet at Columbus Academy, the 400 relay was first in 52.5 and the 800 relay won in 1:52.3.
"I think we can get down (under 50 seconds) if we can get our handoffs down (in the 400 relay)," McAndrew said.
On April 13 in the Russ Owen/Bexley Relays, Ready was second (71) behind Columbus School for Girls (76.5).
Other standouts throughout the season's first month have included Nikki Brown (distance), Abby Schofield (distance) and Michelle Kaiser (distance, hurdles), according to coach Dean Tower.
"It's been going really well," Tower said. "A couple of kids are a little rusty, but we've competed well. Both of our sprint relays have done well."Softball squad finding positives
The softball team will play host to five teams in the Ready Spring Classic on Friday, April 27, and Saturday, April 28.
On the second day, the Silver Knights will play Granville, Licking Valley and Newark Catholic. The other teams in attendance will be Hilliard Bradley and Jonathan Alder.
The event will provide another opportunity for wins during a season in which they have been difficult to come by for Ready.
The Silver Knights lost their next six after beating London 10-4 on April 10, including their first two CCL games.
"We're making improvements week by week," coach Jen Goff said. "The schedule has not been the easiest by any means. We held Hartley to two runs (in a 2-1 loss April 16) and they've been scoring a lot of runs, so we're making improvements."
Freshman Hailey Bryan has been pitching and also is Ready's top hitter. Sophomore center fielder Haylee Patel has been impressive defensively, according to Goff.
Freshman Molly Abbruzzese drove in Ready's run against Hartley.
Senior Alexa Elfrink was expected back in the lineup for games during the final week of April after being out with an ankle injury.
"Our defense has been solid. It's actually been our offense (that's struggling)," Goff said. "Hailey Bryan has been doing well.
"She's going through some of the bumps and bruises that any freshman pitcher (experiences), but she's not doing bad for a freshman."