Ready High School senior Taron Slone didn't have the kind of performance he was hoping for in the Division II state track and field meet June 7 and 8 at Ohio State.
Making his fourth state appearance in the 100 meters and his second in the 200, Slone expected to be on the podium in both events, and he was, but not as high as he wanted.
After winning titles in both events in the Lexington regional held May 30 and June 1, when he ran 10.8 seconds in the 100 and 21.49 in the 200, Slone settled for sixth in the 100 (11.2) and third in the 200 (22.34) at state.
"I'm not happy with either race," he said. "I was hoping to improve upon what I did here in the past, but I did worse this year. This is more than just a race to me -- it's life -- and sometimes things in life just don't go your way."
Slone, who was 16th (11.58) as a freshman, fourth (11.27) as a sophomore and third (11.05) last season in the 100, was seeded first entering state and turned in the third-best preliminary time (10.86).
"I got out to the best start I've ever had in this race (in the final), but there was a false start and we had to start over again," Slone said. "My arm was literally shaking in the starting block after that, because I was so worried I was going to false-start and get disqualified. I waited until I was sure I heard the gunshot to start my race, and I never recovered from my slow start. The 100 is just too short to make up much ground."
He was runner-up in the 200 last year (21.79) but tripped coming out of the blocks and couldn't recover in this year's final.
Slone, who hopes to walk on to the track team at the University of Akron, scored nine points at state to help Ready tie Eastmoor Academy for 26th behind champion Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary (49) as 73 teams scored.
He led a senior class that also included Daniel Perry (middle distance), Billy Platter (distance) and Jonas Wahl (hurdles).
The boys team placed third (79) behind St. Charles (175) and DeSales (81) and ahead of Hartley (77) and Watterson (74) in the CCL meet May 16 and 18 at Columbus School for Girls before placing seventh (50) of 13 teams behind champion Independence (91) in the district 1 meet May 21, 22 and 25 at Westerville South.
Also advancing to regional were sophomore Codi Platter in the 1,600 (first, 4:42.2), Wahl in the high jump (second, 6 feet) and Perry in the 800 (third, 2:00.72).
At regional, Slone's 20 points gave Ready a tie for 10th with Bellevue and Defiance behind champion Pemberville Eastwood (55) as 44 teams scored. Perry was 13th in the 800 (2:03.44), Codi Platter was 10th in the 1,600 (4:50.2) and Wahl did not compete.
Codi Platter and sophomores Steve Landy (distance) and Mark Vatter (distance) should be among the top returnees.
The girls team, which didn't have any state qualifiers, loses two seniors in Carly Culbertson (sprints) and Taylor Longenette (shot put, discus).
The Silver Knights were last (55) in the CCL meet behind DeSales (114), CSG (112), Watterson (105) and Hartley (102) and ninth (35) in the district 1 meet behind champion Granville (147.5).
Culbertson was second in the 200 (26.71) and third in the 100 (13.14) at district before placing 13th in the 200 (27.12) and 14th in the 100 (13.02) at regional.
Juniors Jordan Bair (sprints), Maddy Bowen (distance) and Allie Schroeder (hurdles, sprints), sophomores Angelique Bowman (hurdles, sprints), Courtney Bair (distance) and Ashlyn Szabo (sprints, long jump) and freshmen Kathleen Colvin (distance), Emily Genders (middle distance) and Abigail Whitehead (long jump, middle distance) should be among the top returnees.
Softball team's year ends in state semi
The softball team's season ended with a 3-1 loss to Columbia Station Columbia in a Division III state semifinal June 7 at Firestone Stadium in Akron.
The loss gave the Silver Knights a final record of 15-16 overall and ended a seven-game winning streak that included a victory over North Union (8-2 on May 25) in a district final at Pickerington Central and regional wins over Brookville (14-3 on May 29) and Batavia Clermont Northeastern (2-1 in eight innings June 2) at Wright State.
Ready entered the district tournament as the 16th seed of 20 teams and upset third-seeded Northridge (4-0 on May 15) and fourth-seeded Liberty Union (15-2 on May 20 at Pickerington North) to open the postseason. North Union was the fifth seed.
"I view it as a successful season because nobody thought we'd do this," coach Jen Goff said. "It was a very enjoyable, very fun year. It was an amazing finish to the season."
In its first state tournament appearance since 2009, when Ready lost in a semifinal, junior pitcher Julia Hall allowed one earned run on eight hits while striking out four and walking one. She finished the season 11-5.
Freshman third baseman Courtney Hackney singled in Hall in the fifth for Ready's only run.
Ready tied Hartley and DeSales for second in the CCL at 2-4 behind Watterson (6-0).
The Knights got off to a 4-13 start and were 8-15, but they lost seven one-run games, including a pair to the top seed in Division I, Delaware, 3-2 on May 4 and 5-4 on May 13.
The loss to Columbia was the final prep game for seniors Sammy Hawkins (2B) and Emily Finchum (C).
In addition to Hackney and Hall, junior Haylee Patel (CF), sophomores Madison Gatley (SS), Hailey Bryan (LF) and Molli Abbruzzese (RF) and freshman Shannan Waldo (1B) are starters eligible to return.
"We tried to keep things lively and fresh this year," Goff said. "We tried to do something new and finally it started working. Even when we were losing all those games, we were still getting people on base."