With most of a cross country squad that just missed advancing to the Division II regional meet last fall among its key runners this spring, the Ready High School girls track and field team not surprisingly should be strongest in middle distance and distance races during the postseason.
What the Silver Knights weren't expecting was that two of their top boys competitors would be seniors who are new to the sport.
Senior Kelly Culbertson, who helped the football and boys basketball teams reach state semifinals earlier this school year and will play football for John Carroll University, could be a candidate for postseason success in the 100 meters.
Classmate Brady Taylor, who will play football at Ohio State, decided to take up track this spring as well. He's been the team's top competitor in the shot put.
"Kelly Culbertson is ranked really high in the 100 and 200 in Division III and he's a first-year senior who's in about his fifth or sixth meet," coach Dean Tower said. "His starts are improving, especially in the 100. In the 200 he's got to learn the curve a little bit, but he's doing well. When we get down to (facing) Division III (opposition) he should have an impact.
"Brady Taylor has placed in every meet in the shot put and is hitting the mid-40s right now."
Ready competes Thursday, May 15, and Saturday, May 17, in the CCL meet at DeSales.
The girls team then competes in the Division II district meet May 20, 21 and 24 at Heath. The boys compete in the Division III, district 2 meet May 20, 21 and 24 at Whitehall.
On May 3 in the 14-team Anthony Wilson Invitational at Central Crossing, the boys finished eighth (20) behind champion Franklin Heights (118).
Culbertson didn't place in the 200 (24.59 seconds) but ran 11.82 in the 100 to place fifth.
Taylor finished seventh in the shot put (41 feet, 3 inches).
The top boys performance was turned in by Codi Platter, who took third in both the 1,600 (4:53.1) and 3,200 (10:54.02).
The girls team placed fifth (42) behind champion Grove City (129).
The 3,200 relay of Courtney Bair, Maddy Bowen, Kathleen Colvin and Emily Genders was first (10:39.95). Colvin added a third-place finish in the 1,600 (6:04.68), and Bair was third in the 800 (2:40.13).
Allie Schroeder took third in both the 100 hurdles (18.1) and 300 hurdles (52.6).
Although the Division II girls district meet includes 23 teams, only the top four in each event advance to the regional May 29 and 31 at Lexington.
The top four in each boys district event advance to the regional May 29 and 31 at Fairfield Union.
"Our (girls 3,200 relay) is starting to come together," Tower said. "They've dropped about 30 seconds in the last two meets. Allie Shroeder is doing well in both hurdles (events) and has placed in every meet. Emily Genders is a really good athlete and only a sophomore, but she works hard."
Softball team hoping to go on another run
Despite going 10-15 during the regular season a year ago, the softball team advanced to a Division III state semifinal.
Ready hopes it can find similar success this postseason despite entering it with a losing record and as the 10th seed in the district.
The Knights lost to Watterson 7-5 on May 7 to finish 2-4 in the CCL. They were 4-16 overall before playing Dublin Coffman and Jonathan Alder on May 10 in the Ready Spring Classic.
Ready, which opens the district tournament Wednesday, May 14, at fifth-seeded Cardington, recently got sophomore catcher Shannan Waldo back from an injury.
During an 11-1 loss to Delaware on May 3, however, senior pitcher Julia Hall suffered a leg injury that could keep her out for the next few weeks, according to coach Jen Goff.
Junior Hailey Bryan, who has played first base and center field as well as served as the No. 2 pitcher, could be the No. 1 pitcher for the remainder of the season.
Goff was hoping to have a tournament home game, but instead elected to stay out of top-seeded Bloom-Carroll's bracket.
"We've been playing a little more consistently and we've been putting the ball in play a lot more," Goff said. "I do have Shannan Waldo back, and she went 2-for-3 (in a 7-0 loss to DeSales on May 5) and it was her first game back behind the plate. Julia Hall could be out for about three or four weeks, but Hailey Bryan is a good pitcher as well."
Pitching depth key for baseball team
The baseball team is planning to be a factor in the Division III district tournament despite being seeded 13th of 19 teams.
The Knights open the postseason Tuesday, May 13, at home against 16th-seeded North Union, with the winner to play at second-seeded Marion Elgin on Thursday, May 15.
A pitching staff led by Drew Hasenkamp, Jason Horn and Drew Maxwell has coach Nate Hillery feeling optimistic.
"We've got some guys who can really throw it," Hillery said. "Our strong point all season has been our pitching staff. We have nine complete games this year."
Hunter Clanin, Brendan Kirby, Greyson Budd and Damian Lehnert have been the top hitters for Ready, which lost to Watterson 8-1 on May 6 to finish 1-7 in the CCL.
Ready was 7-16 overall before playing Marion Pleasant on May 8.
Boys tennis team preps for postseason
The boys tennis team competes in a Division II sectional tournament Thursday, May 15, and Saturday, May 17, at Columbus Academy.
Junior Ryan McFarland and sophomore Zach Baum will play first-round singles matches and senior Andy Rinehart will play in a feed-in singles match.
Playing doubles will be the teams of seniors Harrison Ringel and Austin Carnes and Graham Green and Chris Wiser.
The Knights were 0-10 overall and 0-3 in the CCL before playing Hartley on May 8.