The Ready High School boys track and field team had a first-year senior reach the Division III state meet last season, but having a total of just seven athletes kept it from having much success from a team standpoint.

Five of those athletes have returned for the Silver Knights, and the program has tripled its overall number of participants.

"We lost Kyle Usner (to graduation), but I think we'll be competitive," second-year coach Rich Green said. "We'll score better than we did last year just based on quantity. I think we'll be able to take some teams by surprise."

Usner, who placed 11th in the discus at state last season, and junior Devin Dukes, who transferred to Grove City during the offseason, were the only key athletes from last year who have not returned.

Ready scored just seven points to place last in the 12-team Hamilton Township Booster Invitational behind champion Whitehall (104) on March 28, but scored 50 points to place sixth of 14 teams in the small-school division of the Rocky Brands Invitational on April 1 behind champion and host Nelsonville-York (139.5).

Senior Erik Manning (sprints, long jump), juniors Clay Cutteridge (middle distance) and John Riewe (sprints) and sophomores Austin Aiello (high jump, sprints) and Grant Cordle (distance) are returnees.

At the Rocky Brands Invitational, the 3,200-meter relay of Cordle, Cutteridge, senior Ramon Rivera-Romero and freshman Kyle Caisaguano was runner-up (9 minutes, 15.41 seconds).

Others on the team include seniors Alex Burns (long jump, high jump), Donald Butts (sprints, hurdles) and Patrick Jansen (shot put, discus), junior Shelrick McElroy (sprints), sophomores Oumar Dia (hurdles, sprints) and D'Juan LaGree (sprints) and freshmen Jack Foley (sprints) and Matt Frye (hurdles, sprints).

Whitt back to lead
girls track team

Sophomore Lauren Whitt has returned to lead the girls track and field team.

Last spring, Whitt ran a program-record 58.55 to finish sixth in the 400 at the Division III state meet. She was the program's first state placer since Emily Morris won the Division II shot put title as a senior in 2011.

Other key returnees include senior Katie Perry (middle distance), junior Natalee Patel (long jump, sprints) and sophomore Brigitte Bowman (hurdles, sprints).

The girls team has grown from 13 athletes a year ago to 20 this spring.

"Having Lauren helps," Green said. "A lot of them want to be a part of something. A lot of (the growth) was by word of mouth."

Freshmen Lindsey Bair and Sophia Hoersten have been immediate contributors for Ready, which placed sixth (63) in the 11-team Booster Invitational behind co-champions Hartley and Watterson (107) on March 28. The Knights also were runners-up (87.5) in the 14-team small-school division of the Rocky Brands Invitational behind champion Reedsville Eastern (89).

In the Rocky Brands Invitational, Whitt was the top scorer among small-school athletes, as she won the 100 (13.397), 200 (27.61) and 400 (1:02.39) and was on the winning 1,600 relay (4:23.11) along with Bair, Bowman and Perry.

Other expected contributors include juniors Kayla Hyme (long jump) and Allison Poe (shot put, discus) and freshmen Michaela Kopczewski (shot put, discus) and Katelyn Paul (distance).

Tennis team rebuilds
with young lineup

With no seniors and just one of its top seven players back from last season, the boys tennis team is viewing this season with an eye toward the future.

In a 5-0, season-opening loss to Jonathan Alder on March 29, sophomore Sandon Skuce played first singles for the Silver Knights, who finished 2-10 overall and 0-4 in the CCL last season.

"We've only got one junior and everybody else is sophomores," said third-year coach Dan Skuce, Sandon's father. "By the end of this season, we'll be better than last year. Next year and the year after when these guys are seniors, we should be OK."

Ready opened CCL action April 4 with a 5-0 loss to Watterson to drop to 0-2 overall.

The other returnees are sophomores Connor Nagy and Dom Tokar. Nagy is at second singles and Tokar is playing doubles.

Sophomore Michael Mayo played third singles in the first two matches.

Junior Tommy Sithidouangleuthai and sophomores Daniel Hamilton, Jarek Kolinski, Ricky Pittman and John Pyles are others looking to contribute.

Ready lost eight seniors from last season, including Andres Walliser-Wejebe, who won one singles match in the Division II sectional tournament, and the doubles team of Zach Baum and Annie Mesewicz, who reached the second round at sectional.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

Schedules

BOYS TENNIS

March 29 -- at Jonathan Alder

*April 4 -- vs. Watterson

April 6 -- vs. Bloom-Carroll

April 7 -- at Village Academy

*April 11 -- at Hartley

April 12 -- at Teays Valley

*April 18 -- at St. Charles

April 19 -- at Central Crossing

April 20 -- vs. Eastmoor Academy

April 24 -- vs. West Jefferson

April 26 -- vs. Grandview

April 27 -- vs. Village Academy

May 1 -- at Franklin Heights

*May 2 -- vs. DeSales

May 3 -- vs. Central Crossing

May 5 -- vs. Fisher Catholic

TRACK & FIELD

March 28 -- Hamilton Township Booster Invitational

April 1 -- Rocky Brands Invitational at Nelsonville-York

April 4 -- at Westland with Dublin Jerome

April 8 -- Fairfield Union Invitational

April 11 -- at Franklin Heights

April 12 -- at Columbus Academy

April 18 -- Grove City

April 21 -- Pat McMillan Invitational at Whitehall

April 25 -- at Central Crossing

April 29 -- Anthony Wilson Invitational at Franklin Heights

May 2 -- at Columbus School for Girls

May 5 -- Lion Invitational at Liberty Union

May 8, 10 -- CCL meet at Hartley

*League contest

Below are the coming schedules for the Ready baseball and softball teams:

BASEBALL

*April 10 -- Home vs. Hartley

*April 12 -- Home vs. DeSales

SOFTBALL

*April 10 -- Home vs. DeSales

April 11 -- Home vs. Worthington Christian

*April 12 -- At Watterson

*League contest