Freshman Lindsey Bair appreciates the trust that has continued to build among members of the Ready High School girls track and field team.
On May 8 and 10 at Columbus School for Girls, Bair and teammates like fellow freshman Sophia Hoersten went against what might have been the toughest competition of their prep careers in the CCL meet.
The Silver Knights, who are the only Division III program in a league comprised mostly of Division I and Division II schools, scored 45 points to place last in the five-team meet behind Watterson (159), Hartley (125), DeSales (89.5) and CSG (73.5).
That didn't mean there weren't some positives that came from the experience for athletes like Bair, who ran on a pair of relays that earned runner-up finishes.
"It was scary," Bair said. "There was a lot of competition and our team worked together. We're out there supporting each other."
Ready is hoping the league meet turns into good preparation for when it competes in the Division III, district 2 meet that has field events Tuesday, May 16, running preliminaries Thursday, May 18, and running finals Saturday, May 20, at Watkins Memorial.
The top four finishers in each event advance to the regional May 24 and 26 at Fairfield Union, where the top four move on to state June 2 and 3 at Ohio State.
In the CCL meet May 8, the 3,200-meter relay of senior Katie Perry, Hoersten, Bair and sophomore anchor Lauren Whitt was second (9 minutes, 56.11 seconds) behind Watterson (9:53.56).
Then on May 10, the 1,600 relay of sophomore Brigitte Bowman, Perry, Bair and Whitt as anchor ran 4:06.11 to finish just behind Hartley (4:05.4).
Whitt was runner-up in the 400 (59.15) behind Hartley senior and three-time state qualifier Gana Lopez (58.79) in a race that came down to a few strides at the end.
Bair added fourth-place finishes in the 1,600 (5:26.75) and in the long jump (15 feet, 3/4 inches), Hoersten took fourth in the 800 (2:29.16), junior Allison Poe was fourth in the discus (95-0) and junior Alicia Williams took sixth in the 300 hurdles (52.64).
Sophomore Brigitte Bowman added a seventh-place finish in the 100 hurdles (18.22).
"We dropped 18 seconds in the (3,200 relay), which was huge," coach Rich Green said. "We definitely haven't had that kind of push like we did in the (3,200 relay). We tell them, 'Let's work on (personal bests) and focus on getting better.' We're hoping our relays are what's going to carry us at district."
Boys track team
set for postseason
The boys track team also will compete in the Division III, district 2 meet.
In the CCL meet, the Knights scored 17 points to place behind St. Charles (173), DeSales (153), Watterson (89) and Hartley (56).
The 1,600 relay of seniors Alex Burns and Erik Manning, junior John Riewe and freshman Jack Foley led with a third-place finish (3:35.55), and the 800 relay of Burns, Manning, Riewe and senior Patrick Jansen took fourth (1:36.28).
"(Track is) different," said Jansen, a first-year member of the team who previously competed in football and wrestling. "(Track is) not what I expected it to be because it's a lot more in-depth, but it's fun."
Freshman Matt Frye finished fifth in the shot put (36-8) and sixth in the 300 hurdles (46.36), and sophomore Austin Aiello finished fifth in high jump (5-6).
Softball team opens
The 11th-seeded softball team was 8-10 before opening the Division III district tournament May 11 at eighth-seeded Sparta Highland in the second round.
The winner plays fifth-seeded Utica or ninth-seeded Liberty Union in a district semifinal Tuesday, May 16, at a site to be announced. That winner will play top-seeded North Union, 10th-seeded Heath, 12th-seeded Northridge or 16th-seeded Marion Elgin in a district final Friday, May 19, or Saturday, May 20, at Pickerington Central.
The district champion advances to a regional semifinal May 24 at Wright State.
Boys tennis team
The boys tennis team competed in a Division II sectional tournament May 11 and 13 at Columbus Academy.
Junior Tommy Sithidouangleuthai and sophomores Connor Nagy and Sandon Skuce played singles, and the teams of sophomores Jarek Kolinski and Ricky Pittman and sophomores Daniel Hamilton and Dom Tokar competed in doubles.
Ready lost to Bloom-Carroll 5-0 on May 8 to fall to 1-11.
Much of baseball
team set to return
A 12-4 victory May 6 at 16th-seeded Mount Gilead in the first round of the Division III district tournament wasn't the only bright spot for the baseball team this spring.
Although it proved to be the Knights' lone victory, coach Mike Kula had some positive things to say to his 17th-seeded team after it lost at top-seeded Fredericktown 12-1 on May 8 in a second-round game to finish 1-16 overall.
"After we lost to Fredericktown, I said, 'I just realized I never mentioned it, but we were one of the classiest teams I've ever had,' " Kula said. "That's really important going forward. We had really outstanding leadership from our seniors who set the example for our younger players."
Ready, which went 0-8 in the CCL to finish behind co-champions Watterson and St. Charles (6-2), DeSales (4-4) and Hartley (4-4), loses four seniors in Ian Binns (2B), Leo Dunkle (OF), Ryan Smith (3B) and John Whitt (2B/DH).
Another senior in the program, Brandan Burks (C/P), did not finish the season.
Binns, Dunkle, junior Chase Jones (P/INF) and sophomore Cade Dent (INF/P/C) led the way, according to Kula.
Jones should be the team's top returning pitcher and also is one of its top defensive players. Dent split time at catcher and shortstop and batted second.
Other key returnees should include juniors Braden Bates (INF/P), Braedon Bowers (1B), Cameron Monovich (OF) and Eric Terranova (P/INF).
"(The win over Mount Gilead) was a really nice feeling because it validated a lot of the improvement they showed," Kula said. "We got into a situation this year where we were better than our record showed. Of the seven or eight games we had rained out, probably six of those were against teams that we could have beaten. We made a lot of improvements."