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 was hoping the league meet provided good preparation for the Division III, district 2 meet that held field events May 16 and continues with 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 Wednesday, May 24, and May 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
The boys track team also is competing 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 advances
to district semifinal
The 11th-seeded softball team opened the Division III district tournament by winning 12-5 at fifth-seeded Sparta Highland on May 11 in the second round.
The Knights improved to 9-10 and advanced to a district semifinal May 16 against fifth-seeded Utica. The winner plays top-seeded North Union or 12th-seeded Northridge in a district final Friday, May 19, or Saturday, May 20, at Pickerington Central.
The district champion plays West Liberty-Salem, Lewistown Indian Lake, Cincinnati Deer Park or Reading in a regional semifinal Wednesday, May 24, at Wright State. The regional final is May 27 at Wright State.
Against Highland, Erica Ogden hit a grand slam during a six-run third inning and the Knights added four runs in the sixth as Shelby Tracy hit a two-run homer.
Pitcher Skylar Lafferty struck out 11 and didn't give up a run over the final four innings.
"It feels great," coach Jen Goff said. "We've really worked a lot on our pitch selection the last couple weeks at practice. You don't want to wait on the perfect pitch, but you also don't want to swing at junk. If they miss on a pitch, you can send it far. If they're going to walk you, let them walk you. We had six walks (against Highland)."
Boys tennis team
competes at sectional
The boys tennis team's season ended in a Division II sectional tournament May 11 at Columbus Academy.
Junior Tommy Sithidouangleuthai and sophomores Connor Nagy and Sandon Skuce all lost in the first round in singles, as did the doubles teams of sophomores Jarek Kolinski and Ricky Pittman and sophomores Daniel Hamilton and Dom Tokar.
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."