Hitting the books has paid off for Ready High School senior Shelrick McElroy.

After competing for the boys track and field team as a freshman, McElroy wasn’t eligible for most of the past two seasons because of his grades.

He’s back on track academically this spring, and both he and the Silver Knights are benefiting.

In the Anthony Wilson Invitational on April 28 at Franklin Heights, McElroy ran the 100 meters in 10.9 seconds to finish first and added a third-place finish in the 200 (23.0).

“I didn’t really expect myself to be this fast coming out, but it’s been a good season so far,” he said. “I’ve run a little bit of AAU, so I’ve been running in the summer for a long time. My first time running was in eighth grade and I wasn’t really that good. My starts were bad, but I was fast, though, because I played soccer when I was little.”

As a freshman, McElroy reached a semifinal heat of the 200 in the Division III district meet, running a 23.92 to fall .13 of a second short of advancing to the final. He also competed on two relays at district that season.

McElroy competed for the Knights’ boys basketball program in his first three prep seasons and began last spring with the boys track team but didn’t remain eligible.

“I’ve really just been making sure I was eligible this year and that my grades were there first,” he said. “My coach (Rich Green) told me grades come before anything and we’re trying to get you into college. It kind of motivated me because I missed the last two years. It’s made me come out here and just run my hardest.”

McElroy’s time in the 100 at the Anthony Wilson is unofficially the second-fastest time among Division III competitors in central Ohio behind Centerburg’s Tyler Boales, who has run 10.8.

McElroy has a season-best 22.9 in the 200, which should make him a contender to advance to the regional and possibly to state.

Ready, which finished 11th (21 points) of 14 teams in the Anthony Wilson Invitational behind champion Eastmoor Academy (139), is competing in the CCL meet, which began May 8 and concludes Thursday, May 10, at Hartley.

The Knights then will prepare to compete in the Division III, district 2 meet, which begins Tuesday, May 15, with field events, continues May 17 with running preliminaries and concludes May 19 with running finals at Watkins Memorial.

“(McElroy) missed out on most of the last two seasons because of grades, but he’s been doing AAU on the side and does really well in summer meets,” Green said. “Now he’s got everything straight in the classroom and is out helping us score some big points.”

Also in the Anthony Wilson Invitational, McElroy joined Austin Aiello, Jack Foley and Matt Frye on the 800 relay that placed seventh (1:40.8) and on the 400 relay that was ninth (48.1) against a field that featured mostly Division I and II programs.

McElroy, who has received college interest from Cincinnati Christian, believes training in eighth grade with his older brother, Reshard, helped him build the athleticism that has helped him have success on the track.

“I (like) the 200 because even if you don’t get a good start you can still have that catch-up speed and you’re not completely out of the race,” McElroy said. “In the 100, I feel like my times are close to what people are running at state. For the 200, I think I have to drop a whole second and a half, and if I can do that, I could make it to state in the 200.”

Girls track team ‘coming along quickly’

The girls track and field team entered the five-team CCL meet hoping to close the gap after scoring 45 points last season to finish last, well behind fourth-place Columbus School for Girls (73.5).

Ready will turn its attention to the Division III, district 2 meet after the conclusion of the league meet.

The Knights finished third (82) of 15 teams in the Anthony Wilson Invitational, behind Grove City (142.5) and Teays Valley (95).

Finishing first were Lauren Whitt in the 400 (1:01.8), Brigitte Bowman in the 300 hurdles (52.2) and the 1,600 relay of Lindsey Bair, Bowman, Atenman Maker and Abbey Wasto (4:25.8).

Also in the Anthony Wilson Invitational, Bair placed second in the 800 (2:29.8) and fourth in the long jump (14 feet, 11 1/2 inches), Derricka Bramwell was runner-up in the shot put (32-1/4), Maker was second in the long jump (15-1 1/4), Bowman was fifth in the 100 hurdles (18.0), Katelyn Paul was sixth in both the 1,600 (6:23.1) and 3,200 (15:00.6) and the 3,200 relay of Maker, Paul, Isabella Marsh and Emily O’Connell finished fourth (11:51.3).

Another key contributor has been Allison Poe, whose best throw in the discus is 90-2.

“I think we’re coming along quickly and we’ll be where we want by the end of the season,” Green said.

Softball team earns league championship

The softball team has captured its first CCL championship since 2009.

Skylar Lafferty was the winning pitcher and the Knights got a grand slam from Hannah Bryan and a pair of home runs from Ashlyn Muraco as they beat Watterson 11-2 on May 2 to finish 5-1 in the league. The Eagles were runners-up at 4-2.

Ready was 14-7 overall after splitting a pair of games on May 5, defeating Watkins Memorial 12-6 and losing to host Groveport 5-2.

“We’re averaging 11 hits per game and we’re scoring a lot of runs,” coach Jen Goff said. “We’re doing all the little things right. We’re putting the ball in play and, defensively, we’re killing it.”

Bryan had seven home runs and Muraco had four through 19 games.

Ready is seeded fourth of 23 teams in the Division III district tournament and will play host to 10th-seeded Northridge or 23rd-seeded Cristo Rey in a second-round game Thursday, May 10.

At the tournament draw April 29, Goff elected to send her team into the same district bracket as top-seeded North Union. Last season, the 11th-seeded Knights beat the top-seeded Wildcats 3-2 in a district final.

Boys tennis team set for postseason

The Division II postseason begins for the boys tennis team with a sectional Thursday, May 10, and Saturday, May 12, at Columbus Academy.

In singles, senior Tommy Sithidouangleuthai opens with a feed-in match against Bloom-Carroll’s Logan Miller, while junior Connor Nagy plays Hartley’s Peyton Eads and junior Sandon Skuce faces Eastmoor Academy’s Jaden Hairston in first-round matches.

In doubles, juniors Dom Tokar and Ricky Pittman will form one pairing and juniors Jarek Kolinski and Daniel Hamilton will form the other.

Freshman Dario Scott is another who has seen action for Ready, which lost to Charles 5-0 on May 7 to finish 1-9 overall and 0-4 in the CCL. The Knights also lost to DeSales on May 1 and Watterson on May 2 by 5-0 scores and 3-2 to Hartley on April 10.

“We’re still really young with only one senior and we’ve only gotten (a few) matches in,” coach Dan Skuce said. “We had our sectional meeting and it was so hard because nobody had any matches in.”

Baseball team opens tournament play

The 18th-seeded baseball team opened the Division III district tournament May 8 at home against 19th-seeded Mount Gilead in a first-round game.

The winner plays at third-seeded Fredericktown in the second round Thursday, May 10, with that winner facing 10th-seeded Grandview or 11th-seeded Marion Pleasant in a district semifinal Tuesday, May 15, at a neutral site to be determined. The district final is May 17.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the Ready softball and track & field teams:

SOFTBALL

May 10 – Home vs. 10th-seeded Northridge or 23rd-seeded Cristo Rey in second round of Division III district tournament. Winner plays seventh-seeded West Jefferson, ninth-seeded Galion Northmor or 22nd-seeded Worthington Christian in district semifinal May 15 at site to be announced. Ready is seeded fourth.

TRACK & FIELD

May 8, 10 -- CCL meet at Hartley