The Ready High School track and field program was a couple close calls away from taking a large group to state.
As it turned out, the Silver Knights still advanced the top sprinter from both their boys and girls teams to the Division III state meet June 1 and 2 at Ohio State.
Junior Lauren Whitt made her third consecutive state trip in the 400 meters while senior Shelrick McElroy qualified in the 100 and earned one of two at-large berths in the 200 after placing fifth at regional, which concluded May 25 at Fairfield Union.
In previous years, only the top four finishers in each regional event advanced to state. The OHSAA added two at-large qualifiers in each running event.
"I'm happy that all of our seniors got to go the regional," coach Rich Green said. "I'm proud of Lauren and Shelrick. One of these days we'll have a bigger team because we have the quality, we just don't have the quantity that some of the other teams have yet."
The girls scored 16 points at regional to place 14th behind champion Mount Gilead (62) as 50 teams scored. The boys were 21st (10) behind champion Worthington Christian (70) as 35 teams scored.
Whitt was unable to advance in the 100, finishing 11th (13.51 seconds), but she ran 59.44 to place fourth in the 400. She was sixth at state in the 400 as a freshman and fourth in 57.75 last season.
According to Green, Whitt was battling leg cramps during the 400 final.
McElroy earned a third-place finish in the 100 (11.02). He ran 22.43 in the 200 to place fifth, just behind fourth-place finisher Chris Cook of Nelsonville-York (22.37), but had the 18th-best time in the state.
"The 200 was so tight at our district," Green said. "The Troy regional had a couple guys that are really fast, but it's all about your start."
Also for the girls team at regional, sophomore Lindsey Bair was sixth in the 800 (2:27.69), junior Derricka Bramwell was fifth in the shot put (36 feet, 10 1/2 inches), junior Brigitte Bowman was 16th in the 300 hurdles (53.51), the 1,600 relay of Bair, Bowman, Atenman Maker and Whitt was fifth (4:10.11), Maker was 13th in the long jump (15-4 1/4) and senior Allison Poe was 10th in the discus (93-4).
The 1,600 relay time was the 19th fastest in the state.
"The (1,600 relay) ran a season best and between the district final and the regional prelims dropped 10 seconds off their best time," Green said.
The boys team's other representative at regional was its 10th-place 400 relay (46.06) of McElroy, senior John Riewe and sophomores Jack Foley and Matt Frye.