The final weekend of Shelrick McElroy's career with the Ready High School boys track and field team featured a pair of honored performances.
After qualifying for the Division III state meet for the first time, the senior advanced to the finals in the 100 and 200 meters from the preliminaries June 1 at Ohio State.
McElroy ended up on the awards podium in both the next day, placing eighth in the 100 in 11.14 seconds and eighth in the 200 in 22.6. He scored two points to give Ready a tie for 54th behind champion East Canton (64) as 72 teams scored.
"I just got (nervous) or something with it being my first time (at state)," McElroy said. "It was nice to be here. It's a great experience, especially for it being the first time seeing all these people and the crowd. To make the finals and be on the podium is pretty special."
McElroy made it to state despite not competing for most of the past two seasons.
He placed third in the 100 (11.17) and third in the 200 (22.63) in the district 2 meet that concluded May 19 at Watkins Memorial and followed by placing third in the 100 (11.02) and fifth in the 200 (22.69) at regional, which concluded May 25 at Fairfield Union.
McElroy's regional time in the 200 earned one of two at-large berths to state, and he capitalized.
"He was one of those at-large bids, so that shows that the process is working," coach Rich Green said.
Green, who has been the boys and girls cross country coach for two seasons and the boys and girls track coach for three years, is stepping down from both positions. He is planning to coach at the feeder-school level.
He was happy with the progress both teams showed this season.
In the CCL meet, which concluded May 10, the boys finished fifth (33) behind DeSales (138), St. Charles (126), host Hartley (113) and Watterson (78).
Ready then was seventh (38) of 12 teams in district 2 behind champion Mount Gilead (154) and 21st (10) at regional behind champion Worthington Christian (70) as 35 teams scored.
"I'm extremely happy," Green said. "From a boys standpoint, we scored a ton more points this year than we did last year. We had a lot of guys that scored big points. Obviously we're losing (senior) John (Riewe) and Shelrick, but if we get a couple more kids out ... Ready is doing really well. They're having success in basketball, success in football. Anthony Aiello is doing good things with the wrestling program. They've just got to see the benefits of track."
Also competing at regional was the 10th-place 400 relay (46.06) of McElroy, Riewe and sophomores Jack Foley and Matt Frye.
Others eligible to return include juniors Austin Aiello (sprints), Carl Copley (discus, shot put), Evan Cordle (distance, middle distance) and Grant Cordle (distance, middle distance) and sophomores Luke Bergman (middle distance), Kyle Caisaguano (distance), Oumar Dia (hurdles) and Cameron Jones (distance).
"Luke Bergman did some great things," Green said. "The Cordle boys are doing a great job and Cameron Jones in the (3,200) will hopefully have a little more success. We have to be doing a little more recruiting. Hopefully I'm leaving this program better than when I got it."
Whitt ends year at state in girls track
Junior Lauren Whitt of the girls track team closed her third consecutive season competing in the 400 at the Division III state meet.
On June 1, she finished 10th in 59.23 to miss advancing to the final by 0.15 of a second.
Whitt was sixth as a freshman and fourth as a sophomore.
"It's been a tough year for her," Green said. "It's her junior year and colleges are calling, and she's had some nagging injuries. She's frustrated but she's learned from it. She's ready to move on and get ready for next year.
"Last year she was running the (3,200 relay), which helped her with her endurance. That's where she's struggled this year, when she gets to that last 150 (meters). We'd like to experiment in maybe the 300 hurdles or the high jump or long jump, see where she wants to go and how we can put her abilities to work and still give her body plenty of time to recover."
In the CCL meet, Ready scored 47.5 points to place fourth behind Watterson (175.5), Hartley (116) and DeSales (107) and ahead of Columbus School for Girls (45).
The Knights then were third (78) of 13 teams in the district 2 meet behind Mount Gilead (164) and Columbus Academy (114) before scoring 16 points to place 14th at regional behind champion Mount Gilead (62) as 50 teams scored.
Also at regional, Whitt was 11th in the 100 (13.51), sophomore Lindsey Bair placed 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, junior 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).
Others eligible to return include juniors Abbey Wasto (hurdles) and Emily O'Connell (distance), sophomores Michaela Kopczewski (discus) and Katelyn Paul (distance) and freshmen Mercy Cala-Avila (sprints), Allison Dellinger (sprints), Isabella Marsh (middle distance) and Jenna Winslow (sprints).
"I can't say enough about the girls team," Green said. "They would have liked to have gotten a couple more (to state), but we've got a lot of girls coming through the feeder program."