With one of the state's best returning long sprinters leading the way, the Ready High School girls track and field team is aiming to prove that its showing at the district level last season was not a fluke.
The Silver Knights scored 70 points to place third of 15 teams in the Division III, district 2 meet behind Mount Gilead (108) and Grandview (94) before finishing ninth (25) at regional.
Junior Lauren Whitt then placed fourth in the 400 meters (program-record 57.75 seconds) at state to score five points for the Knights. She was sixth in the 400 as a freshman.
"We're a lot closer than we've ever been to filling out an entire invitational lineup," third-year coach Rich Green said. "Hopefully that carries over and quantity turns into quality for a few more points at state. ... We're trying to piece it together to see if hopefully we can make a run at a district trophy by finishing first or second."
Whitt also joined 2017 graduate Katie Perry, junior Sophia Hoersten and sophomore Lindsey Bair on the 3,200 relay that placed 10th (9:45.47) at state after running a program-record 9:40.45 at regional.
In the season-opening Hamilton Township Booster Invitational on March 27, Ready scored 33 points to place eighth of 11 teams behind champion Watterson (165) as Whitt won the 400 (1:00.57).
Bair joins Whitt as a returnee but Hoersten transferred to Hilliard Davidson.
Junior returnee Brigitte Bowman competed with Bair, Perry and Whitt on the 1,600 relay that won a district title in 4:06.11.
Bowman also is expected to compete in shot put and discus along with senior Allison Poe, junior Derricka Bramwell, sophomores Michaela Kop-czewski and Carolyn Tackett and freshmen Gabrielle Phillips and Alyssa Sanders. Phillips also will compete in sprints and hurdles, with Sanders in sprints and relays.
Juniors Emily O'Connell and Katelyn Paul should join Bair as key middle-distance runners, and freshman Jenna Winslow should factor into the sprint corps.
Also looking to contribute are senior Alicia Williams (hurdles, sprints), juniors Atenaman Maker (long jump, middle distance) and Abbey Wasto (hurdles, sprints) and freshmen Clarissa Bachelder (sprints, relays), Mercy Cala-Avila (middle distance, distance), Allison Dellinger (sprints, relays) and Isabella Marsh (sprints, middle distance).
"It's definitely a lot harder without Katie Perry," Bair said. "She was kind of like my big sister, but I'm hoping I can be someone else's big sister. I'm really excited for long jump and our (1,600 relay) to see how we can do."
Boys track team looks to create strong core
Of the five competitors the boys track team had in the Division III regional last season, the only returnee is senior John Riewe.
Still, Green is hopeful the Knights can put together strong sprint relays from a group that also includes senior Shelrick McElroy, juniors Austin Aiello, Evan Cordle and Grant Cordle and sophomores Kyle Caisaguano and Matt Frye.
"We've only got (11) boys, but we'll get a couple relays out of that," Green said. "John Riewe is going to be our leader and is going to be our main point-getter."
Riewe joined 2017 graduates Alex Burns and Erik Manning and sophomore Jack Foley on the 1,600 relay that placed seventh (3:35.07) at regional. Foley, who also was 14th in the 400 (54.67), is not competing this spring.
Riewe also ran on the 12th-place 800 relay (1:39.4) at regional with Burns, Manning and 2017 graduate Patrick Jansen.
In the 11-team Booster Invitational, Ready opened the season by scoring 38 points to place eighth behind champion Whitehall (108) as McElroy led with a runner-up finish in the 100 (11.62). He also was seventh in the 200 (24.29).
Riewe is expected to compete in the 200 and 400 and on relays.
Aiello is the team's top high jumper and also runs sprints, while Caisaguano and the Cordle brothers compete in middle-distance and distance races.
Frye is the team's top competitor in the shot put and discus and also runs sprints.
Also looking to contribute are junior Aaron Lopresti (sprints), sophomores Luke Bergman (sprints) and Cameron Jones (middle distance, distance) and freshman Gabriel Lopresti (sprints).
"We're limited in numbers because we lost a few people to graduation and just not coming back wanting to focus on different sports, but otherwise we're looking pretty good," Riewe said. "We've got pretty good (sprint relays)."
Boys tennis squad continues development
Although it won only one match last season, the boys tennis team entered the offseason knowing every member of its roster was eligible to return.
The Knights, according to fourth-year coach Dan Skuce, took advantage by staying busy the past few months.
"We're really excited this year with our potential," Skuce said. "Many of our kids played over the winter and worked on their game. With only one senior in our starting (lineup), everyone will also be back next year."
Ready opened with a 5-0 loss to Hamilton Township on March 26 and began CCL action April 10 against Hartley.
Senior Tommy Sithidouangleuthai played first singles against Hamilton Township, with junior Connor Nagy at second singles and junior Dom Tokar at third singles. Junior Sandon Skuce, who spent most of last season at first singles, teamed with junior Daniel Hamilton at first doubles while juniors Jarek Kolinski and Ricky Pittman played second doubles.
Also on the roster are senior Bobby Shephard, junior John Pyles and freshmen Dario Scott and Mary Tokar.
Last season, Ready went 1-11 overall and 0-4 in the CCL.
"I have four to five players that are very similar in ability and I'll switch them around in singles and doubles," coach Skuce said. "We're definitely improved from last year, and hopefully our record this year will show that."
March 26 -- at Hamilton Township
*April 10 -- vs. Hartley
April 11 -- vs. Jonathan Alder
April 13 -- at Franklin Heights
April 16 -- at Central Crossing
*April 17 -- vs. St. Charles
April 18 -- vs. Bloom-Carroll
April 19 -- at Whetstone
*April 23 -- at Watterson
April 24 -- vs. Canal Winchester
April 25 -- at Grandview
April 30 -- vs. Teays Valley
*May 1 -- at DeSales
May 2 -- at Fisher Catholic
May 3 -- vs. West Jefferson
May 7 -- at Hilliard Darby
TRACK & FIELD
March 27 -- Hamilton Township Booster Invitational
April 7 -- Fairfield Union Invitational
April 10 -- at Columbus School for Girls with Bexley, Columbus Academy and St. Charles
April 11 -- at Briggs with Columbus West
April 13 -- Blue Lion Invitational at Washington Court House
April 17 -- at Franklin Heights with Columbus East and Grove City
April 21 -- Shadyside Relays
April 24 -- at Grove City
April 28 -- Anthony Wilson Invitational at Franklin Heights
May 1 -- at Watkins Memorial
May 4 -- Columbus East Invitational
May 8 and 10 -- CCL meet at Hartley
Below are the coming schedules for the Ready baseball and softball teams:
*April 11 -- At Hartley
April 12 -- At Dublin Jerome
*April 13 -- Home vs. DeSales
April 14 -- Home vs. Franklin Heights (DH)
*April 9 -- Home vs. Watterson
*April 11 -- Home vs. DeSales
April 14 -- Medina and Cardington in Pickerington Central Showcase