With 52 athletes in the Ready High School track and field program, first-year coach Rachel Wayne unofficially has more to work with than any of her predecessors.
"From what (athletics director Steve McQuade) has told me, this is the biggest team we've ever had," Wayne said. "It's been going well so far. The large numbers are something that takes a little bit to handle, but it's wonderful to have so many interested. They're all hanging on and not dropping or quitting."
Wayne, a Springboro graduate who competed in sprints and the long jump in high school and also served as a cross country coach at Ready last fall, is building her boys sprinting group around senior Austin Aiello and juniors Jack Foley and Matt Frye.
Foley and Frye joined 2018 graduates Shelrick McElroy and John Riewe on the 400-meter relay that placed 10th (46.06 seconds) in last year's Division III regional meet.
That trio of returnees could end up in the 400 and 800 relays. Sophomores Tyrese Hudson and Malachi Washington and freshmen Angel Rivera and Ludy Talla are others in the sprint corps.
Senior Evan Cordle is competing in middle distance and his brother, senior Grant Cordle, and juniors Luke Bergman and Cameron Jones are running distance.
Junior Oumar Dia is competing in hurdles.
Frye and freshman Westen Avery are throwing the discus, while junior Trevor Mullins and sophomore Alejandro Concha-Perez are competing in the shot put.
Ready competed in the Falcon Invitational on April 6 at Fairfield Union.
The Silver Knights return to action Tuesday, April 9, at Grove City in a meet that also includes Teays Valley and Westland.
Last season, McElroy finished eighth in the 100 and 200 at state despite not competing in the sport for most of his sophomore and junior seasons.
"I'm really hoping that since this is the first year, we'll get a good foot in the program and improve these kids in each of the areas they're participating in," Wayne said. "I'd love to see them grow stronger in each meet they participate in."
Girls track team has strong senior class
With Lauren Whitt leading the way, the girls track team will be paced by an experienced group of seniors.
Whitt is a three-time state qualifier who placed 10th in the 400 (59.23) last year after finishing sixth as a freshman and fourth as a sophomore.
"She's pretty diverse, but the 400 is her main race," Wayne said. "I do have a pretty strong (1,600 relay), so I'm interested to see how it goes."
In last year's regional, Whitt was 11th in the 100 (13.52) and seniors Brigitte Bowman and Tenny Maker and junior Lindsey Bair joined Whitt on the fifth-place 1,600 relay (4:10.11).
Bair's best individual event is the 800, in which she placed sixth (2:27.69) at regional, and she also competes in the long jump. Also at last year's regional, Bowman was 16th in the 300 hurdles (53.51) and Maker placed 13th in the long jump (15 feet, 4 1/4 inches).
The other returning regional qualifier is senior Derricka Bramwell, who was fifth in the shot put (36-10 1/2) to just miss advancing to state.
Also in the sprint corps are sophomores Mercy Cala-Avila and Allison Dellinger and freshman Sophia Bowman.
Senior Abbey Wasto joins Brigitte Bowman in hurdles.
Freshman Addison Whitmer should run middle distance and distance. Senior Emily O'Connell is another distance runner, and sophomore Jenna Ruth is competing in the high jump.
Tennis team fielding experienced lineup
All but one member of the boys tennis team's 2018 postseason lineup has returned this spring.
Included in that group is senior Connor Nagy, who again is at first singles.
Ready, which went 1-9 overall and 0-4 in the CCL last season, opened with a 5-0 loss to Fisher Catholic on April 1 and lost to Bloom-Carroll 4-1 on April 3.
The Knights, who open CCL action Tuesday, April 9, at home against Watterson, beat Franklin Heights 4-1 for their only win last season. Ready visits the Falcons on Friday, April 12.
Nagy leads a senior class that also features returnees Daniel Hamilton, Jarek Kolinski, John Pyles, Sandon Skuce and Dom Tokar.
The other seniors are Cade Canter, Ethan Edwards and Cory Regan.
Also on the team are juniors Fernando Arias and Kyle Caisaguano, sophomores Mitchell Clark, Dario Scott and Mary Tokar and freshman Adam Bennett.
"I expect our team to compete well this year," fifth-year coach Dan Skuce said. "As usual, the biggest challenge with the spring season is weather and finding enough time to practice and teach. ... (We) certainly hope to and expect to improve on our record from last season."
Below are the coming schedules for the Ready baseball, softball, boys tennis and track & field teams:
*April 12 -- Home vs. Hartley
*April 8 -- At DeSales
*April 10 -- Home vs. Hartley
April 11 -- At Madison Plains
April 8 -- At Jonathan Alder
*April 9 -- Home vs. Watterson
April 10 -- At Hamilton Township
April 11 -- Home vs. Briggs
April 12 -- At Franklin Heights
TRACK & FIELD
April 9 -- At Grove City with Teays Valley and Westland