by Matt Deutsch
Competing on one of the toughest courses in the state, the Hudson girls cross country team finished seventh with 222 points at a 16-team Division I regional meet Oct. 26 at Boardman High School in Youngstown.
Nordonia won the competition with 96 points and Canton GlenOak finished second with 105 points. Also qualifying for the state meet were Walsh Jesuit (117) and Mentor (145).
"The course was the best I have ever seen it," said Lady Explorers head coach Ed Hoffmeier. "Firm and fast."
Louiza Wise placed first out of 130 runners with 18 minutes, 44.9 seconds.
Hudson did not have a single individual advance to the state meet. The top 16 runners not on qualifying teams advanced.
Once again, junior Sarah Wolanske led the way for the Lady Explorers, placing 39th with a time of 20:20.26.
"[Sarah is] a great talent and she'll impress in track in the 1,600 and 4x800 [3,200] relay," said Hoffmeier.
Teammate Gabby Palazzo, a freshman, wasn't far behind in 41st (20:21.87).
"Gabby had a sensational freshman season," said Hoffmeier. "We're looking for a lot of bright things in the future from her."
Senior Madison VanDyke was next, finishing 64th with a time of 20:47.32.
"Madison plans on running in college," said Hoffmeier. "She'll be a star in the 4x800."
Sophomore Arielle Dalea was 65th with an effort of 20:51.03.
"She already has hersights set on breaking our 800 record and the 4x800," said Hoffmeier.
In addition, sophomore Ellie Stiles placed 79th with a time of 21:06.46.
"[Ellie is one of the] greatest competitors I've ever seen and she's an even better lacrosse player," said Hoffmeier.
Senior Kate McGregor finished 86th with an effort of 21:13.14
"Kate is one of the nicest young ladies I've ever coached," said Hoffmeier.
Hoffmeier also praised freshman Adeline Wickerham (108th, 21:52.81) for her performance during the regional meet.
"She ran great all year," he said. "She lost her shoe during the race and kept going. I love that competitiveness."
Hoffmeier did express disappointment that the Lady Explorers weren't able to qualify for the state Meet, but he's already optimistic about the 2014 season.
"It has been a long time since a Hudson girls team wasn't in the state championship, but I guess all great things have to end," said Hoffmeier. "It's time to rebuild and bring the cross country heritage back.
"I'm looking forward to a great season next year with Sarah, Gabby, Arielle, Ellie and Adeline all coming. We will truly miss captain Kate McGregor and Madison VanDyke, who will be moving on to college."