by Matt Deutsch
If the Ohio High School Athletic Association Preseason Invitational is any indication, the 2014 season should be a good one for the Hudson girls cross country team.
The OHSAA Preseason Invitational took place Aug. 16 at National Trail Raceway in Hebron.
According to Lady Explorers head coach Ed Hoffmeier, this was an opportunity for Hudson to run on the course for the state cross country meet.
"We used it as a training day to let this young team experience a big invitational and to visit the course they will hopefully be back on in early November," Hoffmeier said.
"Because it's so early, the girls' goals were to run their best efforts and compete the best they can.
"The varsity results were as I predicted."
With just one senior, three juniors, one sophomore and five freshmen, Hudson finished ninth out of 23 teams with 302 points.
Mason won the competition with 88 points.
Upper Arlington (107) and Cincinnati St. Ursula Academy (110) placed second and third, respectively.
"We didn't know what to expect," Hoffmeier said. "The talk all week was about effort and competing. We still have a lot of work to do, but we are on the way. We feel next weekend will be a better indicator of where we are."
Leading the way for the Lady Explorers at the Preseason Invitational were freshmen Cameron Bujaucius and Elizabeth Hinkle, both of whom posted a time of 20 minutes, 50 seconds. Senior Sarah Wolanske, meanwhile, finished with a time of 21:20.
"Always our premier runner, Sarah has helped the freshmen develop early on this season," Hoffmeier said.
In addition, freshman Ashley Gorze produced a time of 21:49, while junior Arielle Dalea posted an effort of 21:51.
Following them were freshmen Hannah Teed (21:51) and Julia Stiles (22:10) and junior Ellie Stiles (22:16).
"Ellie has always been a bit slow at the beginning of the season, but she really picks it up toward the end of the season," Hoffmeier said. "It should be a good battle between these sisters."
Behind the Stiles sisters were sophomores Amy Morris (22:45) and Audrey Moeglin (23:03).
"The course was slow and the grass was long and wet," Hoffmeier said. "It was a really good effort the girls put in. I expect some great things this year."
In the junior varsity race, Hudson placed sixth out of 23 teams.
Leading the way for the Lady Explorers were sophomore Morgan Kemp (22:54), junior Leah Ambroziak (23:30), freshman Claire Abel (23:33), junior Kate Pierson (23:50) and freshman Olivia Liljestrand (24:00).
Also competing for Hudson were senior Emily Havranek (24:02), sophomore Sydney Cravener (24:17) and freshmen Leah Gripp (24:22), Grace Turner (25:03), who fought a stomach bug the entire race, and Maddie Zammattaro (25:08).
"The emphasis on the race was effort and to compete," Hoffmeier said. "The girls ran hard and did an incredible job."
The Lady Explorers are scheduled to run at the Golden Eagle Invitational Aug. 23 at GlenOak High School in Canton. The race is set to begin at 10 a.m.