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by Matt Deutsch
After the majority of August was remarkably cool, Mother Nature turned up the heat Aug. 23.
Just in time for the Golden Eagle Cross Country Invitational at GlenOak High School in Canton.
A total of 21 schools were represented at the Invitational, many of them among the top cross country teams in the state.
However, the Hudson cross country team also turned up the heat, so to speak, posting a fourth-place finish. The Explorers finished with 129 points.
Louisville captured first place with 69 points, while St. Ignatius was second with 80 points and GlenOak placed third with 127 points.
On an individual basis, Hudson senior Kyle Mau led the Explorers the best way he could, winning the race with a scorching time of 16 minutes, 03 seconds.
Rounding out the top five for Hudson were Blake Roberts (18th, 17:16), Matthew Hallgarth (32nd, 17:49.2), Connor Sinko (38th, 17:54.2) and Matthew Stevenot (40th, 17:58.6).
Hudson sophomore Blake Roberts finished in the top 25, as well, crossing the finish line in 18th place with a time of 17:16.
Also in the top 40 were junior Matt Hallgarth (32nd in 17:49.2), sophomore Connor Sinko (38th in 17:54.2) and sophomore Matt Stevenot (40th in 17:58.6).
"I was happy with the effort the guys gave during the humid race conditions," Explorers head coach Mark McConnell said. "Some of the top teams in the state that we are chasing were there. It gave us a great opportunity to test what we can do."
The Hudson junior varsity squad, meanwhile, finished in third place overall.
Finishing in the top 10 for the Explorers were junior Clayton Travis (fifth in 18:45) and freshman Ben Stevenot (eighth in 19:13).
Although the season is in its early stages, McConnell is pleased with what he's seen to this point. The Explorers continue to make great strides from week to week, literally and figuratively.
"Each week, we are getting better and working towards faster times and achieving our goals," McConnell said.
Hudson is scheduled to compete in the Mentor Invitational Aug. 31 at Garfield Park. The race is set to begin at 9:30 a.m.