by Matt Deutsch
The Hudson girls cross country squad placed fourth with 107 points at the 15-team Mentor Cardinal Invitational Aug. 30 at Eleanor B Garfield Park in Mentor.
However, the Lady Explorers accomplished something that was even more impressive.
"We usually would think that was a bad day, but every girl on our varsity and junior varsity teams today bettered their time from last week," Hudson head coach Ed Hoffmeier said.
"If we keep improving like that, we will be in perfect position come the district and regional meets later in the season."
Brunswick won the competition with 51 points and Medina (74) and Chardon (86) finished second and third, respectively.
Geneva's Emily Deering placed first out of 118 runners with a time of 19 minutes, 27.1 seconds.
Freshman Cameron Bujaucius led the way for the Hudson varsity squad, finishing 12th overall with a time of 20:27.25, while junior Arielle Dalea placed 15th with an effort of 20:36.14.
In addition, freshman Elizabeth Hinkle captured 18th with a time of 20:45.08, senior captain Sarah Wolanske placed 25th with an effort of 20:57.5 and freshman Hannah Teed finished 37th with a time of 21:21.28).
Rounding out the varsity effort for Hudson were freshman Ashley Gorze (39th in 21:25), junior Audrey Moeglin (55th in 22:10), freshman Julia Stiles in 57th (22:16) and junior Ellie Stiles in 68th (23:10).
"The girls gave great effort and strength on a hot day," Hoffmeier said. "Every girl, including Ashley Gorze, Audrey Moeglin and Julia Stiles, bettered their time from last week except Ellie [Stiles], who had some stomach issues during the race but still competed and finished. It was a great effort by the varsity team."
Hudson dominated the junior varsity race, as well, compiling 33 points en route to victory. Mentor was a distant second with 63 points.
"All the girls ran great, bettering their times from last week," Hoffmeier said. "Sophomore Morgan Kempf continued her rise to varsity, barely being out-kicked at the end."
Kempf finished second overall with a time of 21:46.36, while Katie Castrigano was sixth (22:45.26) and freshman Claire Abel placed eighth (22:52.8).
In addition, junior Kate Pierson was 10th (22:59.32) and sophomore Amy Morris finished 12th (23:00.2) to round out the team scoring. Five other Lady Explorers also placed in the top 24.
Hudson is scheduled to compete at the Bruce Lerch Invitational Sept. 6 at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School. The race is set to begin at 9 a.m.