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by Matt Deutsch
During the regular season in cross country, there are a couple of meets that serve as measuring sticks for teams seeking to assess where they are in terms of talent and performance.
The Spartan Invitational is one of those meets.
Held annually at Boardman High School, the Spartan Invitational draws many of the top teams in the state. This year, the event took place Sept. 18.
The Hudson cross country team competed in the 41-team invitational, placing eighth overall with 263 points. Twinsburg finished in first place with 123 points, while Avon was second with 199 points and Cleveland St. Joseph Academy placed third with 203 points.
According to Lady Explorers head coach Jamie Davis, his team wasn't exactly satisfied with where it ended up.
"We were looking to place higher, but we didn't get out fast enough," Davis said.
Brunswick's Felicia Pasadyn placed first out of 424 runners with a time of 18 minutes, 53 seconds.
Junior Elizabeth Hinkle registered a top-10 finish for Hudson, placing eighth with a time of 19:35.5.
From there, the Lady Explorers had three runners finish the race within less than a second of each other. That trio consisted of Kalli Barrett (60th in 21:12.9), Ashley Gorze (61st in 21:13.4) and Hannah Teed (62nd in 21:13.5). All three runners are juniors.
Rounding out the rest of the varsity runners for Hudson were juniors Cameron Bujaucius (72nd in 21:20.6), Grace Turner (121st in 22:03.2) and sophomore Eve Ramlow (122nd in 22:03.4).
The Lady Explorers also had two top-10 finishers in the open race. Freshman Sarah Hinkle placed seventh with a time of 22:31.8, while freshman Erin Morgan was 10th with an effort of 22:37.4.
The rest of the Lady Explorers' top five in the open race included sophomore Katherine Travis (13th in 22:47.8), junior Maddie Zammataro (25th in 23:01.9) and freshman Amy Fulton (32nd in 23:16.3).
For many teams, an eighth-place finish at the Boardman Invitational would represent a lofty accomplishment.
That's not quite the case at Hudson. The Lady Explorers have set a high standard for achievement and are always striving to exceed that standard.
"We are growing and learning and we have a lot of work to do," Davis said. "Overall, I believe we are stronger than last year and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season."
Hudson is scheduled to run in the Strongsville Invitational Sept. 24 at 10 a.m.
"We're making some adjustments for next week to find out what works for us," Davis said. "We're looking forward to Strongsville."