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by Matt Deutsch
There's no better way to get ready for the all-important postseason meets in the sport of cross country than competition in the always tough Suburban League.
The Hudson girls cross country team faced that competition in the Suburban League Championships Oct. 15, at Goodyear Metro Park in Akron. The Lady Explorers finished second in the National Conference at the meet, scoring 43 points in the process.
Twinsburg finished first in the eight-team National Conference, accounting for 34 points. Stow-Munroe Falls placed third with 70 points.
With the second-place finish at the Suburban League Championships, the Lady Explorers ended up second behind Twinsburg in the final National Conference standings.
According to Hudson head coach Jamie Davis, his team put forth an exemplary effort at the meet, especially in light of its heavy training regime over the past several weeks.
"It was a great day," he said. "We raced hard and that's all I can ever ask. We have been training really hard and the team is tired, but I hope it pays off in a few weeks."
Elizabeth Hinkle led the way for the Lady Explorers, finishing second overall in a field of 70 runners with a time of 19 minutes, 41 seconds.
Twinsburg's Alyssa Deeds won the race in 19:23.
"Elizabeth Hinkle went out slower and ran a very smart race with an incredibly strong finish," Davis said.
Hinkle's teammate, Kalli Barrett, placed fifth with an effort of 19:51, while Cameron Bujaucius was also in the top 10 (ninth in 20:18).
Rounding out the top five runners for Hudson were Hannah Teed in 11th place (20:26) and Ashley Gorze in 16th place (20:40). Other runners for Hudson in the varsity race included Eve Ramlow (18th in 20:55) and Margaret Moffitt (20th in 21:06).
"All of the girls raced to their potential for the day," Davis said.
The Lady Explorers also finished in second place in the open race, posting 49 points in the 11-team field. Aurora won the open race with 30 points, while Brecksville-Broadview Heights placed third with 76 points.
Katherine Travis finished second against 225 other runners with a time of 22:13 to lead Hudson. Subi Simmons was fifth with an effort of 22:31, while Julia Stiles cracked the top 10 with a ninth-place finish in 23:06.
The rest of the top five finishers for the Lady Explorers included Nicole Jurado in 15th place (23:16) and Maggie Palumbo in 18th place (23:27).
Other Hudson runners in the open race were Adeline Wickerham (19th in 23:29) and Caroline Ricard (24th in 23:37).
Davis expressed satisfaction with the Lady Explorers' progress during the second half of the season as they prepare for the district, regional and state meets.
"We are training really hard and getting faster, but we have our eye on the postseason," he said.
Speaking of which, Hudson is scheduled to run at a Division I district meet Oct. 22 at Willoughby South High School. Racing is set to begin at 2:20 p.m. The top four teams and the top four individuals not part of a qualifying squad will advance to the regional meet the following week.
According to Davis, the Lady Explorers' No. 1 goal is unquestioned: to finish in the top four and advance to the regional round of competition.
"We expect to get to regionals as a team, but we will need to run hard to get there," he said.