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The Hudson gymnastics team returned to the state competition after a one-year hiatus after placing fifth at a district meet Feb. 25 at West Geauga High School in Chesterland.
The Lady Explorers scored 138.475 points to hold off West Geauga (137.6) and grab the last qualifying spot.
Brecksville-Broadview Heights, which has captured the last 13 state titles, won the 12-team competition with 148.025 points.
Other qualifying teams were Rocky River Magnificat (145.725), Mentor (141.425) and Chardon (140).
Last season, one Lady Explorer, Megan Urbanic, a 2016 graduate, advanced to the state competition. It was only the second time Hudson hadn't reach the ultimate stage as a team in the last seven years.
The Lady Explorers' absence from the state meet didn't last long.
Hudson is scheduled to compete at the state team competition March 3 at Hilliard Bradley High School. The meet is set to begin at 3:15 p.m.
That wasn't the only good news for the Lady Explorers.
They also had a gymnast advance to the state individual competition. Senior Macy Lori, who did not compete for Hudson last season, earned an invitation to Hilliard for the second time in three years.
Lori advanced after finishing in a tie for seventh place on the balance beam with a score of 8.9. She just missed qualifying in the all-around competition. Her score of 35.45 was good for 17th. The top 16 advanced to the state meet in the all around and the other four events.
Lori, who overcame an injury she suffered early in the season, is set to participate in the individual competition March 4 at Hilliard Bradley. The individual competition is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.
The Lady Explorers had struggled on vault throughout the season. At the district meet, Hudson shined on vault with a team score of 35.6, which was its highest score of the four apparatuses.
The Lady Explorers turned in a score of 34.525 on the uneven parallel bars. Such a score was a sight to see after Hudson struggled mightily in this event the previous week.
The Lady Explorers contributed a score of 34.3 on the beam, which was their last event, and a total of 34.05 on the floor exercise.
In the individual competition, Lori captured 29th on the floor with a score of 8.55. Sophomore Lina Ikhlef was next for Hudson with a 35th-place score of 8.2 and junior Abigail Petty finished 36th (8.175). Petty added a 31st-place score of 33.3 in the all-around competition.
Other individuals who competed were juniors Jillian Bevan, who finished in a tie for 33rd (8.9) on vault, and Hannah Teed, who placed 30th (8.475) on bars.
Other Lady Explorers who are expected to compete at the state meet are sophomore Makayla Hudy and freshman Julia Petty.