Jeff Hildebrand may be a first-year track and field coach, but the head coach of Hudson’s girls team is wise to the fact that the relay events can easily be the deciding factor when it comes to winning or losing.
"One of our goals as a team is to win all the relays," he said. "If you do, that’s a 40-point swing."
A perfect example was the Lady Explorers’ 97-40 victory over Suburban League National Conference rival North Royalton Tuesday at Serpentini Stadium. Hudson won all four relay events.
The meet would have been a lot closer if it had been the other way around.
Seniors Andrea Giaimo, Jenna Reitenbach and Abby Petty and sophomore Lauren Heidler combined to win the 400-meter relay with a time of 52.53 seconds.
Giaimo and Petty joined classmate Bryn Strawbridge and freshman Marita Johnson to win the 800 relay with a time of 1:57.
Capturing the 1,600 relay with a clocking of 4:13.75 was the team of Strawbridge, seniors Kalli Barrett and Emily Akin and freshman Sydney Gallagher.
"Emily was the anchor on the 1,600 relay and we were down but she came back to give us the win," Hildebrand said. "She passed the North Royalton girl on the backstretch and just pulled away. It wasn’t even close. She ran a 58-second split, which was pretty remarkable."
An all-freshmen team of Emmaline Hannan, Jordyn Hopgood, Riley Gaynor and Brenna Beucler won the 3,200 relay with a time of 10:15.
Hildebrand was more than pleased with the overall performance of his team, which improved its dual-meet record to 2-0.
"It was a great day," he said. "Our hard work is paying off and we’re doing pretty well."
Akin won the 1,600 with a time of 5:28.37 and the 400 with a time of 1:01. In the 1,600, Beucler was runner-up (5:36.68) and junior Maya Bujaucius took third (5:37.91). Beucler placed second (1:05.13) and junior Katherine Roegner took third (1:05.15) in the 400.
Senior Victoria Shriver won the 100 hurdles with a time of 16.35. Gallagher finished second (17.29). Gallagher won the 300 hurdles, clocking in at 49.65.
"Victoria is very pleased with that performance," Hildebrand said. "Hopefully, she can keep it going.
"Sydney is pretty amazing. The fact that she’s progressing so quickly is a nice surprise. Being a freshman is not a concern at all to her. She’s just totally focused in on performing well and it’s paying off."
Barrett won the 800 with a time of 2:27.2. Her classmate, Grace Turner, finished second (2:36.69) and junior Katarina Palmman placed third (2:37.93).
Hannan won the 3,200 with a time of 12:14.41 and Turner finished third (12:42.85).
Freshman Olivia Chauvin won the shot put with a personal-best throw of 30 feet, 6 inches. Sophomore Kelly Kohl took second (29-9.5).
Senior Becca Meyer captured the discus title with a toss of 94-7. Sophomore Jocelyn Weaver was right behind in second (94-6).
Winning the high jump was sophomore Molly Stecker with a leap of 5-4. Senior Brynn Meyer tied for second (4-10).
In the 100 Giaimo, finished second (13.35) and Heidler was right behind in third (13.36). Heidler placed second (27.80) and junior Dai’Shunai Steward captured third (28.03) in the 200.
Junior Taylor Miller finished second (15-4.25) in the long jump. Freshman Cecily Merrick placed third (14-10).
Hudson is scheduled to compete at the GlenOak Eagle Elite Invitational this Saturday in Canton. The Lady Explorers are set to travel to National Conference rival Stow-Munroe Falls April 19 at 4 p.m.
On April 21 at 11 a.m. Hudson is scheduled to oppose National conference foes Nordonia, Brecksville-Broadview Heights and Cuyahoga Falls at Nordonia’s Boliantz Stadium in Macedonia.