An impressive 1-2-3 individual finish enabled the Hudson boys cross country team to win a team crown in the 15-team Division I field at the Wooster Invitational.
The undefeated Explorers dominated the Wooster Invitational with seven athletes in the top 17 spots Saturday in a meet that featured cooler temperatures and less humidity.
With 28 points, Hudson won and finished ahead of Wooster (103), Thomas Worthington (107), Copley (108), Wadsworth (118) and Boardman (140).
"It was very exciting how well the kids ran, but it had been so hot and muggy, that the cooler weather was really nice," Explorers head coach Mark McConnell said.
Defending state champion Hudson was led by senior Adam Beucler.
Beucler snagged individual honors by winning with a time of 15 minutes and 53.9 seconds. A total of 124 runners competed.
Beucler, who crushed his 2017 time at Wooster of 16:04.9, finished ahead of teammates Jacob Russo and Lucas Lay, while Boardman’s Mitchel Dunham was fourth.
"In Adam’s three wins, he really has not been pushed yet," McConnell said. "He is looking good after he had a long track season. It’s early, but this training start for Adam may be a blessing in disguise when he is ready for states."
As for the team race, McConnell was pleased with the results.
"There are some good programs at Wooster and some of the teams may be a bit down this year, but the competition was good," he said.
Grabbing second place with a clocking of 16:03.3 was Russo, a senior, who easily improved his 2017 time of 16:24.2. Lay, a senior, took third place with a time of 16:16.7.
"I thought Russo and Lay both ran extremely well for us," McConnell said.
Junior Michael Von Ville, who ran his first varsity race of the season, was Hudson’s fourth runner, finished 10th overall with a clocking of 16:48.7.
"Von Ville has a lot of experience," McConnell said. "He ran well and is quickly getting up to speed. I was happy with four in the top 10 spots."
Another Explorer junior, Andrew Goldslager, finished 12th overall with a personal-best time of 16:51.7. Sophomore Jack Root placed 14th overall with a personal-best mark of 16:59.6.
"It was great to see our fifth and sixth runners both break 17 minutes for the first time in their careers," McConnell said.
Luke Good placed 17th for Hudson as the junior posted a time of 17:09.8. Senior Brian Kinnear was next for the Explorers in 20th (17:17.8).
"The JV and the entire program did phenomenal at Wooster," McConnell said. "I think our inter-squad competition really helps the program."
McConnell is looking forward to strong team health with all of his runners available.
Senior standout Evan Manley, who was the runner-up to Beucler at the recent Suburban League Super Duals, was on a college visit and didn’t run at Wooster.
"This is the weekend [SAT testing] that we usually miss a lot of kids, but we only missed six guys this time," McConnell said.