The Hudson girls cross country team captured the Division I team championship at the 33rd annual Boardman Spartan Invitational Sept. 15.

The youthful Explorers won the 38-team Division I race in hot conditions with 135 points while Louisville took second with 147 points and North Allegheny (Pennsylvania) placed third with 148 points.

"We were very excited to come home with victories in both the varsity and JV races," Hudson head coach Megan Petraska said.

Solon’s Olivia Howell finished first out of 305 runners with a time of 18 minutes, 37 seconds.

Hudson is ranked sixth in Ohio in Division I.

"It was especially nice as this was not our best team race of the season and the girls had to handle quite a bit of adversity along the course, between falls at the start, lost shoes, and of course, the heat and mud.

"More than anything, the fact that we were able to gut out two wins is a testament to the girls' continued hard work every day at practice."

Pacing the Explorers was sophomore Brenna Beucler. She had a 10th-place clocking of 19:58.4.

"In particular, Brenna impressed as she has all season, running with a ton of grit and placing higher than last year, running a solid time and doing so after losing a shoe about halfway through the race," Petraska said.

Also finishing in the top 20 for Hudson was sophomore Emmaline Hannan, who crossed 18th in 20:29.5.

"Emmaline also had a great race, improving on her place from last year by running very smart splits and unleashing a great kick to finish," Petraska said.

Rounding out the top five for Explorers were sophomores Sydney Gallagher (21st, 20:47.5); Victoria Liesen (35th, 21:08.8) and junior Nicole Jurado (50th, 21:27).

"Sydney continues to be rock solid every weekend for us and she tremendously improved on her place from last year, a testament to her dedication and determination," Petraska said. "Tori Liesen is such a great addition to our team and she gutted out a strong finish, despite not feeling great.

"Nicole Jurado was the superstar of the day, moving up and passing several girls in the final stretch of the race to give us the victory."

Junior Subi Simmons also ran 80th overall in 21:59.6.

Veteran senior Katarina Palmman contributed with a time of 22:13.4, which was 98th overall.

In addition, sophomore Riley Gaynor placed 119th with a time of 22:37.9 and sophomore Sara Weldon ran 157th in 23:17.9.

"We were proud of Subi and Riley, who always give 110 percent, and never complain," Petraska said. "Sarah Weldon also battled through much adversity and showed mental and physical toughness and Katarina Palmman fought hard the whole race despite not feeling well."

Pacing the Explorers in the junior race was sophomore Jordyn Hopgood (fifth in 22:28.2); sophomore Caroline Groff (sixth in 22:32.9); freshmen Ali Menendez (seventh in 22:33.1) and Sofia Bogoniewski (ninth in 22:47.6); junior Amy Fulton (20th, 23:13.8); senior Margaret Moffitt (23rd, 23:21.6) and senior Katherine Travis (49th, 24:05.7).

"In the JV race, Jordyn Hopgood made a thrilling return to racing to finish fifth in a strong field," Petraska said. "Ali Menendez who both had impressive finishing kicks. Sophia Bogoniewski, Amy Fulton and Margaret Moffitt were not far behind, as each ran a smart and strong race and Katherine Travis continues to be our rock, gutting out solid finishes every weekend.

"In the open race, Constance Loring ran with tenacity and looked extremely strong to finish fourth. Delaney Moll, Emma Beegle, Mary Castrigano and Eve Ramlow also had nice races to place in the top 25.

"Kaitlyn Roegner, Erin Morgan, Lily Edwards, Caroline Ricard and Katie Schurman looked strong as well and Allie Mehelic and Holly Poremba had a great finishing kicks."