It’s a streak that is unprecedented on all levels.
The Hudson girls swimming and diving team is seeking its eighth consecutive top-10 finish at the Division I state meet this winter.
The Explorers had their greatest season ever last winter with a third-place finish in Canton.
Hudson also won its third consecutive Suburban League National Conference title with a perfect 7-0 record.
Despite these glittering facts, the Explorers will have their hands full during the postseason and in the conference. Besides Mason and North Canton Hoover, which finished ahead of Hudson at the state competition, Hudson would be wise not to underestimate conference rival Brecksville-Broadview Heights.
"Brecksville is really good on the girls’ side," 13th-year Explorers head coach Matt Davis said. "It should be us and Hoover at the district meet, but Brecksville is a clear third."
The Vikings and Bees may want to take note of Hudson, which seems to find the best swimmers in the state every year.
That is certainly the case for the Explorers this season.
Leading the way is senior Maddie Hannan, a two-time state qualifier and returning All-American who recently signed to continue her academic and swimming careers at the University of Cincinnati.
Hannan finished fifth in the 200-yard freestyle and sixth in the 100 freestyle at the 2018 state meet.
"It’s great to see Maddie grow over the years," Davis said. "I’ve been coaching her since she was in fourth of fifth grade. She swam in our morning group at East Woods.
"It’s awesome to see her develop. She’s a tough kid who works hard. She loves to race and be part of the team."
Other seniors include Jamie Alexander, a district qualifier in the 100 backstroke, Megan Sullivan (diving) and Kelly Ross (freestyle).
The junior class is led by a pair of talented swimmers who have their eyes on finishing very high on the podium this winter.
They are Paige McCormick and Giovanna Cappabianca.
McCormick captured third in the 500 freestyle for the second consecutive year and fourth in the 200-yard individual medley at the state competition.
"Paige had a great season and an even better summer," Davis said. "We’re looking forward to seeing her get on top of the podium.
"She has matured and now understands how to make changes and improve."
Cappabianca captured sixth in the 200 IM and 14th in the 100 butterfly at the state meet.
"I’m blessed to have Giovanna and Paige," Davis said. "They push each other every day. Giovanna is going to be an integral part of our relays."
Another junior who swam in Canton last season is Gabrielle Loring, who joined Hannan, McCormick and Cappabianca on the fifth-place 400 freestyle relay team and the 10th-place 200 freestyle relay team.
"Gabrielle can swim all freestyle races," Davis said. "She has goals of making it individually. She is a huge part of our team. We’re really counting on her."
Junior Noelle Kara also got a taste of the state competition as a member of the 200 freestyle relay team earlier this year.
Another talented junior is Abby Silcox, a returning district qualifier in the 500 freestyle.
"Gabrielle, Noelle and Abby had breakthrough sophomore seasons," Davis said. "I’m expecting big things from those three."
McCormick isn’t the only Hudson swimmer who is seeking a gold medal in February.
Sophomore Mackenzie DeWitt had a dazzling freshman season with a fourth-place time in the 50 freestyle at the state meet. She added a 17th in the 100 freestyle and joined Hannan, McCormick and Cappabianca on the second-place 200 medley relay team. DeWitt also was on the 200 freestyle relay team.
"Mackenzie is a potential state champion," Davis said. "She races really well and has improved her training habits. Two of the girls who finished ahead of her graduated."
DeWitt isn’t the only super sophomore for the Explorers who turned heads in Canton.
Taylor Kochanowski finished 24th in the 100 breaststroke.
"Taylor had a great district meet," Davis said. "She was surprised by how well she swam at the end of the season. We want her to move up the ladder."
So, it’s safe to say with all of these talented underclassmen on its roster, Hudson will be formidable for the next few years, right?
Well, that might be a bit understated.
The Explorers also feature some talented freshmen who could push some of their mainstays.
Leading the way are Isabella DiTullio, Lucy Reber and Eliana Szabo.
DiTullio hopes to give Hudson some extra points at the state meet on the diving board.
"I’ve heard a lot of great things about Isabella," Davis said. "She has been doing some great things in practice. She is definitely good enough to score at the state meet."
Reber expects to excel in the 200 individual medley and the backstroke races.
"Lucy is a potential state qualifier," Davis said. "She had a great summer. She swam really fast at a USA meet."
If all goes well, Szabo, a butterfly and freestyle specialist, can join many of her teammates in Canton.
"Eliana has made one of the biggest breakthroughs of any of our kids," Davis said. "She has the potential to reach the state meet in the 100 fly."
Other promising freshmen include Hannah Weldon (backstroke and freestyle), Peyton Binns (butterfly and freestyle), Kate Hensley (butterfly and backstroke), Mija Drobnjak (breaststroke) and Caroline Von Ville (individual medley).
The Explorers are scheduled to make their 2018-19 debut against Medina Nov. 30 at the Medina Recreation Center. The meet is set to begin at 6 p.m.
They are scheduled to compete at the Solon Relays Dec. 1 at 4 p.m.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.