Hudson girls track eager to get back to racing

Roger Gordon
Hudson Explorers

The Hudson girls track and field team wants to put COVID-19 in the rear view mirror and continue the success it experienced prior to the pandemic.

“The girls are anxious to get back to competing,” fourth-year head coach Jeff Hildebrand said. “The team won its first district championship since 2006 in 2018 and was the runner-up in 2019.”

Top performers returning to the team include senior high jumper Abby Young and her classmate Cecily Merrick, a long jumper. Senior Holly Smith also had strong jumps in previous years.

Claudia Kosa, Lilly Swain and sophomore Reagan Miele are all talented hurdlers.

The sprinters are led by seniors Gabriella Offredo and Marita Johnson. Sophomore Reagan Miele will also be a top sprinter as well as a hurdler. The 400-meter group will be led by very talented junior Lauren Pasci.

“Our distance group is very strong,” said Hildebrand, “with senior Brenna Beucler, who was All-Ohio in the state meet two years ago, as well as senior Emmaline Hannan.”

Other strong runners for the Explorers include seniors Riley Gaynor, Sydney Gallagher, Jordyn Hopgood and Sarah Weldon as well as Emma Golden and Story Jones.

Hildebrand is high on his throwers.

“We have several with valuable experience,” he said, “and they include senior Veronica Church and sophomore Grace Merrick.

“The pole vault crew will be another strong group, and they include Merrick and senior Samantha Sigler.

“We’re also excited to welcome a number of talented newcomers to the team as well as a few girls who have recovered from an injury-plagued season.”

Hildebrand’s assistant coaches are Dave Kohl (throwers), Megan Petraska (distance), Jamie Hewlitt (high jump), Hanna Saucier (high jump), Leo Doty (hurdles) and Nick Fulton (pole vault). Hildebrand will instruct the sprinters.

The Explorers are scheduled to open the season at Suburban League National Conference rival Wadsworth March 30 at 4 p.m.