Zappone's big hurdle day leads Hudson boys track to win over Wadsworth

Roger Gordon
Hudson Explorers

Grady Zappone was a double winner despite the Hudson boys track and field team’s season-opening 96-41 defeat Tuesday at Suburban League National Conference rival Wadsworth.

The Explorers’ senior captured in convincing fashion both the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 17.8 seconds and the 300 hurdles with a time of 43.6.

“I thought Grady was very impressive,” Hudson head coach Mark McConnell said. “He was very strong in both events. He was the senior veteran we needed that day. He really stepped up for us. That’s what we’ve come to expect from him.”

Overall, McConnell was pleased with his team’s performance.

“It was a great start of the season. It felt great to coach the guys at a track meet again. We haven’t done this since 2019!” he said. “We are currently on spring break right now, so more than half of the team chose to not stay in town to compete and go on vacation. I believe the score would have been closer, but that doesn’t matter. I am proud of the guys we had in town and the effort they gave against a good team in Wadsworth.”

Senior Chris Slater finished second in both the shot put (43 feet, 3 inches) and discus (145-4).

Juniors Xander Cosentino and Titan Casey both turned in second- and third-place finishes.

Cosentino placed second in the long jump with a leap of 17-7 and third in the high jump with a leap of 5-10.

Casey was second in the 800 with a time of 2:03 and third in the 3,200 with a clocking of 10:40.

Other second-place finishers were seniors Tyler Miller in the high jump (6-0) and Gianni Weaver in the pole vault (10-0); juniors Keiran Anderson in the 110 hurdles (18.4) and Matt Good in the 1,600 (4:55); and sophomore Grant Putnam in the 300 hurdles (44.1).

Other third-place finishers were juniors Andrew Church in the long jump (17-7) and Colin Pierce in the 100 (11.8).

“Many of these guys have never competed in a high school meet before,” said McConnell. “The team impressed me with its focus and sportsmanship during the competition. The officials and opposing coach had nothing but good things to say about our boys. That is always something we strive for as coaches. We want the team to be a great model of our community, and I think we did that. I am looking forward to the next meet.”

The Explorers are scheduled to travel to National Conference rival Brecksville-Broadview Heights Wednesday at 4 p.m.