Fivay track star Hudson returns from concussion
HUDSON - The combination of hard work on and off the field is something rarely seen among athletes. But one coming off a possible season-ending injury is using her determination to come back stronger than before. On the night of March 2, Fivay High sophomore Alli Hudson was coming off a first-place finish at the Mitchell Invitational in the discus throw (105 feet) and capping off the day with a volleyball match with her club team, the Pinellas Heat Elite. During the match, however, Hudson suffered a concussion when her head hit the cement floor. “(Alli) played volleyball for coach (Linda) McQuade and was a good team member for them,” Fivay’s track and field coach Matt Durchik said. “She came out and was a great thrower for us until she got injured here in the middle of the season.”Hudson, who transferred from Ridgewood before this school year, was on Fivay's volleyball team and helped lead the Falcons to a 24-7 record with 100 kills and 10 blocks. Shifting over to track, the Falcons' lone thrower was becoming one of the top throwers in the county until her head injury. Just recently, Hudson was cleared to return to throwing discus and to team activities, but Hudson also does a lot off the field. Hudson practices two to three nights a week with her club volleyball team and trains for the discus routinely on the weekends at the National Training Center in Clermont, which is about an hour-and-a-half drive from Hudson. Off the track, Hudson is very involved in many different programs, including being the sophomore spokesperson for Fivay’s Relay for Life team. She also volunteers for RUFF (Rescuers Uniting Forever Friends) dog rescue in Brooksville, which, for the past eight years, has her medicating, washing and training dogs and puppies rescued from shelters. Hudson also has an autistic sister and is heavily involved in Fivay’s autistic friends program. “Being involved in all the programs really helps you see life from a much different perspective,” Hudson said. “Relay for Life has really become a passion of mine. We all just want to find a cure. We just want to raise as much money for donations as we can. A lot of people have been struck by it like teachers, students and people in all of our lives have it and we just want to find a cure.” In next week’s 2A-District 9 meet, Hudson will compete after being sidelined for nearly a month. Though she may not be the overall favorite heading in, many at Fivay are hoping for a successful comeback on the track at Berkeley Prep. “I’m hoping to be in the top two at districts,” Hudson said. “I had my best throw the last time at the Mitchell Invite and I'm hoping to top that next week at districts.”
Prep Track District Meets
Class 1A-District 8
WHEN: April 12, 3:30 p.m.
HOST: Calvary Christian
WHERE: 110 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater
TEAMS: Academy at the Lakes, Bayshore Christian, Calvary Christian, Cambridge, Carrollwood Day, Indian Rocks Christian, Seffner Christian, Tampa Bay Christian, Tampa Prep.
OUTLOOK: Academy at the Lakes is the lone Pasco County school in 1A-8 and will be a long shot to compete with many of the teams within the district for points. Wildcats distance runner Alex Gittens (400-meter dash, 200-meter dash, shot put) has had a strong season to date and will likely move on to regions. Calvary Christian (girls) and Indian Rocks Christian (boys) claimed district titles last season.
Class 1A-District 9
WHEN: April 11, 4 p.m.
HOST: Clearwater Central Catholic
WHERE: 2750 Haines Bayshore Road. Clearwater
TEAMS: Winter Haven All Saints, Bishop McLaughlin, Clearwater Central Catholic, Fort Meade, Lakeland Christian, Clearwater Lakeside Christian, Lakeland McKeel, Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic, Lake Wales Vanguard.
OUTLOOK: Another district that features one Pasco County school in Bishop McLaughlin. Lakeland Christian will be looking to repeat as district champions on the boys side and McKeel Academy on the girls. For Bishop McLaughlin, watch out for junior Desiree’ Nathe (high jump) and Camille Baumrucker (long jump) to move on to regions.
Class 2A-District 6
WHEN: April 11, 1 p.m.
WHERE: 603 N. New Hampshire Ave., Tavares
TEAMS: Eustis, Brooksville Hernando, Hudson, Mount Dora, Brooksville Nature Coast, Pasco, Bushnell South Sumter, Tavares, Umatilla.
OUTLOOK: Pasco features many athletes that should make a run toward the state meet in Jacksonville. Janarion Grant (long jump) should come away with a district title and on the girls side, freshman Alfreda Steele (100-meter dash) also is a favorite to move on to regions.
Class 2A-District 8
WHEN: April 11, 1 p.m.
WHERE: 1000 N Palm Ave., Frostproof
TEAMS: Avon Park, Frostproof, Gulf, Lake Placid, Lake Wales, Mulberry, Ridgewood, Tenoroc.
OUTLOOK: Ridgewood girls team won the district handily over Gulf in 2012 and coach Sue Vien and crew are looking for back-to-back titles. The Rams have several girls that are favorites to win titles next week, including Sandra Nelson (triple jump), Samantha Williams (shot put, discus throw) and Linsey Morris (100-meter hurdles). On the boys side for the Rams, Tim Bennett (triple jump) and Max Livingstone (400-meter dash) are two contenders to win district crowns next week. Gulf’s Katie Buckman (3,200-meter run) will also be looking to move on to regions in a few weeks.
Class 2A-District 9
WHEN: April 12, Noon,
HOST: Berkeley Prep
WHERE: 4811 Kelly Road, Tampa
TEAMS: Anclote, Berkeley Prep, Fivay, Academy of the Holy Names, Jesuit, Middleton, Robinson, Tampa Catholic, Weeki Wachee, Wesley Chapel
OUTLOOK: Three Pasco County squads compete in 2A-9, with Anclote, Fivay and Wesley Chapel in the district. Jesuit (boys) and Academy of the Holy Names (girls) won district titles in 2012 and are the favorites again. Anclote senior Spencer Guerette (3,200-meter run) reached regions and states last season and should come away with a district crown.
Correspondent Andy Villamarzo can be reached at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.