Body owes Wilvers a fantastic finish
Don’t mind the calm, confident demeanor of Hudson Wilvers.
For him, the 2002 4A Northern Region Championship on Friday at Rancho Park will likely be one bright moment in a high school running career filled with stars.
Yet, Wilvers has never been able to make a star regional or state performance.
He suffers from allergies and a form of asthma in the fall and spring — at about the time his running teams need him most.
His body has been a curse to his high school running career, but it’s also been a blessing.
At the Fallon meet Oct. 16, Wilvers set a new course record in the 3.1-mile race and led his team to victory with a time of 16 minutes, 18 seconds.
Three days later he and his team ran to victory in the small school division at the Bella Vista Invitational, beating the California Interscholastic Federations’s (CIF) second-ranked Division III team.
He led his team at the Optimist relays a few days later and recorded his two best cross-country times this year.
His allergies have come on late. He — and practically the whole cross country team, for that matter — hope he will stay healthy through zone on Friday in Reno and, potentially, state.
They all know what happens otherwise. As his allergies progress, Wilvers’ times slowly ebb.
History has a different meaning for Wilvers than it does for fellow seniors Chris Cosmi and Sean Pawling, who are the only two remaining runners from South Tahoe’s 1999 state championship team. If history repeats itself with Wilvers, zone may not be the happy ending to his high school career.
Cosmi, who regularly shares the lead with Wilvers during the year, typically finishes as South Tahoe’s top runner in the regional championship and at state.
In 2000, Cosmi was South Tahoe’s victor as a sophomore with a seventh-place finish at zone. Wilvers was 21st.
In 2001, Cosmi finished 13th in zone, 2 seconds ahead of Wilvers at 14th.
Neither of the boys, however, cracked the top 20 that year at state.
Wilvers has his allergies and asthma to thank for that.
“If he didn’t have this, he would be King Kong — his perseverance to me is unbelievable. He just keeps coming back,” said his father Dan, who coached Hudson on track last year.
Hudson ran to his best state track finish — second — in 2002 and collapsed after crossing the finish line.
Currently he takes medication for his allergies, but they aren’t always effective with his asthma.
If there was ever a time when Wilvers needs his body to cooperate, it’s now, approaching his last high school cross country performance.
And he has the support of his coaches and teammates to help him.
“There’s probably no one who works harder than Hud. He’s an animal,” said Dominique Westlake, the STHS boys’ cross country coach. “Who knows how fast he would be if he could breathe right.”
Of the top Viking cross country runners in the last four years, none have had to overcome the kind physiological adversity that plagues Wilvers.
But he’s never let that stop him, either.
“I think if we all had a pretty good race we would be right there (with Galena and Reno),” Wilvers said. “It’s just all a matter of us having a good race and feeling healthy.”
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