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.”