A Christmas gift for the Raider swim team at the 11-team Santa Claus Invitational was a fifth place finish with 140.5 points - 30.5 ahead of Big Rivers Conference rival Eau Claire North.
The rest of the teams at the 21st annual meet in Eau Claire - some of best squads in northern Wisconsin - were Marshfield, Superior, River Falls, Chippewa Falls, Rhinelander, Wisconsin Rapids, Eau Claire Memorial, Wausau East and Stevens Point.
The fifth-place outcome again came down to the final race, the 400 freestyle relay, with Hudson trailing River Falls by five points. Hudson mostly stayed with the Wildcats, observers said, but couldn't quite pull it out in that relay, placing fourth.
As at other times this year, Hudson was bolstered by a second by Hunter Satterfield in 1 meter diving. His 312.85 was well ahead of four divers from Memorial.
Support for Satterfield came from some finishes with more than one swimmer in the top 10, and in the second-to-last event, they almost caught River Falls. Jay Skinner and Charlie Klynderud were places five and six in the 100 backstroke, just one-20th-second apart at 1:03.19 and 1:03.24. A Wildcat was fourth.
Jay Skinner placed seventh in the 200 freestyle at 1:57.01 and Campbell Fall ninth in a dead heat with another Wildcat at 2:01.45.
Charlie Skinner nabbed fifth in the 200 individual medley (2:13.28), Luke Wusterbarth was eighth in the 100 freestyle (55.45) and Klynderud was tenth (55.59).
Charlie Skinner placed sixth in the 100 butterfly (59.17) and Campbell Fall was seventh in the 500 freestyle (5:30.39).
These were other finishes in the top 20: Tyler Deis, 18th in the 200 freestyle (2:10.73) and 14th in the 500 freestyle (6:02.85); Scott Weese, 13th in the 200 IM (2:26.40) and 15th in the breaststroke (1:16.44); Nate Campbell, 19th in the 200 IM (2:37.38) and 18th in the breaststroke (1:19.04); Wusterbarth, 13th in the 50 freestyle (24.93); J. Winter Jorgenson, 19th in the 50 freestyle (26.05); London Walsh, 20th in the 50 freestyle (26.42); and Robbie Lorenz, 13th in the 100 butterfly (1:05.54) and in the 100 breaststroke (1:15.05).
These were relay finishes: The team of Charlie Klynderud, Lorenz, Charlie Skinner and Fall, fourth in the 200 medley relay (1:52.82); the team of Charlie Skinner, Lorenz, Wusterbarth and Jay Skinner, fourth in the 200 freestyle relay (1:37.05); and the team of Wusterbarth, Fall, Klynderud and Jay Skinner (3:34.70).