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Raiders Express begins 17th summer

Working on the incline bench press is Alex Wiese. (Star Gazette photo by Katie Thomas)

Raiders Express began its 17th summer with 291 participants. Raiders Express was started in 1994, with 50 high school students. Since then, more than 1,500 Hastings student athletes have participated in the program.

Raiders Express is a program for students in middle and high school that strives to help each athlete reach their maximum potential. The program focuses on speed, agility, functional strength development, flexibility and confidence.

In each session, participants lift for an hour and spend between 25 and 45 minutes running.

"The program is for anybody that wants to stay in shape, particularly those involved in a sport that want to work on strength and conditioning," said Jason Koch, Raiders Express instructor.

Raiders Express is operated by staff who are coaches and teachers at either the middle or high school.

Both teams and individuals use the program to stay in shape and gain strength.

Junior Alex Wiese has participated in Raiders Express for the past four or five years. He plays football, basketball and track.

"Every day you can push yourself harder," said Wiese. "Its fun to be with friends and get better as a team."

High school participants meet three times a week and middle school participants twice a week. It is an eight-week-long program that takes place at Hastings High School.

The goal of Raiders Express is to help each athlete reach their maximum potential.