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Three girls rugby players travel to Pennsylvania for All-Star game

The Hastings Heat girl’s rugby program is definitely a team that is on the rise. The team has been improving in each of the years it has been around, and this past season was the most successful yet. In addition to the team making it to the state tournament, three girls were asked to attend the Regional All-Star Tournament in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Those three girls were Maggie Cargin, Sara Juelfs, and Sara Wright.

The girls traveled to Pittsburgh in what proved to be an honorable and fun experience that none of the girls will ever forget.

“For me, Pittsburgh was one of the most amazing experiences of my life,” Cargin said. “Being able to play at that high of a level taught me so much about the game.”

Teammate Sara Wright, a team captain for the Heat this year, echoed a message similar to Cargin’s.

“Going to Pittsburgh was awesome,” Wright said. “Being around girls who love rugby as much as I do makes the game that much more fun.”

Wright would go on to play in all three games at the All-Star game. It was made more difficult when Wright was asked to step out of her comfort zone and play a position that she wasn’t used to. In spite of that, the three girls did well, and placed second at the national tournament.

For the three girls that were representing the Hastings Heat at the All-Star game, the road to Pittsburgh was not an easy one. The season began with an extremely cold start in the spring, which forced the Heat to practice inside on the hardwood basketball courts at the Hastings High School. The weather continued to be uncooperative, and Hastings had to cancel their preseason games. The Heat were thrown right into regular season competition once the weather improved. The team was able to come together, and win their opening game of the year.

“We put in girls who were going to practices every week,” Wright said. “We ended up pulling out a huge win.”

The team was able to finish above .500, and they qualified for the state tournament, which meant the Heat would be put into a bracket style elimination tournament with the seven other top teams in the state. The girls battled hard, and were able to finish with an impressive seventh place finish in State.

“Hard work pays off, and we’re very proud of this group of girls,” Head Coach Lindsey Stene said.