Alec Hamilton is a sports reporter and general assignment reporter at the Hastings Star Gazette. He is a journalism graduate of Drake University.
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The Hastings girls' basketball team had its season end this past week in the section 3AAAA playoffs. The Raiders, who were the No. 5 seed, traveled to Park of Cottage Grove last Wednesday and beat No. 4 seed Wolfpack 48-47. Hastings then played the top-seed Eastview at Hamline University's Hutton Arena on Saturday, where they lost 61-25. Park
The Hastings boys' hockey team lost Tuesday, Feb. 21, to Park of Cottage Grove for the second game in a row to end their season. The Raiders lost at Park 3-1 in the first round of section playoffs. Hastings was the No. 10 seed in section 3AA, while the Wolfpack were the seventh seed. The Raiders knew what they faced against their familiar foe and head coach Adam Welch said that in games against Park, everything else is thrown out the window. "It is always a tough game when it comes to Park." Welch said. "Records don't matter when we meet."
Girls' Basketball The Hastings girls' basketball team went 1-1 in the last week of their regular season, beating South St. Paul at home 56-25 on Senior Night and then traveling to Mahtomedi for a share of the conference championship where they lost 65-55. The Raiders finished the regular season 14-12 and 11-3 in the Metro East Conference for a second-place finish. South St. Paul
Boys' Swimming and Diving The Hastings boys' swimming and diving team sent four events on to the state meet after competing at sections in Rochester. Vova Tipler made it again in diving after taking seventh last season, and John Rupp qualified in the 100 backstroke. The team of Aaron McCullough, Rupp, Carter Williams and Jack Gergen made it in the 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays. As a team, Hastings finished fourth out of eight teams, which was in line with head coach Gerry Rupp's expectations.
Boys' Basketball The Hastings boys' basketball team split its last two games of the regular season. They hosted St. Thomas Academy Tuesday, Feb. 28, coming off of their upset win over Mahtomedi. However, they were not able to come away with the win and lost to the Cadets 76-51. They finished the regular season at home Friday, March 3, where they beat Henry Sibley 62-48. Hastings ended the regular season with a 12-14 overall record and were 8-8 in the Metro East Conference, which was good for a fifth-place finish in the MEC.
The Hastings alpine ski teams wrapped up their seasons last week with the state individual tournament at Giants Ridge in Biwabik, Minn. Both the boys' and girls' teams finished third at the section meet and just missed qualifying for the state tournament. However, Hastings High School did have success on an individual basis and sent four racers, one boy and three girls, to the state tournament. All four — Jacob Peine, Shannon O'Connor, Kayla Boogren and Josie Pechous — finished in the middle of the pack.
HHS wrestling lost a heartbreaker to St. Michael-Albertville (STMA) 36-33 in the third-place match Thursday evening at the Xcel Energy Center. The dual was tied at 33 apiece heading into the 285 weight class when Evan Foster of STMA was able to hold off Drake Guck to win 5-1. The results were as follows: 106 lbs: John Kendall lost to Nathan Nygaard by fall in 1:13 (6-0 STMA). 113 lbs: Paul Kendall lost to Brandon Psyk by fall in 3:11 (12-0 STMA). 120 lbs: Croix Mader lost to Patrick Mckee by fall in 1:18 (18-0 STMA).
Josie Hamann, a third-grader at Christa McAuliffe Elementary School, has been on a serious run of luck lately. Since the new year, Hamann has won two local contests to skate with Minnesota Wild players. Josie, whose parents are Sara and Randy Stenger, is the only daughter in a family with four brothers and is the only hockey player in her immediate family — she plays on the U8 girls' hockey team in Hastings. Because of this, extended family members enter her in hockey contests on a regular basis.
Hastings learned in the semifinals that Apple Valley’s reputation as the team to beat in Minnesota is well deserved. The Raiders lost to the Eagles 52-12 and once things were out of reach, head coach Josh McLay was able to give some more wrestlers a chance to wrestle in the state tournament. Hastings won four out of 14 matches; Adam McSorley at 132 pounds, Alex O’Connor at 160, Josh Miser at 195 and Jackson Schichel at 220. The full results are below: 106 lbs: John Kendall lost to Regan Schrempp by fall in 1:51 (6-0 Apple Valley).