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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Afton Alps held its inaugural "Brewers Battle" downhill ski race and ski-bike extravaganza Saturday, Jan. 7, in Afton. In an effort to raise awareness for pediatric cancer, Afton Alps organized a ski race between 10 breweries from Minnesota and the Midwest, the prize being a tap-line at Afton Alps for an entire year.
The Hastings boys' basketball team lost in overtime, 66-60, at St. Thomas Academy in their only game of the week Friday. The loss drops the Raiders to 4-6 overall and 0-1 in conference play, while St. Thomas Academy is 9-2 so far this season and tied atop the Metro East Conference at 2-0. Despite the loss, head coach Chad Feikema was encouraged by what he saw in his team after losing twice in the Hastings holiday tournament.
The Hastings boys' hockey team lost on the road and then won at home this past week. On Tuesday, Jan. 3, they traveled to Shakopee where they lost 3-2 despite a third-period comeback that fell just short. Then on Thursday, they played host to South St. Paul, who they beat 4-2 for their fourth win of the season. The Raiders are now 4-10-0 on the season and are 2-4 in the conference. Shakopee
One person was injured in a car accident just north of the Hastings bridge on southbound Highway 61 Wednesday afternoon. For traffic coming into Hastings on Highway 61 from Cottage Grove, the right lane was partially closed around 1 p.m. due to a car up against the guardrail just before the bridge. Local law enforcement and firefighter/paramedics responded to the scene.
The Hastings girls' basketball team played Tuesday, Thursday and Friday this past week due to a rescheduled game against St. Croix Lutheran. On Tuesday, Jan. 3, the Raiders won at Simley 58-52. On Thursday, they hosted St. Croix Lutheran and lost a close, low-scoring game 43-40. To cap off the week, Hastings then went on to notch their second conference victory of the week at Henry Sibley 48-45. The Raiders are now 5-8 overall but 2-0 in conference and sit alone atop the Metro East. Simley
The Hastings girls' hockey team won one, lost one and tied one at the holiday tournament they hosted at Hastings Civic Arena Dec. 26-28. The Raiders beat River Lakes 4-3, lost to Moorhead 3-2 in overtime and tied Park. Hastings is 4-12-1 heading into the last month of play before sections start. River Lakes Head coach Josh Colvin said the his team's goal for this tournament was not only to win all three games, but also get off to a better start in each of them.
KDWA Radio was named Business of the Year by the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce for 2016. Owned and operated by Dan Massman and his wife, Barb, the Massmans took over KDWA Oct. 1, 1991, and just celebrated the station's 25th anniversary under their ownership. They both said that the award really came out of the blue. "We were humbled and shocked," Dan said. "It was never on our radar. You always just do what you feel is the best, and all of the sudden wow, you're recognized hugely!"
The Hastings boys' basketball team hosted the 15th annual Hastings Holiday Shootout this past week, Dec. 29-30. The Raiders lost to Irondale 75-63 on day one and then fell to Prescott in the third-place game 87-75 the next day. Farmington went on to win the tournament and Irondale took second. Hastings is now 4-5 as they enter conference action this week. Irondale Despite the score being close with only a few minutes left in the game, head coach Chad Feikema said it was his team's poorest performance of the year.
Nordic Skiing The Hastings boys' and girls' Nordic skiing teams both had great finishes at the Tuesday, Dec. 20, meet at Lake Elmo. The boys' team won the conference meet, beating second-place Henry Sibley by 15 points. The girls' team took third and were just seven points out of second place. The Raiders had three boys place in the top-five and four in the top-10, while the girls had two racers in the top-10.
The fifth annual window display decorating contest hosted by the Hastings Downtown Business Association was judged this past week and the winners were revealed. Vintage Inspirations, owned by Teea Orner, took first place with their displays of Santa and snowmen. Second place went to The Emporium and owner Karen Green Jung, while third place was won by The Town Cobbler and Kevin and Lynn Hoeschen. Businesses in downtown Hastings participated in the contest. Lynn Hoeschen, who helped organize the contest, estimated that about a dozen businesses took part in the decorating.