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 Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will once again be stopping in Hastings this December to put on a holiday performance. The Holiday Train, which stops in communities across Canada and the northern U.S. from Nov. 25 to Dec. 15, aims to "raise money, food and awareness for local food banks and food shelves," according to its website. It will stop in Hastings on Thursday, Dec. 8, with a performance from 8:45-9:15 p.m. The performance is free; however, any food and monetary donations received during the event will go to Hastings Family Service.
Girls' Hockey The Hastings girls' hockey team struggled against the Burnsville Blaze on Tuesday, Nov. 22. The Raiders gave up seven goals, which Burnsville spread out evenly over the three periods. While Hastings was able to notch three goals of their own, it was too little, too late for the Raiders, who were down big right from the start. Just over five minutes into the first period, Burnsville struck quickly, scoring two goals within seven seconds of each other to go up 2-0 right away. Jenna Hartung and Amanda Jackson scored the two goals for the Blaze.
The Hastings girls’ swimming and diving team had two girls take part in the Minnesota State High School League Girls’ Swimming and Diving state tournament this past Thursday and Friday. Johanna Ingenerf qualified in the 100 breaststroke and Natasha Girgen the 100 and 200 freestyle. The preliminaries took place on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. The swimmers with the top 16 preliminary times in each event advanced to the finals on Friday. Ingenerf took 21st in the 100 breaststroke preliminaries with a time of 1 minute, 9.01 seconds.
The Hastings boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams have wrapped up their seasons after a strong season for both teams. The boys’ team took second in conference and had a runner, Crimzon Anderson, qualify for state. The girls’ team had several runners who finished close to one another for most of the season, which spells good things for the team in the future. Head coach John Dewall said both teams’ strengths this year were the intangibles. “I was very impressed with the work ethic of this team,” Dewall said.
The Hastings Raiders football team finished its season with a .500 record of 5-5, including a playoff win over Henry Sibley before losing in the second round of sections to Apple Valley. The team improved by one game on their record from last year after returning several senior play makers. Head coach Dana Strain said his team’s overall play improved over the course of the season. “Defensively, we played with great effort throughout the year and we played for each other,” Strain said.
The Hastings boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams competed in the Section 1AA Championships on Thursday, Oct. 27, at the Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna. Crimzon Anderson was the only Raider runner to qualify for the state tournament, while the boys’ team took 11th out of 16 teams and the girls’ team placed 12th out of 15. The top two teams and first eight runners who are not on those two teams qualify for state. Anderson finished ninth with a time of 16:34 on the five kilometer race. He will not, however, be allowed to run at the state meet.
The Hastings Raiders’ volleyball team defeated 10th-seeded Apple Valley, Tuesday, Oct. 25 at home 3-0, but then fell to second seed Cretin-Derham Hall two days later 3-2 to end their season. The Raiders finish with a 11-15 overall record, 1-1 in the playoffs after taking fifth in conference. Apple Valley Head coach Rita Girgen said that in the match against Apple Valley, they played as well as they had all year. “We played really well,” Girgen said. “There was no doubt who the better team was and we played like it.” The Raiders beat Apple Valley 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-14).
The Hastings girls’ swimming and diving teams defeated South St. Paul 102-72 Tuesday, Oct. 18, and then put in a strong showing at the diving invitational the Raiders hosted Saturday, Oct. 29. The junior varsity also had their conference meet Thursday, Oct. 27. South St. Paul The Raiders won seven out of 12 varsity events on their way to a 102-72 victory over South St. Paul in their last dual meet of the season. Hastings also compiled eight second-place finishes as well as eight thirds. The Raiders took the top three spots in the 200 medley relay and 200 freestyle relay.
Hastings Raiders’ football ended its season Saturday after going 1-1 in section playoffs. On Tuesday, Oct. 25, the Raiders beat fifth seed Henry Sibley at home 43-22, but then they fell to the first seed Apple Valley Eagles on Saturday, Oct. 29, 28-21. Hastings finishes the season with a 5-5 overall record after having taken fifth in the East Metro Red sub-district. Henry Sibley Hastings used a spectacular second half to blow out the Warriors 43-22 in the first round of section playoffs.
The Hastings Raiders' football team lost to the Apple Valley Eagles in the second round of section playoffs 28-21 on Saturday, Oct. 29. The Raiders finished their season with a 5-5 record overall, 1-1 in the playoffs. The first half was back and forth between the two teams. Ovie Embu broke free for a 75-yard touchdown run at the beginning of the first quarter. Later in the first, Apple Valley was able to capitalize after Raiders' quarterback Colin Kummer fumbled and the Eagles recovered.