Alec Hamilton is a RiverTown Multimedia sports reporter covering Hastings, Farmington and Rosemount athletics. He graduated from Drake University with a journalism degree in 2014.
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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.
Volleyball Hastings' athletic director Trent Hanson said that they have started their search for a new head volleyball coach. Former head coach Rita Girgen resigned her position at the start of December after more than a decade with the program.
Wrestling The Hastings' wrestling team won their first conference dual of the season 54-16. The Raiders won 11 out of 14 matches, including five pins. Many of the Raiders wrestled up a weight-class from what they competed in at the Minnesota Christmas Tournament, but it did not seem to slow them down at all. The highlight of the dual was T.J. Pottinger, wrestling up at 170 pounds, beating Evan Lawrence by a 3-1 decision. Lawrence was the fourth-ranked wrestler in class AA at 160 pounds, and has managed to keep that ranking despite the loss to Pottinger.
Boys' Basketball The Hastings boys' basketball team went 2-2 the last two weeks in non-conference matchups. Two weeks ago they lost to Eastview (81-55) and Benilde-St. Margaret's (79-61), but this past week they countered with two strong victories against Hudson (99-86) and Eagan (74-60). The Raiders are now 4-3 overall with only their own holiday tournament left before conference play starts. Two weeks ago
Boys' Hockey The Hastings boys' hockey team notched their second win in a row, and of the season, against the Red Wing Wingers Tuesday, Dec. 20. The Raiders came back from being down 2-1 entering the third period, but then exploded for three goals in the period to win 4-2. Hastings is now 2-7 on the season overall.
Gymnastics The Hastings' gymnastics team has had a busy start of the season, hosting three out of their first four meets at the Hastings' National Guard Armory and also traveling to Henry Sibley. While the Raiders have yet to win a match, head coach Jeanne Kasel said her team is improving every week. "Each meet the girls see more and learn more about what they need to correct or even step-up to the next level on," Kasel said. "We have such a young team this season and we are excited about the direction we can move in going forward."
Girls' Basketball After an 11 day break, the Hastings girls' basketball team was back in action this last week on a road trip. On Tuesday, Dec. 20, the Raiders traveled to East Ridge where they lost 63-47. Two days later they crossed the Mississippi for a short trip to Hudson, Wis., where they lost 68-42. The two losses drop Hastings to 2-5 overall on the season with conference play coming up after the holidays. East Ridge Hastings led the Raptors at halftime, 27-25, and head coach Padrick Judd said they controlled much of the first half.
The Hastings wrestling team competed at one of the premier wrestling tournaments in the region this past weekend. The Raiders took 14th (99.5 points) out of 34 teams at the Minnesota Christmas Tournament held in Rochester Dec. 16-17. The tournament featured several nationally ranked teams and some of the best teams in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and North Dakota. Hastings is ranked eighth in Minnesota for Class AAA. Ten of the top 12 teams in Class AAA competed at the tournament, missing only second-ranked Apple Valley and Eastview, which is 12th.
Boys' Swimming and Diving The Hastings boys' swimming and diving team beat Henry Sibley, 92-70, Thursday, Dec. 15. The Raiders won eight out of 11 events coming off of a strong showing Dec. 8 at the Metro East Conference Relays.
The Hastings boys' hockey team got its first win against Simley this past week. The Raiders went 1-2 in a busy week and are now 1-3 in conference play and 1-7 overall. Eastview Hastings started the week on the road against Eastview where they lost, 3-0, Tuesday, Dec. 13. The Raiders were outshot 30-10 and struggled offensively according to head coach Adam Welch. "One area of concern for us is on the power play," Welch said. "We had a five-minute power play to begin the game and also a 5-on-3 and did not create many chances."