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 Raiders wrestling time is finally rounding into shape after battling injuries, sickness and trying to find replacements for the wrestlers who left after last year's fourth-place finish at state. The Raiders beat two solid teams in River Falls (Wis.) and Totino-Grace last week in a pair of duals on Friday, Jan. 19, and also honored the achievements of its youth program.
The Hastings boys' basketball team has won three of their last five and knocked off then seventh-ranked Mahtomedi at home on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 72-62, in what has been the signature win of the season so far. Despite falling at Tartan last Friday, 71-51, the Raiders are on the upswing and are currently 6-8 overall and 3-3 in the Metro East Conference (tied for fifth). Mahtomedi
The Hastings Raiders wrestling team hosted North St. Paul in a Metro East Conference dual last Thursday, Jan. 11, for Parents Night. The Raiders won 69-12 by virtue of winning nine matches (eight by fall) and receiving three forfeits.
The Hastings Raiders boys' and girls' alpine ski teams are off to fantastic starts to their 2018 competition seasons. The boys won both the Welch Invite and the first Metro East Conference meet, while the girls finished seventh at the Welch Invite and second at the MEC meet. The Raiders were able to have two boys and two girls teams compete at the Welch Invite. The Hastings squad 2 took fourth in the squad two meet, while the girls squad 2 took seventh.
The Hastings Raiders boys' swimming and diving team hosted the second-ranked St. Thomas Academy Cadets Thursday, Jan. 11, on Parents Night. While the Raiders lost 108-75, head coach Gerry Rupp said he was happy with how his team raced. "We could not have swam any better against them," he said. "St. Thomas Academy was ranked second in the state in this week's poll, so we did an outstanding job hanging with them. We were missing three personnel, so the rest of the team really stepped up their game."
Hastings High School recently released its recipients of the Minnesota State High School League Triple "A" Awards and ExCel Awards.
The Hastings Raiders boys' hockey team was shut out in two games last week against Eagan and Eastview. The Raiders fell at Eagan 5-0 on Jan. 4, and then lost at home Saturday, Jan. 6, to Eastview 3-0. With the losses, Hastings is now 2-10-1 overall, 1-4 in the Metro East Conference and are in the midst of a losing streak dating back to early December. Head coach Adam Welch said that with such a young team (in terms of experience), they are working hard every day to put it together and at moments have shown what they are capable of.
The Hastings Raiders girls' basketball team finally started Metro East Conference play last week when they beat the Simley Spartans at home Friday, Jan. 5. The Raiders beat the Spartans 49-37 in a game that was very close until the closing minutes. With the win, Hastings is now 8-3 overall and joins Mahtomedi, Henry Sibley and Hill-Murray atop the Metro East Conference standings at 1-0. Overcoming adversity
The Black Dirt Improv troupe performed Friday, Jan. 5, at the Hastings Arts Center in front of anyone willing to brave the freezing cold. There were two showings at 7 and 9 p.m. — the latter attracting about 50 people. The troupe brought eight of their performers, led by emcee Joren Skov, and performed a variety of skits and bits in general improv format, similar to the hit show hosted by Drew Carey "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"
The Hastings Raiders girls' basketball team competed in the tough Holiday Hoops Classic held at St. Olaf College this past week. The Raiders faced a trio of South Suburban Conference teams in Eastview, Eagan and Prior Lake. They went 1-2 in the three matchups, beating Eagan for the second time this season while falling to Prior Lake and no. 2 in class 4A Eastview. Hastings lost to Prior Lake 74-63 but no stats were available at the time of writing.