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 Hastings Raiders boys' tennis team clinched its first outright Metro East Conference championship with back-to-back sweeps of Hill-Murray and Mahtomedi on Friday. The Raiders finished the season undefeated, the big win coming over Mahtomedi against whom Hastings lost to last year for the conference championship. It has been the Zephyrs and Raiders at the top of the conference the last several years and the two teams have even shared a conference title in the past.
Seniors John Rupp and Carter Williams have been named as academic All-Americans by the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association. The NISCA overseas the All-American selections for swimming, diving and water polo. Head coach Gerry Rupp said that the criteria to make the academic All-America team athletes is to maintain above a 3.75 GPA from ninth grade through the first semester of their senior year. John Rupp maintained a 4.0 GPA through those seven semesters while Williams had a 3.86.
Both the Hastings boys' and girls' track and field teams put in solid showings at the True Team section 2AAA meet in Eagan on Tuesday. The girls took third with 667.5 points behind Stillwater and the winner, Eagan. Meanwhile, the boys finished fourth with 597.5 points, just one point out of third-place Park and behind Eagan and champion Stillwater. Competing at the meet were Stillwater, Eagan, Park, East Ridge, Woodbury, Henry Sibley and Tartan.
The Hastings boys’ lacrosse team is nearly halfway through its regular season and shows no signs of slowing down. The Raiders started the season off with three-straight wins over Park, Simley and Tartan. They lost at home in a tight game against Orono, but have won two-straight over Hill-Murray and North St. Paul since then.
The Hastings girls' golf team hosted an LPGA Day event on April 27 at Hidden Greens Golf Course along with the Cannon Falls girls' golf team. Head coach Becky Hartung said that they had four LPGA teaching professionals put on a clinic for the two teams.
Fill the Hill The Hastings boys' tennis team hosted its third annual "Fill the Hill" night where they play a match under the lights at the courts across from Roadside Park. Last Friday, they hosted Rosemount in front of over 100 spectators that sat on the hill next to the courts. Free food was provided and the Raider seniors were honored before the match.
Hastings girls' basketball head coach Padrick Judd recently announced his resignation as both a teacher and coach in order to pursue opportunities elsewhere. Judd, who teaches physical education and social studies at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School, is taking a physical education position in Moose Lake, Minn., which is just off of Interstate Highway 35 and south of Duluth.
Hastings baseball's early-season hitting woes might just be a relic of the past if their offensive performance in the first week of action is any indication. The Raiders swept the Hill-Murray Pioneers in a doubleheader 7-0 and 2-0 last Monday. They then beat Woodbury on the road 7-5 on Thursday before losing at East Ridge on Friday 15-5. However, they bounced back on Saturday by taking a doubleheader at North St. Paul 8-1 and 4-2.. It's an ideal start to the season and Metro East Conference play for Hastings after they got off to a slow start last year.
The Hastings boys' golf team hosted their annual Don Saatzer Invite, named after the former Raiders golf coach, at Dakota Pines Golf Club on Monday, April 30. Hastings finished second with a score of 334, 12 strokes behind Wayzata. Raider senior Nick Dittrich, who has qualified for the state tournament the last two years, won the tournament with a 76. Hastings featured a second team called Hastings Gold, which shot a 387, in the 15-team tournament.
The season has started off on the right foot for the Hastings girls' golf team. The Raiders had the advantage of being able to use Hidden Greens' driving range when the weather was not cooperating, and it payed off with a two-stroke victory over Simley.