Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.
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A new boys basketball rivalry was born last Tuesday night. Hastings ended up winning the first round, beating East Ridge 79-63 in a physical, hard-fought and technical-foul filled game. "It was like we had been rivals for 30 years," Hastings coach Chad Feikema said. "It was a really physical game. I think part of (East Ridge's) plan was to try to be physical with Nick (Gmiterko) and Shane (Monjeau) and take them out of the game and get them frustrated. It maybe went a little too far.
A 3-1 win over Park on Tuesday night helped the Hastings girls hockey team earn a statewide ranking this week. The Raiders picked up the state's No. 11 ranking in Class 2A after the win over the Wolfpack. At the time, Hastings had a 12-2-2 record. The game at Cottage Grove was tight throughout. Courtney Boucher scored shorthanded for Hastings at 8:33 of the first period, unassisted, to open the scoring. "She did a terrific job of just battling in front of the net, just not wanting to be denied," Hastings coach Jeff Corkish said.
The Clash was everything it was cracked up to be. As advertised, the best teams in the nation were in Rochester last weekend for the nation's premier high school wrestling tournament.
Up until last week, the Hastings boys basketball team either lost close games or won blowouts. The one game Hastings hadn't won was a close one. But that's no longer the case for the Raiders. Hastings beat Woodbury thanks to some key plays down the stretch, 54-51. "This is the win we've been waiting for," Hastings coach Chad Feikema said. "We knew the next step for us was to win a close game. This was definitely that. I had thought about that down the stretch: this is what we've wanted to see.
The Hastings boys swimming team finished second at last weekend's Packer Invitational in South St. Paul. The only team to beat Hastings at the meet was Eau Claire Memorial, one of the best teams in Wisconsin. "We were pretty happy with that," Hastings coach Gerry Rupp said. "We mixed the lineup up a bit. The boys swam quite well. We had a lot of season-best swims on Saturday." Elliott Wilcox won one event at the meet and took second in another. Thomas Everson placed third in the 100 backstroke. "That was totally out of nowhere," Rupp said.
After a rough 12 games, the Hastings girls basketball team scored its first win of the season Tuesday night. The Raiders beat East Ridge in the first meeting between the two schools, 44-33. A strong first half gave the Raiders an 18-7 lead at halftime. The two teams each scored 26 points in the second half. Hastings is now 1-12 on the season. The Raiders were led in scoring by Mary Haglund, who had 14 points. Also scoring were Emily Daggett, 9; Lisa Kranz, 3; Lexie Harp, 3; Kallie Dylla, 2;Ashley Addison, 2; Liz Keena, 5; and Michelle Mages, 6. Vs Mounds View On Friday, Jan.
A strong performance on the balance beam helped the Hastings gymnastics team to its best score of the season in a Suburban East Conference meet last week in Cottage Grove. Hastings scored a season-high 134.025 points in the meet. The Raiders lost to the Wolfpack, but first-year coach Megan Latch was thrilled with what she saw from her team. "We improved by almost five points from the previous meet," Latch said. "Everything came together. We had four varsity beam routines that were stuck. That was great.
One game was a loss. One game was a win. But for the Hastings boys hockey team, both games are being considered big successes. Hastings beat Park on Saturday, 5-3. Obviously, any time Hastings beats Park it's a nice win. The loss, though, was even full of good news. It came against Cretin-Derham Hall, one of the state's top teams. They were ranked as high as No. 9 a few weeks ago. Hastings scored one goal in first period and another early in the second to take a 2-0 lead. "We played probably our best period of hockey in the first period," Hastings coach Russ Welch said.
Snow and gusting winds made travel difficult and dangerous Thursday and Friday. Emergency crews in Hastings responded to at least two single-car rollovers, one on Thursday morning at Highway 55 and Jacob Avenue, and another Friday morning on Highway 55 near Goodwin Avenue.
Good news keeps pouring in for the Hastings girls hockey team. Between Christmas and the New Year's holidays, the Raiders won an eight-team tournament in Farmington to improve to 11-2-2 on the season. All that positivity was bolstered over the holiday break by continuing contributions from former Raiders.