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 youth baseball league is coming to Hastings. Raider Nation Little League plans to begin its first season in just six months. The program will be for boys ages 9 through 12. Organizers are planning for their league to be a rich experience for young boys with uniforms, announcers at games, competition among teams and no traveling, except for the playoffs. It will not be part of the Hastings Youth Athletic Association. HYAA will continue to operate its program as well.
Had last week's section swimming and diving meet been just the section swimming meet, the Hastings Raiders would be your section champions. Alas, diving is included. And, due to a pool that is too shallow to permit a diving program, Hastings surrendered 63 points to Woodbury. Those 63 points sure came in handy for the Royals, who ended up beating Hastings by 44 points. "Oh well," Hastings coach Katie McAlpin said. "There's nothing we can do about it. We outswam them, for what it's worth." Woodbury finished with 413 points.
If all goes as planned for Hastings Paralympic skier Monte Meier, he'll be on the slopes representing the United States of America from December through March. In the middle of all that, he'll be racing and hopefully medaling in Vancouver at the Paralympics. But for those four months, the 1989 HHS graduate won't be reporting for normal duty at his Home Depot job. In fact, he won't have an income at all. In years previous, Meier had been paid by Home Depot as part of their Olympic Job Opportunity Program.
Hastings High School senior Mike Rough placed 43rd overall at the state cross country meet Saturday. The meet was held at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Rough had a time of 16 minutes, 46.2 seconds on the course. He went out strong with the lead pack and was in the top 10 through the first two miles. "He went out with the leaders," Hastings coach John Dewall said. "He did what he needed to do. It was very, very exciting to have him up in the lead pack for two miles.
The challenge was simple. If staff members at the Hastings Area YMCA could donate more than $9,500 to the Y Partners Program, their boss would shave his head. Apparently, those staff members thought their boss should have a new hairstyle. Employees and volunteers donated $11,063 and last week, Mike Lavin lost his hair. Way back in high school some 22 years ago, Lavin settled on a hairstyle. And for the past 22 years, nothing changed with his hair.
The best Hastings volleyball season in years came to an end Friday in Farmington in the second round of the section tournament. Hastings, the No. 7 seed, lost to the No. 2 seeded Tigers in four games, 16-25, 25-22, 18-25, 23-25. The Raiders finished their season with a 14-11 overall record. "It's sad, no matter what, that the season is over," Hastings coach Rita Girgen said.
Hastings senior Mike Rough missed the first few weeks of the boys cross country season with an injury. But thanks to his great finish at last week's section cross country meet, his season will last a week longer than most. Rough came back from an injury to place sixth overall at the section meet, and he'll run this Saturday in Northfield at the state meet. Rough will be the lone Hastings representative at the meet. On the girls side, Bri Strandberg missed out on qualifying by just one spot.
Make no mistake about it: The Hastings girls cross country team has one goal entering today's section meet in Owatonna. They want to qualify for the state meet. It's that simple for the Raiders, who have had a strong season, nearly cracking the statewide rankings on multiple occasions. That said, being one of the top two teams in the Section 1AA meet at Brooktree Golf Course won't be easy. A total of 14 teams make up the field, including the two Lakeville schools and the three Rochester schools. In the most recent statewide polls, Lakeville South is the No.