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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One of the most experienced swimming teams in the Suburban East Conference is Mounds View. One of the least experienced swimming teams in the Suburban East Conference is Hastings. So, judging from just those two statements, it would probably be pretty easy to predict who came out on top of last week's meet between the two schools. If you predicted Mounds View to win, you'd be right. The Mustangs won, 99-66. "They are one of the top five teams in the state," coach Gerry Rupp said. "They're pretty heavy with upperclassmen.
Hastings and Stillwater played to a 2-2 tie last Tuesday night in girls hockey. For the Raiders, it was a big step in the right direction. In late November, Stillwater beat Hastings, 4-2. "We challenged our girls in practice to try to get tougher on the body in all one on one situations during the game," coach Jeff Corkish said. "We were losing battles during the forecheck, defensive-zone coverage as well as the neutral zone.
Up until this week, the Hastings boys hockey team had a 6-6-1 record, with all six of those losses coming by one goal. That trend disappeared, though, with tough losses to Eagan and Stillwater this week. Hastings lost to Eagan, 7-3, and then Stillwater, 7-1. Eagan is one of the state's top teams. "That was a tough game," Hastings coach Russ Welch said. "We gave up a couple goals, and then a couple bad goals. Eagan is just very good. We had a great effort.
For a team with just two seniors, the Hastings girls Alpine skiing team sure is making waves in the Suburban East Conference. The Raiders are consistently in the top half of the conference races, as was the case last Tuesday at Welch Village. "For how young we are, we are doing well," coach Jim Peine said. "We have those two seniors, then we have a lot of freshmen and seventh-graders. Alyssa Gerlach led the girls with a 16th-place finish. She had a time of 1:05.20 on her two runs.
At the beginning of the season, Hastings girls basketball coach Mike Harp knew that wins in the Suburban East Conference would be hard to come by this year. There were, though, some games that he knew his team had a legitimate chance to win. Two of those were this week, and in both cases, Harp's assessment was right.
Riverside Company, the top Hastings High School show choir, won another competition over the weekend. On Saturday, the team was the Grand Champion at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Midwest Cup. The group also won caption awards for the best vocals and the best choreography in finals. During prelims, they won for outstanding band. It was the first time Hastings has competed at the meet. Last weekend, the team won Grand Champion in La Crosse, Wis.
The Hastings High School competitive showchoir season is off to a great start. Riverside Company won the "Grand Champion" award Saturday at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wis. The team also won two caption awards for the best vocals and the best choreography. Riverside Company is directed by Lin Warren. The choreography is handled by Steven Todd. "It was a big win," Warren said.
A broken cable caused a problem Wednesday afternoon for crews building the new Hastings bridge. Construction is well under way on the project, including work on the massive piers that will support the new bridge. It was while work was being done on one of the piers that the problem surfaced. Much of the work taking place right now has to do with cofferdams, which are essentially watertight compartments that run from the bottom of the river to the surface.
The Hastings girls basketball team lost to Mounds View on Friday, 61-44. While Hastings was outscored 33-19 in the first half, the team played much better in the second half, and was outscored just 28-25. "There were a couple points where we were down 25 or 26 points, but the girls kept playing hard," coach Mike Harp said.
A tough loss last Tuesday night to Woodbury was followed up by a much better game Friday against Mounds View for the Hastings boys basketball team. The end result, though, was the same, as the Raiders fell to the Mustangs, 60-37. Hastings trailed 19-18 with just more than two minutes to play in the first half, then Mounds View went on a 14-2 run to close out the half and take a 33-20 lead into haltime. "Up until that point, we had played really well," coach Chad Feikema said. Despite what the scoreboard said, Feikema was pleased with what he saw from his team.