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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In the first meeting in the swimming pool between the East Ridge Raptors and the Hastings Raiders, things went about as expected. Hastings won.
Over six games, the Hastings girls soccer team will have played three of the state's top seven teams. Included in those ranked teams is Woodbury, the state's No. 1 team and, as it turns out, the nation's No. 1 team. It hasn't been easy lately, but Hastings coach Joanne Teigland has been encouraged by what she has seen. On Thursday, Sept. 10, Hastings lost to the state's No. 7-ranked team from Mounds View. Hastings then lost to unranked teams from North St. Paul (2-1), Forest Lake (3-1) and Rosemount (4-0) before facing Woodbury Tuesday night.
Lisa Nicolai lives on Nicolai Avenue and started a business last fall named Nicolai Avenue Marketing. Get a sense she likes the name? She does. Technically speaking, that's no longer her last name. She and Jason Swanson were married 13 years ago and her last name is now Swanson, but you get the idea. For years, Swanson would drive north on Nicolai Avenue, head through Hastings and go to work as the marketing director for an Eagan-based construction company.
Hastings native Stacey (Tims) Morgan died tragically last Thursday morning. The 33-year-old Morgan was running with her daughter, Zoe, in Oakdale when she was hit from behind by a 16-year-old driver. Zoe was not injured. "We can't understand this," said Morgan's father, Rich, of Hastings. "We've never had anything harder. We don't know how to deal with it, really." Around 7:45 a.m. Sept. 17, Morgan buckled Zoe into a car seat, then put the car seat into a stroller and took off for a jog. She was training to be part of a roller derby.
Rita Girgen is one happy coach these days. Her Hastings Raiders volleyball team just came off a great weekend of play, and she's left feeling encouraged about how the rest of the 2009 season looks. So, what is she happy about? Hastings traveled to Apple Valley for the Aerie Invitational Friday and Saturday. The Raiders lost their opening round match to Apple Valley, the No. 9-ranked team in Class AAA, 20-25 and 14-25. The Raiders then went on to win three close matches against three good teams. "It was awesome," Girgen said. "We held our own against Apple Valley.
The Hastings girls soccer team notched its first win of the season last week, beating Farmington, 1-0, Sept. 8. The game's lone goal came in the second half when junior Courtney Boucher was tripped inside the box. Hastings was awarded a penalty kick, and Whitney Vought buried the ball to give the Raiders the lead. "I saw some good things in that game," Hastings coach Joanne Teigland said. "It's there. We're just so close." Teigland said through the Farmington game she saw spurts of very good play.
Dewey Minnaert would be proud. In the annual invitational here that bears his name, the Hastings High School girls cross country team were winners. The Raider girls finished first out of nine teams with 43 points. Wayzata was second with 57 and Woodbury third with 76. Minnaert coached Hastings for years, and had numerous strong seasons and strong athletes pass through the program during his tenure. Success was no stranger. It appears success will be found by this year's team, too. "To beat Wayzata, that's pretty tough," Hastings coach John Dewall said. "It was a phenomenal race.
High school swimming meets don't get any closer than the one last week between Hastings and Cretin-Derham Hall. The meet came down to the final event, the 400 freestyle relay. Hastings had to win the relay to win the meet, but that was going to be a tall task. In the end, the Raiders swam a time fast enough to quality for the state meet (not bad considering it was the first dual meet of the season), but it wasn't enough to get past Cretin-Derham Hall. Their relay finished in 3 minutes, 41.78 seconds.
One of the best seasons in Hastings Hawks history came to a crazy ending Sept. 6 in Gaylord. Hastings advanced to the state's final four teams before getting knocked out of the tournament following a 9-8 16-inning loss to Sauk Rapids. Hastings took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning on a single by Jared Powell that scored Pat Kelly. Sauk Rapids tied the score in the bottom of the fifth. Hastings answered with a single run in the top of the sixth.
It wasn't perfect. Hastings didn't dominate. Hastings didn't put East Ridge away when they had the chance. But in the end, it counts for just as much. It was, after all, a win. Hastings beat the new East Ridge Raptors Friday night at McNamara Stadium at Todd Field, 14-12. "We're excited we got a win," coach Dana Strain said. "Defensively, I thought we played well. Offensively, we played well, but we had a hard time finishing drives. If we can clean that up, we like the direction we are headed in." East Ridge took the lead in the second quarter on a short touchdown run.