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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Hastings High School wrestling coach Paul Vaith announced last week he would be stepping away as the head coach. For Vaith, the time had simply come. "The timing is just right," he said. "I've done it for 31 years. Twenty-three here, and 19 as head coach. It has been a wonderful time professionally, Personally, it has been fun. But it's time for me to step back and enjoy the things that my sons, daughters and grandchildren are going to be doing." Vaith's youngest son, Mark, is in fifth grade and wrestles.
It was 10 years ago Hastings won the state baseball championship. The route to the state tournament was highlighted with a pair of big wins over Cretin-Derham Hall at the section tournament. So, as the Raiders planned a tribute to that team, the natural opponent to schedule was Cretin-Derham Hall, now a conference foe. Cretin, though, exacted some revenge Friday night. Cretin won, 11-1, in five innings. Still, the tribute to the 1999 team went off well, as did youth night, despite the rain. "It was nice to honor the '99 team on this night," coach Paul Hartmann said.
In what was treated as a tune-up for this week's Suburban East Conference track and field championships, the Hastings High School boys team finished third out of five teams. The Raiders competed at Park Thursday. This week, they're back in Cottage Grove for the conference meet. It began Tuesday and continues with finals Thursday. The Raiders finished last week's meet with 210.5 points. Park won the meet with 285, and Woodbury was second with 274.5.
Jenelle Trautmann threw a perfect game and Hastings beat Rochester Century in the first round of the Section 1AAA softball tournament in Austin Wednesday night. Hastings won, 3-0. Trautmann struck out 12 batters. She didn't allow a hit, didn't walk a batter and there were no errors in the field for the Raiders. Hastings will face Owatonna in the second round of the double-elimination tournament. That game will be played at 7 p.m. Friday in Austin at Todd Park. Hastings is 19-2 on the season.
The Hastings softball team begins play tonight in the Section 1AAA softball tournament in Austin. The Raiders are the section's No. 1 seeded team. They have a record of 18-2 on the season. Hastings will play tonight at 7 p.m. at Todd Park in Austin. The Raiders will face either Faribault or Rochester Century. Faribault is the No. 8 seed. Century is the No. 9. Those two teams play each other at 5 p.m. tonight. If Hastings wins tonight, they'll play again at 7 p.m. Friday. If they lose tonight, they'll play again at 5 p.m. Friday. Rochester Mayo is the No. 2 seeded team in the section.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom will be publicly reprimanded and fined $900 for sending an e-mail to the county coroner in which he "threatened" her continued employment. Last week, the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility ruled in the case, which stems from a November e-mail Backstrom sent to Dakota County Medical Examiner Lindsey Thomas. Backstrom wrote in the e-mail to Thomas that he was not in favor of the county's medical examiners testifying for defense witnesses.
Last year, Hastings placed sixth out of seven teams at the section True Team meet. This year, the Raiders placed fifth out of eight teams. It's the kind of steady improvement Hastings coach Greg Sandkamp is looking for out of his team. "One of our goals is always to get a little bit better each time you compete," Sandkamp said. "We're looking pretty good, really, with the small bunch of girls we have." Hastings has just more than 30 athletes out for the team, but the Raiders haven't been using that as an excuse.
At Monday's Suburban East Conference match at Hastings Country Club, things couldn't have gotten off to a worse start for Max Fox. The key member of the Hastings team started the day with a seven on the first hole. But boy did he turn things around. Fox played exceptionally well the final 17 holes and ended up shooting a 76 on the day, good for fourth place out of 54 golfers. "It was a great comeback for Max," HHS coach Pete McGinnis said.
At first glance, the Hastings baseball team's record of 4-12 on the season would lead one to believe it has been a long season for the Raiders. But, consider this: Hastings has lost five games by one run. Had those games been just a little different, Hastings could be sitting at 9-7 instead of 4-12. Two more one-run losses have come in the last week of play, with a 2-1 defeat to Roseville and a 5-4 setback against White Bear Lake. "If we turn around a few of those games, it can change a season in a hurry," Hastings coach Paul Hartmann said.
The regular season for Hastings boys tennis is now a thing of the past. Already. The good news for the Raiders is that thanks to a great season record of 11-3, the team has earned the No. 1 seed in the north for Section 1AA. That means the Raiders earned a first-round bye in the 14-team section. Hastings will begin its section tournament at home Thursday, May 14, against Austin. The match will start at 3:30 p.m. Rochester Mayo earned the south's No. 1 seed.