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 big indicator for how a high school swimming meet will go is the first event, the 200 medley relay. If one team can have its swimmers place first and second in the race, you can pretty much bet that team will win. Placing first and second in that event shows your team has depth in all four strokes. So, when Hastings swimmers placed first, second and third in the medley relay against White Bear Lake on Thursday, it was a pretty clear indication the Raiders were the superior team. That held up throughout the meet, and Hastings cruised to an 89-79 win over the Bears.
Two weeks. Two wins. That's how things have gone over the past 14 days for the Hastings football team. The Raiders improved to 2-1 on the season with a 14-7 win over Park of Cottage Grove Friday night. "With every win, you gain confidence, so when you put two wins together, it's two weeks in a row where you build some momentum," Hastings coach Dana Strain said. "It really makes you feel like you are headed in the right direction." Turnovers were the story of the game. Hastings had one and Park had three.
A great season just keeps getting better for the Hastings girls cross country team. The Raiders placed a close second at the Rochester Mayo Invitational last week, coming in just behind Mayo. After the scores were first tallied, as a matter of fact, the meet was a tie. The tiebreaking sixth runner's results were used, and Hastings lost on the tiebreaker. "To finish second out of 19 teams, that was pretty good," Hastings coach John Dewall said. "The girls looked good. They ran together. Kelly (Pechous), Maddy (O'Brien) and Bri (Strandberg) were rocking and rolling.
Yes, the Hastings boys soccer team is 0-7 so far this year. But sandwiched between losses between the state's No. 1-ranked team (Apple Valley) and the state's No. 3-ranked team (Woodbury), Hastings played five very close games that literally could have gone either way. Three of those losses were by one goal, and in one of them, Hastings trailed by just one goal with just 30 seconds left when Forest Lake scored to win by two. "We've been competitive, so that's encouraging," Hastings coach Marshall Morehead said. In the 3-1 loss to Forest Lake Sept.
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.