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HHS takes 2nd at conference relays

The Hastings girls’ swimming and diving team has started the season off strong despite graduating eight seniors from last season. The program is rebuilding with 12 freshmen on the team this year but has shown in its first two meets that its youth will not hamper its competitiveness.

Dual vs. Farmington

On Aug. 25 the Raiders competed at Farmington in a dual meet for both the swim and dive teams. Hastings lost 98-83 but put in a strong showing. Sophomore Natasha Girgen led the Raiders swimmers by winning both of her events, the 500 freestyle and 200 IM (Individual Medley). Hastings varsity swimmers to also win events were foreign exchange student Johana Ingenerf, freshman Brooklyn Byrd and the Hastings 400 freestyle relay team consisting of Ingenerf, Drew Gerlach, Emma Gelhar and Girgen.

“The swimmer of the meet was Natasha Girgen,” head coach Katie McAlpin said. “Natasha won both of her individual events and her times were very close to her life-time best. I am very excited to see what this year has to offer Natasha, she is one of the strongest swimmers we have.”

Three Raiders varsity divers took the top three spots in diving. In first was Emily Weldon, second Alaina Kremer and third Shannon McCullough. Molly Vaughan, an eighth grader, placed first for the junior varsity and would have placed second had she dived for the varsity team.

“Diver of the meet was Molly Vaughan,” McAlpin said. “Molly achieved her lifetime best score. Returning to our team for the second year as an eighth grader, she has dove her season off to a great start.”

Conference Relays

Hastings finished second out of eight teams at the conference relays. They finished only 12 points behind the champions, Hill-Murray and out-distanced the third place team, Tartan, by 28 points. As the name suggests, all of the events were relays.

The Raiders finished first in the 400 freestyle whose team members were Elli Walker, Gerlach, Katie Gjelhaug and Girgen.

They finished second in the 400 medley, 200 freestyle, 400 individual medley and the 200 breaststroke. Hastings took third in the 200 backstroke, the 850 freestyle.

The Raiders diving team took first with 185.35 points, narrowly beating out Mahtomedi.

“With such a young team I was very pleased with second place,” McAlpin said. “We knew Hill-Murray was going to be a challenge and this gave us a great preview to what we need to do to prepare for them in a few weeks.”

The Raiders will be home on Thursday, Sept. 8, in a meet against Mahtomedi and then travel to Apple Valley on Friday and Saturday for a tournament.

Alec Hamilton

Alec Hamilton is a RiverTown Multimedia sports reporter covering Hastings, Farmington and Rosemount athletics. He graduated from Drake University with a journalism degree in 2014. 

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