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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Hastings seventh-grader Ashtyn Stewart surprised a lot of people when she took second in the 100-yard butterfly at the Section 1AA meet, including her own coach. However, head coach Katie McAlpin said it would be a valuable experience for the young swimmer to see what the state meet is like with no expectations for when she returns in the years to come.
The Hastings Raiders girls' hockey team started its season 0-2 over the weekend and early this week with two losses to section opponents Rosemount and East Ridge. The start of the Raiders' schedule is difficult, but in both games they found themselves down early. While they were able to mount a comeback against the Irish on Saturday before falling 3-2, against East Ridge Tuesday night the second and third periods got out of hand as the Raptors went on to win 6-1. Both East Ridge and Rosemount have started the winter 2-0.
Seventh-grader Ashtyn Stewart will represent the Hastings Raiders girls' swimming and diving team this week at the Class AA state meet after qualifying in the 100 butterfly Friday afternoon. Stewart was the runner-up in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1 minute, 0.09 seconds, just three one-hundredths of a second quicker than the third-place finisher.
The Hastings Raiders girls' swimming and diving team competed in their Section 1AA preliminary races Wednesday evening at the Rochester Recreation Center. All relays made it to the finals on Friday as well as swimmers in every event. Diving preliminaries take place Thursday evening. The top two swimmers/teams in each event, plus anyone under the qualifying standard time in the events. The top four divers in each section also qualify for the state meet. Below are those swimmers who qualified for the finals by event, the top eight relays and 16 swimmers in each event advanced.
This past September, the Hastings Hockey Association partnered with the Minnesota Wild to be one of 20 sites to host the Wild's "Little Wild Learn to Play" program. The program's aim is to grow the game of hockey throughout the state of Minnesota and help dispel some of the myths and misconceptions about getting involved with hockey.
Two Hastings residents were inducted into the Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame Friday night for their contributions to the sport of softball. Tom Niederkorn and Walt Nelson (posthumously) were inducted as players for Loesch's men's fastpitch softball team.
Hastings senior Eric Howd competed at the Class AA state cross-country meet Saturday morning on the campus of St. Olaf College. He finished 61st out of 174 runners with a time of 16 minutes, 26.9 seconds.
The Hastings Raiders football team's storybook season came to an end Friday night in Mendota Heights as they fell to the St. Thomas Academy Cadets 41-6 for a chance to go to state. It was the Raiders first chance for a section championship in football since the early 2000s and after a rough start, things snowballed quickly due to several turnovers. With the loss, Hastings finishes its season 8-2 overall, with both losses coming to the Cadets. The Raiders are Section 3AAAAA runners-up after dominating east metro during the fall.
The Hastings Raiders girls' swimming and diving team clinched their second-straight Metro East Conference championship Tuesday, Oct. 16, with a 97-81 win at home over Mahtomedi. The win against the Zephyrs also put a cap on an undefeated Metro East dual season for the Raiders, who beat North St. Paul, Simley, South St. Paul, Hill-Murray, Tartan and Mahtomedi. Before the win over the Zephyrs, Hastings took fifth at True Team Sections, and they ended their regular season with the junior varsity conference meet as well as their annual diving meet. Next for the team is the Section 1AA meet Nov. 7-9 (Nov. 7 the swimming prelims, Nov. 8 diving prelims, finals for both on Nov. 9) at the Rochester Recreation Center. All three days start at noon.
The Raiders' volleyball season came to an end Thursday night in the second round of Section 3AAA play. Hastings, the No. 10 seed, traveled to East Ridge where they fell to the No. 2 Raptors 3-0 by scores of 25-13, 25-9, 25-11. This was after they upset No. 7 Cretin-Derham Hall Tuesday night 3-2 (19-25, 20-25, 27-25, 26-24, 18-16) by winning three straight sets after falling behind 2-0.