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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A cold rain with plenty of wind made Tuesday night's softball game between the Hastings Raiders and Henry Sibley Warriors thoroughly miserable. However, only one team looked as if they were bothered by the uncomfortable conditions. The Warriors' players shivered in the field, soaked, and had several wild pitches and passed balls due to the rain. Meanwhile, the Raiders smiled and cheered and yelled like it was 80 degrees and sunny during a holiday tournament. The result was Hastings—the No. 6 seed in Section 3AAAA—upsetting No. 3 Henry Sibley 9-5 in the first round of the section playoffs, their first win against the Warriors in three tries this season.
He's known as Benny to hockey fans across generations in Hastings, but his name is Steve Benson and after almost two decades with the Hastings girls' hockey program—with a few small breaks—he has decided to step back from the program. Benson's daughter Sam was a senior on the team this past winter and he coached that senior group their whole careers. With Sam graduating, Benson said his plan is to sit back and enjoy his time with family and some neglected hobbies, though he did not rule out the possibility of a return.
The Hastings Raiders softball team heads into the Section 3AAAA playoffs as the No. 6 seed and will face Metro East Conference rival, and No. 3 seed, Henry Sibley on Tuesday, May 21, at Henry Sibley.
The fourth-seeded Hastings Raiders boys' tennis team started the Section 3AA team tournament off on the right foot with a 7-0 sweep of the 13th-seeded Simley Spartans on Tuesday, May 14, and then a 6-1 win over fifth-seeded Henry Sibley on May 16. They will face top-seeded Eastview on Monday, May 20, at Rosemount and should they win would play the winner of East Ridge and Eagan on May 22 and the Lifetime Fitness in Lakeville.
The Hastings Raiders boys' and girls' track and field teams competed in the Section 2AAA True Team meet at Eagan High School last Tuesday, May 7. The boys took fourth behind Stillwater, Eagan and Woodbury with 552.5 team points while the girls were fifth with 493.5 behind Stillwater, Eagan, East Ridge and Woodbury. Both teams competed in a triangular on Tuesday, May 14, at Hill-Murray and then have the Metro East Conference championships on May 21 and 23 at Simley. Sections are May 30 and June 1 at Lakeville South.
Hastings High School athletics is holding a "paver brick" fundraiser as part of the current renovations being done to Todd Field and McNamara Stadium. Part of the renovation includes a new ticket booth at the west end of the stadium and HHS is selling bricks that will be installed outside of that new ticket booth. The bricks can be used to represent local businesses, organizations, honor loved ones, etc.
The Hastings boys' golf team has had a busy last few weeks as their season is now in full swing. The Raiders currently sit second in the Metro East Conference after a great finish at the mid-conference tournament and they also placed fifth at their own Don Saatzer Invite against a tough field. Hastings is playing very well with just over three weeks left until their section meet at The Jewel Golf Club in Lake City.
Hastings' Jaylen Hanson competed recently in the United States of America Snowboarding Association's (USASA) national competition in Copper Mountain, Colo., at the end of March to early April. Hanson - the daughter of Hastings High School athletic director Trent Hanson—qualified for nationals in the girls' 12-13 division and took fifth in Rail Jam, sixth in Boardercross and 11th in Halfpipe at Copper Mountain.
The Hastings Raiders boys' lacrosse team got off to a rough start to the season with three straight losses on the road to Cretin-Derham Hall, Lakeville South and Mounds View. However, since that loss to Mounds View the Raiders have won four straight over Tartan on April 25, Hill-Murray on April 29, North St. Paul on May 1 and TrIMAC this past Friday.