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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The Hastings Raiders girls' basketball team has bounced back from a rough December, are 3-2 so far in 2019 and are winners of three out of their last four games. That third win came Tuesday night at Hastings High School as the Raiders came back from behind against the Mahtomedi Zephyrs to force overtime and went on to win 67-62. Hastings is now 3-12 overall but 2-2 in the Metro East Conference, whis puts them in a tie for third with Henry Sibley and Tartan.
The Hastings Raiders girls' hockey team is approaching the last quarter of its season and looks to continue the momentum it has gained the past week-and-a-half where it won two out of three games. After losing three-straight at the Louis Schmitz Holiday Classic over the winter break, the Raiders have responded with wins over St. Paul/Henry Sibley and Irondale before falling to the Simley Spartans. Hastings is now 7-10-1 overall and 2-3-1 in the Metro East Conference, which puts them in the bottom half of the MEC but still with plenty of room for improvement. In their final seven games, the Raiders have four conference matchups against Mahtomedi, North St. Paul/Tartan, Simley and Hill-Murray. Looking ahead to section playoffs, they currently sit at second-to-last in Section 3AA according to QRF but can improve that with a win over section-opponents Eastview and Park still this regular season.
The Hastings Raiders boys' and girls' alpine skiing teams competed in two meets this past week at Welch Village. On Tuesday, Jan. 9, they participated in a Metro East Conference meet where the boys took first and the girls second. Then this past Friday, Jan. 11, they hosted the Welch Invite that featured representatives from 21 different teams for both the boys and girls. The Raider boys took second as a team while girls finished 11th. Both teams return to Welch on Thursday, Jan. 17, for another MEC meet. They then go to Buck Hill on Saturday, Jan. 19.
Hastings girls break losing streak It was only a matter of time for the Hastings Raiders girls' basketball team and that time finally came this past week—the Raiders won their first game of the season with a blowout at home against North St. Paul on Tuesday, Jan. 8. They then quickly won their second as well with a close win over Woodbury on Saturday after falling to South St. Paul by three points on Thursday. Hastings is now 2-12 overall and 1-2 in the Metro East Conference.
The long-anticipated showdown between Hastings Raiders boys' hockey and the St. Thomas Academy Cadets finally arrived this past Thursday as the Raiders hosted the Cadets in a Metro East Conference showdown between two of its top teams. The rivalry between the two cannot be underestimated, especially after the two schools met in the section championship game this past football team. St. Thomas Academy entered the game ranked No. 9 in Class 2A while Hastings has its best team in years and went into the game with a 10-2 record. However, it was not to be as the Cadets opened up a 2-0 lead in the first period and went on to win 3-0. Hastings was able to bounce back on Saturday with a 3-1 win at Tartan, the first in a three-game road trip for the Raiders. They are now 11-3 overall, 6-2 in the MEC and are ranked second in Section 1AA—a point behind Lakeville North in QRF—with two section games left against Farmington and Rochester Mayo. Hastings goes to Henry Sibley on Thursday, Jan. 17.
The Hastings Raiders boys' swimming and diving team hosted Section 1AA foe the Farmington Tigers Tuesday evening at Hastings Middle School. The Raiders fell 96-88 to the Tigers and won just two events—before Farmington swam the 400 freestyle relay as an exhibition—but racked up most of their points with plenty of second and third-place finishes. Winning for Hastings were the 200-yard medley relay team of freshman Philip Jensen, junior William Jensen, sophomore Joe Everson and freshman John Destross with a time of 1 minute, 48.45 seconds, and then sophomore Avery Stoffel in the 50 freestyle in 23.74.
The Hastings Raiders boys' swimming and diving team blew the South St. Paul Packers out of the pool Thursday night at Hastings Middle School. Despite it being their first competition in over two weeks due to the holiday break, the Raiders still won eight of the first 10 events before swimming the last two as exhibitions. Despite conceding the last two events, Hastings still outscored the Packers 92-78 in just their second home meet of the season.
The Hastings Raider wrestling team changed things up during the holidays this season and went to La Crosse, Wis., for the Bi-State Classic Dec. 28-29 rather than compete at The Clash in Rochester a week later. The Raiders finished seventh with 193 team points out of a field 25 teams in Division I (Wisconsin's equivalent of Minnesota's Class 3A) and would have taken ninth out of the entire tournament, which featured almost 70 teams. Six Hastings wrestlers placed in their brackets and seventh-grader Skylar Little Soldier made history for the Raider wrestling program as she became the first female wrestler to record a varsity takedown, pin and win for Hastings.
Hastings junior Trevor Caflisch is in the middle of the Raiders' nordic skiing season and continued his dedication over the holiday break. Caflisch competed in three nordic ski races and came home with a trio of top-five finishes. He raced in the Winter Warm-Up in Elm Creek on Dec. 22 and took second and then spent two days in Hayward, Wis., where he won the Spooner Holiday Dash on Dec. 28 and finished fourth in the Double Pole Derby on Dec. 29.