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 softball had a long, winding journey in the section playoffs, but that journey came to an end when they were eliminated by Eagan Thursday, May 31. The Raiders, who were the No. 2 seed in Section 3AAAA, got off to the right start when they edged out No. 6 Henry Sibley on May 22, but they were then moved down to the elimination bracket when they lost to No. 2 Eastview 3-0 two days later. They won their first elimination game over No. 5 Rosemount, 4-3, on May 25, and then had to deal with a series of postponements last week due to the storms and rain that covered much of Minnesota. Hastings was then eliminated by No. 7 Eagan, 9-3.
The Section 3 lacrosse playoffs did not go well for the Raider boys' and girls' team as both fell in their first section games. The boys, who were the No. 4 seed after going 10-3 in the regular season and taking third in the Metro East Conference, fell to No. 5 Park, 12-11, in overtime. Meanwhile, the girls were the No. 9 seed and played No. 8 Woodbury in a play-in game to see who would face top-seed Cretin-Derham Hall, falling 16-3 to end their season.
The Hastings Raiders boys' golf team put together a solid performance at The Jewel Golf Club in Lake City last week for the Section 1AAA meet. The Raiders finished fourth with a two-day total score of 620 and were just three strokes out of third behind Lakeville North. Hastings was in third with a score of 307 after the first round, and then shot a 313 as scores across the field seemed to go up amidst the rain in the second round.
Hastings baseball suffered two close losses to end their season in the section playoffs. They were the No. 2 seed in Section 3AAAA but ran into a hot Burnsville team and lost 2-0 to the No. 7 seed on May 28. Hastings then dropped down to the elimination bracket where they faced No. 6 Apple Valley on May 31, but lost in a barn-burner, 13-11.
The Hastings Raiders track and field program is sending its boys' 4x800-meter relay on to the Class AA state meet. The relay is made up of seniors Josh Lewanski and Griffin Myers, along with sophomores Jakub Youngstrom and Isaac Huntington. They took second with a time of 8 minutes, 9.89 seconds (8:09.89), just two seconds behind the winners from Lakeville South. The Raider boys' and girls' both took 10th at the very competitive meet, the boys scoring 32 points and finishing just four behind Rochester Mayo, while the girls were scored 29 and were just one behind Mayo.
Hastings senior Nick Dittrich has made his senior year a victory-lap of sorts as he racks up award after award. Dittrich added to his list of accomplishments yesterday as he shot a 141 in two rounds during the Section 1AAA golf tournament at The Jewel Golf Club, claiming his spot as co-medalist and qualifying for the state tournament for the third year in a row. This is on top of the Metro East Conference championship he claimed last week at Keller Golf Course and the numerous tournaments he has won in this condensed season.
The girls' golf team finished their regular season with a match against Mahtomedi and their Metro East Conference championships. The Raiders fell to Mahtomedi and then finished fourth in conference, with several girls bring home all-conference honors.
The Hastings Raiders boys' golf team finished its regular season the past two weeks with three meets, including the Metro East Conference championship. They took first on their home course of Dakota Pines in their final conference meet before the championship, took 11th at the East Ridge Invite at Stone Ridge and then competed in the Metro East Conference championship at Keller Golf Course.
The Hastings Raiders boys' and girls' track and field teams finished their regular season with a bang as both teams brought home the hardware as Metro East Conference champions. After some weather delays and having to run the 4x400 meter relay on Friday due to those delays, the result was never in doubt. Both teams combined to win nine events plus numerous top five finishes.
The Hastings Raiders' baseball team saw its playoff journey become much more difficult on Memorial Day after they fell in the opening round to Burnsville 2-0. The Raiders, who were the No. 2 seed, faced Burnsville at Alimagnet Park, pretty much a home game for the Blaze. They were unable to get the bats going and now drop down to the consolation bracket for the double elimination playoffs. Hastings will take on No. 6 Apple Valley on Wednesday, May 30 at 6:30 p.m. The Eagles were 10-runned by Rosemount.