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 Raiders boys' tennis had one doubles team—junior Colby Zak and senior Eric Howd—in action this past Thursday, May 29, at Lifetime Fitness in Lakeville for the second day of Section 3AA play. Zak and Howd (who won two matches the previous week) were one match away from qualifying for the state tournament as the top two teams in each section advance.
One Hastings lacrosse team saw their season come to an end Wednesday night, May 29, while the other advanced in the Section 3A playoffs. The Raider girls—who were the No. 9 seed—traveled to Eagan to take on the No. 8 Wildcats in Section 3A where they lost 15-4 and saw their season end. The No. 8-seeded Hastings boys hosted No. 9 TrIMAC Wednesday as well and won 17-11.
The Raider boys' and girls' lacrosse teams both start Section 3A playoffs on Wednesday, May 29, and both will play in the No. 8 vs. No. 9 matchup to start. The boys are the No. 8 seed and will host TrIMAC, who they beat 18-12 on May 3. The girls are the No. 9 seed and will travel to No. 8 Eagan, who did not record a win this spring.
Two Raider boys' tennis singles players and two doubles teams represented Hastings this week in Section 3AA individual action with great success. Competing as singles were seniors Brian Nielsen and James Scharr, while the doubles teams are junior Colby Zak and senior Eric Howd and then seniors Matt Schlottman and Carson Konrady.
The Hastings Raiders boys' and girls' track and field teams competed in the Metro East Conference championships at Simley High School on May 21 and 23. The Raider teams combined for eight championships—for the boys junior Isaac Huntington in the 200-and-400-meter dash; junior Jakub Youngstrom in the 800 and 1,600 and the 4x400 relay team—while the girls' champions were sophomore Linnea Urban in the 1,600; sophomore Molly Vaughan in the pole vault and senior Jessica Davison in the discus.
The Hastings Raiders softball team's season came to an end just three days after they knocked off No. 3-seeded rival Henry Sibley in the first round of the Section 3AAAA playoffs. They beat the Warriors 9-5 on Tuesday, May 21, in the rain, cold and wind but then dropped the next two games to Rosemount and Eastview. After their win Tuesday, the No. 6-seeded Raiders hosted No. 7 Rosemount at home but fell to the Irish 1-0 in a well-played game by both teams. Hastings dropped to the consolation bracket and faced No. 4 Eastview in Richfield on Friday, May 24. The Lightning prevailed 4-3 and the Raiders' season came to an end. They finish 2019 with a 13-10 overall record including the playoffs after finishing fifth in the Metro East Conference (8-6).
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.