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 football ended its regular season on a high-note Wednesday night with a 35-9 win at South St. Paul over the Packers. The win is also of historical significance for the Raiders as they have not beaten the Packers since making the switch to the Metro East Conference back in 2014 and through the creation of districts in recent years. It also seals a top-two seed and first-round bye in the Section 3AAAAA playoffs for the Raiders, who will play the winner of No. 3 Park and No. 6 Henry Sibley on Saturday, Oct. 27, at Todd Field at McNamara Stadium.
The Hastings Raiders boys' and girls' cross-country teams competed at the Metro East Conference championships Tuesday afternoon at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park. The Hastings boys took fourth out of nine teams and the Raider girls were fifth out of seven teams. They were led by senior Eric Howd and sophomore Linnea Urban, both of whom took third and were named All-Conference. Also earning All-Conference honors were senior Megan Mattson and sophomore Nolan Myers, who both took 14th.
The Hastings Raiders girls' tennis team continued their postseason play last week with individual sections. Two doubles teams and two individuals competed in the Section 1AA individual sections held at the Lifetime Fitness in Lakeville. The singles players were sophomore Anri Sakakibara and senior Emily Beyer, and the doubles were senior Elizabeth Henrichs with junior Amy Roach and seniors Anna Lindner and Morgan Reinardy. The top two individuals/teams from each section advance to the state tournament.
There was a little extra motivation on Friday for the Hastings Raiders football team as they hosted the Apple Valley Eagles. The past two years, the Raiders have been eliminated in the section playoffs by the Eagles, including a 56-14 rout in Apple Valley last fall. However, Hastings was able to get a little bit of payback Friday night as they shutout the Eagles 34-0 in a game where the score could have been much worse. Friday night also saw history made as senior running back Corbin Leflay hit 1,000 yards rushing this season in just seven regular season games.
The Hastings Raiders boys' and girls' soccer teams both went one-and-done in section playoffs this past week. The Hastings boys were the No. 6 seed in Section 4AA and lost at No. 3 and Metro East Conference rival North St. Paul 2-1 in overtime on Tuesday after losing to them earlier in the season 8-2. Meanwhile the Raider girls were the No. 7 seed in Section 3AA and played the No. 2-seeded Rosemount Irish at Park due to field conditions. The Raiders fell 5-0 to the Irish amidst the rain and cold. The boys end the season with an overall record of 10-5 after taking third in the MEC and the girls finish with a record of 7-9-1.
The Hastings Raiders girls' tennis team started section play Tuesday evening after earning the No. 7 seed in section 1AA. They hosted No. 10 seed Waseca and cruised to a 6-1 victory. They then traveled to No. 2 Lakeville South on Thursday and lost to the Cougars 6-1. With team sections over, the Raiders will next compete in individual sections.
The Hastings Raiders boys' and girls' soccer teams both wrapped up their regular seasons this past week as they head into section playoffs. The boys' finished tied for third in the Metro East Conference after a loss at Mahtomedi cost them a share of the MEC championship. Meanwhile, the girls won three of their last five and go into the playoffs with a record of 7-8-1.
The Hastings Raiders football team wasted no time rebounding from their loss to the St. Thomas Cadets last Friday as the cruised past the Tartan Titans Friday night 27-7 in Oakdale. The Raiders sprinted out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter and then went ahead 27-0 in the third quarter before allowing a touchdown. Senior running back Corbin Leflay had 253 total yards between rushing, receiving and kick returns as well as a touchdown. With the win, Hastings improves to 5-1 and sit a game behind St. Thomas in the Suburban Maroon sub-district.
The Hastings Raiders boys' and girls' cross-country teams raced twice in five days this last week as they competed in Red Wing last Friday, Sept. 28, and then at the Dakota County fairgrounds on Tuesday, Oct. 2, for the Trinity Invitational. Both teams took sixth in Red Wing and fifth at the fairgrounds (the boys in a field of 19 teams and the girls against 15).
The Hastings Raiders girls' tennis team started section play Tuesday evening after earning the No. 7 seed in section 1AA. The hosted No. 10 seed Waseca and cruised to a 6-1 victory. They travel to Lakeville South (the No. 2 seed) on Thursday to take on the Cougars and should they win, they would go on to play the winner of Rochester Century and Owatonna in the semifinals on Tuesday, Oct. 9, in Rochester.