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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KDWA Radio was named Business of the Year by the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce for 2016. Owned and operated by Dan Massman and his wife, Barb, the Massmans took over KDWA Oct. 1, 1991, and just celebrated the station's 25th anniversary under their ownership. They both said that the award really came out of the blue. "We were humbled and shocked," Dan said. "It was never on our radar. You always just do what you feel is the best, and all of the sudden wow, you're recognized hugely!"
The Hastings boys' basketball team hosted the 15th annual Hastings Holiday Shootout this past week, Dec. 29-30. The Raiders lost to Irondale 75-63 on day one and then fell to Prescott in the third-place game 87-75 the next day. Farmington went on to win the tournament and Irondale took second. Hastings is now 4-5 as they enter conference action this week. Irondale Despite the score being close with only a few minutes left in the game, head coach Chad Feikema said it was his team's poorest performance of the year.
Nordic Skiing The Hastings boys' and girls' Nordic skiing teams both had great finishes at the Tuesday, Dec. 20, meet at Lake Elmo. The boys' team won the conference meet, beating second-place Henry Sibley by 15 points. The girls' team took third and were just seven points out of second place. The Raiders had three boys place in the top-five and four in the top-10, while the girls had two racers in the top-10.
The fifth annual window display decorating contest hosted by the Hastings Downtown Business Association was judged this past week and the winners were revealed. Vintage Inspirations, owned by Teea Orner, took first place with their displays of Santa and snowmen. Second place went to The Emporium and owner Karen Green Jung, while third place was won by The Town Cobbler and Kevin and Lynn Hoeschen. Businesses in downtown Hastings participated in the contest. Lynn Hoeschen, who helped organize the contest, estimated that about a dozen businesses took part in the decorating.
Volleyball Hastings' athletic director Trent Hanson said that they have started their search for a new head volleyball coach. Former head coach Rita Girgen resigned her position at the start of December after more than a decade with the program.
Wrestling The Hastings' wrestling team won their first conference dual of the season 54-16. The Raiders won 11 out of 14 matches, including five pins. Many of the Raiders wrestled up a weight-class from what they competed in at the Minnesota Christmas Tournament, but it did not seem to slow them down at all. The highlight of the dual was T.J. Pottinger, wrestling up at 170 pounds, beating Evan Lawrence by a 3-1 decision. Lawrence was the fourth-ranked wrestler in class AA at 160 pounds, and has managed to keep that ranking despite the loss to Pottinger.
Boys' Basketball The Hastings boys' basketball team went 2-2 the last two weeks in non-conference matchups. Two weeks ago they lost to Eastview (81-55) and Benilde-St. Margaret's (79-61), but this past week they countered with two strong victories against Hudson (99-86) and Eagan (74-60). The Raiders are now 4-3 overall with only their own holiday tournament left before conference play starts. Two weeks ago
Boys' Hockey The Hastings boys' hockey team notched their second win in a row, and of the season, against the Red Wing Wingers Tuesday, Dec. 20. The Raiders came back from being down 2-1 entering the third period, but then exploded for three goals in the period to win 4-2. Hastings is now 2-7 on the season overall.
Gymnastics The Hastings' gymnastics team has had a busy start of the season, hosting three out of their first four meets at the Hastings' National Guard Armory and also traveling to Henry Sibley. While the Raiders have yet to win a match, head coach Jeanne Kasel said her team is improving every week. "Each meet the girls see more and learn more about what they need to correct or even step-up to the next level on," Kasel said. "We have such a young team this season and we are excited about the direction we can move in going forward."
Girls' Basketball After an 11 day break, the Hastings girls' basketball team was back in action this last week on a road trip. On Tuesday, Dec. 20, the Raiders traveled to East Ridge where they lost 63-47. Two days later they crossed the Mississippi for a short trip to Hudson, Wis., where they lost 68-42. The two losses drop Hastings to 2-5 overall on the season with conference play coming up after the holidays. East Ridge Hastings led the Raptors at halftime, 27-25, and head coach Padrick Judd said they controlled much of the first half.