Alec Hamilton is a sports reporter and general assignment reporter at the Hastings Star Gazette. He is a journalism graduate of Drake University.
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The Hastings cross-country team competed in the Minnaert Invitational at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park on Sept. 8 in their second meet of the season. The invitational is one of the largest events the team competes in this season with 15 teams total being present, including Hastings. The team had two boys finish in the top 25 on varsity and three varsity girls finish in the top 50. For the boys, Griffin Myers finished first on the team and 14th overall with a time of 17:20.053.
The Hastings football team lost a close game to the Simley Spartans, 24-20, on Friday, a game in which the Raiders led 20-6 at halftime and seemed to have well in hand. The first half saw the Raiders hit numerous big plays to set up scores and their defense held the Simley offense scoreless. The Spartan’s only touchdown in the first half came off a fumble by quarterback Colin Kummer, which they recovered and ran in for the score. Leading by 14 to start the second half, the Raiders struggled offensively for the rest of the game.
The Hastings Raiders football team lost to the Simley Spartans 24-20 in their home opener. The Raiders led 20-6 at half but gave up 18 unanswered points to the Spartans comeback. The Raiders led 20-18 late in the fourth quarter when on fourth and 18, the Spartans executed a reverse flea-flicker down to the Raider’s five yard line. They scored the go-ahead touchdown with 36 seconds left in the game. Hastings’ running back Ovie Embu scored all three of the Raiders’ touchdowns, including a 37-yard run for the team’s first touchdown.
The Hastings girls’ soccer team dropped three matches this past week and are still looking for their first win of the season. The team traveled to Roseville on Aug. 30 where they lost 4-0. They then traveled to Duluth on an overnight trip where they played Duluth-Marshall on Thursday, Sept. 1, losing 4-1, and then played Duluth-Denfeld the next day where they lost 2-1. Tuesday at Roseville The first match against Roseville, the Hastings girls encountered a new variable to their game; Roseville’s turf surface on their pitch.
The Raiders boys’ soccer team beat the visiting Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa Panthers 10-2 Thursday in a match that was over soon after it started. Hastings started the game with relentless pressure that the Panthers were unable to handle and the Raiders kept that pressure up for most of the match. The Raiders scored the first goal of the match with 27 minutes left in the first half on a header from Tucker Houska.
Hastings girls’ volleyball lost to Woodbury and beat St. Paul Highland Park this past week to start their season. The Raiders dropped the match to Woodbury three sets to one where they led in every set. They beat St. Paul Highland Park three sets to one. Woodbury Hastings’ loss to Woodbury (24-26, 16-25, 25-23, 22-25) was very close and easily could have swung the other way.
The Hastings girls’ swimming and diving team has started the season off strong despite graduating eight seniors from last season. The program is rebuilding with 12 freshmen on the team this year but has shown in its first two meets that its youth will not hamper its competitiveness. Dual vs. Farmington On Aug. 25 the Raiders competed at Farmington in a dual meet for both the swim and dive teams. Hastings lost 98-83 but put in a strong showing. Sophomore Natasha Girgen led the Raiders swimmers by winning both of her events, the 500 freestyle and 200 IM (Individual Medley).
The Hastings girls’ tennis team continues to improve as their season takes off with non-conference play. This past week they defeated Red Wing at home 6-1 and lost to Northfield in Northfield 5-2. Home against Red Wing Against Red Wing the Raiders swept all of the doubles matches and went 3-1 in singles. Isabella Kranz played first singles and lost 0-6, 0-6. Second singles was Elizabeth Henrichs who won 6-4, 6-2. Lone senior Sara Lund won the third singles matches 6-0, 6-0. In fourth singles Emily Beyer won 6-1, 6-0.
The Hastings Raiders football team beat the Henry-Sibley Warriors 14-8 in the season opener last Friday night. The Raiders came out on top in a sloppy game full of turnovers and inopportune penalties thanks to a few big plays and a bend but don’t break mentality on defense. On the very first possession of the game, the Warriors ran the ball right down the field with the Raiders struggling to stop them. However, the Warriors fumbled at the Hastings’ 23 yard line which the Raiders recovered.
The Miesville Mudhens won the Minnesota Baseball Association’s Class B state championship on Labor Day with a 6-3 win over the Moorhead Brewers. The Mudhens won Saturday, Sept. 4, 5-4 in walk-off fashion against the Shakopee Indians to advance to the state championship game. Starting pitcher Steve Maher took a complete game shut-out into the ninth inning and the Miesville bats slowly chipped away at the Brewers, scoring two runs in the first, one in the second and third, and then single runs in the sixth and eighth innings. Going into the ninth the Mudhens led 6-0.