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 girls' hockey team started practice the day before Halloween and have already had their exhibition trip to Duluth. Heading into the season, they lack much of their goal scoring from last year but also return several girls who saw significant varsity action.
Unlike many volleyball matches, the exciting action came at the beginning of the Hastings vs. Henry Sibley section 3AAA playoff matchup. The Raiders battled and clawed back in the first set but were unable to keep up that energy in the second set and then were blown out in the third. Hastings fell in three straight sets 21-25, 15-25, 5-25.
Hastings senior David Nogle qualified for the state cross country meet in his first year of the sport Thursday, Oct. 26, at Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna. Meanwhile, the boys' team as a whole took 12th out of 16 teams while the girls placed 15th. First year, no problem Nogle led the Raider boys by taking 10th with a time of 16 minutes, 37.30 seconds, which allowed him to qualify for state by a fairly comfortable margin.
The Hastings Raiders football team was not able to slow down the Apple Valley Eagles’ high-powered offense nor get much going offensively themselves Saturday, Oct. 28, in Apple Valley. The Raiders fell in a blowout 56-13 and had their season end after making it to the section semifinals for the fourth year in a row. Hastings finishes with a 3-7 overall record this season including the section playoffs.
Both the north and south-bound lanes of Highway 61 are partially blocked as of 3:30 p.m. due to a crash. A semi-truck crashed into a median on Highway 61, just before the stoplight next to the Holiday gas station. The crash occurred around 2:30 p.m. and the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office and other services were on scene.
Earlier this fall the Hastings Walleye beat the Blaine Lycans 4-2 in a best-of-seven series. As the winner, the Walleye advance to the national tournament held in Colorado at the beginning of November.
The Hastings girls swimming and diving team won the Metro East Conference championship on Oct. 17 against South St. Paul. The Raiders beat the Packers 100-75 in a dominant win despite a change in lineups. Head coach Katie McAlpin said that every year she has a meet where her swimmers draw their events out of a bucket for fun. Hastings competed in the True Team Sections meet the weekend before and took fifth out of seven teams.
The common saying is that defense wins championships. While the Hastings football team is still a ways away from playing for said championship, their defense stepped up when they were needed most to help Hastings win their first-round section playoff game. The Raiders beat the Henry Sibley Warriors in West St. Paul Tuesday, Oct. 24, 16-14 in a game that came down to the last 30 seconds and a goal-line stand. With the win, Hastings advances to the section 3-5A semifinals and travel to Apple Valley on Saturday.
The Hastings boys and girls cross-country teams both had strong showings Tuesday, Oct. 24, at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park for the Metro East Conference Championships. The Raider boys took second behind St. Thomas Academy thanks to strong performances by seniors David Nogle and Griffin Myers, who finished back-to-back in the fifth and sixth, respectively. Meanwhile, despite missing one of their top runners in Linnea Urban and being stretched thin numbers-wise, the girls took fourth out of eight teams. Boys all finish in top half of field
The Hastings girls' tennis team finished a successful season. The Raiders earned the seventh seed in section 1AA and beat No. 10-seed Winona in the first round of sections 7-0. They then fell to a very good Owatonna team, which was the second seed, 5-2. Their season then moved on to individual sections, where they entered two doubles teams and two singles players.