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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The Hastings Raiders girls' swimming and diving team competed in their Section 1AA preliminary races Wednesday evening at the Rochester Recreation Center. All relays made it to the finals on Friday as well as swimmers in every event. Diving preliminaries take place Thursday evening. The top two swimmers/teams in each event, plus anyone under the qualifying standard time in the events. The top four divers in each section also qualify for the state meet. Below are those swimmers who qualified for the finals by event, the top eight relays and 16 swimmers in each event advanced.
This past September, the Hastings Hockey Association partnered with the Minnesota Wild to be one of 20 sites to host the Wild's "Little Wild Learn to Play" program. The program's aim is to grow the game of hockey throughout the state of Minnesota and help dispel some of the myths and misconceptions about getting involved with hockey.
Two Hastings residents were inducted into the Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame Friday night for their contributions to the sport of softball. Tom Niederkorn and Walt Nelson (posthumously) were inducted as players for Loesch's men's fastpitch softball team.
Hastings senior Eric Howd competed at the Class AA state cross-country meet Saturday morning on the campus of St. Olaf College. He finished 61st out of 174 runners with a time of 16 minutes, 26.9 seconds.
The Hastings Raiders football team's storybook season came to an end Friday night in Mendota Heights as they fell to the St. Thomas Academy Cadets 41-6 for a chance to go to state. It was the Raiders first chance for a section championship in football since the early 2000s and after a rough start, things snowballed quickly due to several turnovers. With the loss, Hastings finishes its season 8-2 overall, with both losses coming to the Cadets. The Raiders are Section 3AAAAA runners-up after dominating east metro during the fall.
The Hastings Raiders girls' swimming and diving team clinched their second-straight Metro East Conference championship Tuesday, Oct. 16, with a 97-81 win at home over Mahtomedi. The win against the Zephyrs also put a cap on an undefeated Metro East dual season for the Raiders, who beat North St. Paul, Simley, South St. Paul, Hill-Murray, Tartan and Mahtomedi. Before the win over the Zephyrs, Hastings took fifth at True Team Sections, and they ended their regular season with the junior varsity conference meet as well as their annual diving meet. Next for the team is the Section 1AA meet Nov. 7-9 (Nov. 7 the swimming prelims, Nov. 8 diving prelims, finals for both on Nov. 9) at the Rochester Recreation Center. All three days start at noon.
The Raiders' volleyball season came to an end Thursday night in the second round of Section 3AAA play. Hastings, the No. 10 seed, traveled to East Ridge where they fell to the No. 2 Raptors 3-0 by scores of 25-13, 25-9, 25-11. This was after they upset No. 7 Cretin-Derham Hall Tuesday night 3-2 (19-25, 20-25, 27-25, 26-24, 18-16) by winning three straight sets after falling behind 2-0.
Senior Eric Howd had just one goal heading into the Section 1AA race at Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna: qualify for the state tournament. He accomplished that goal with room to spare last Thursday when he came in ninth at the meet with a time of 16 minutes, 6.50 seconds, a personal record for him by over half a minute. Howd was one of eight runners to qualify for the state cross-country meet held at St. Olaf College, along with the top two teams, and is the second Raider boy to qualify in the last two years (David Nogle qualified last year). He was just 14 seconds off of the winning time set by Weston Wyatt of Red Wing.
The Hastings Raiders football team is headed to the Section 3AAAAA championship game after shutting out rival Park 14-0 at Todd Field at McNamara Stadium. Saturday night's game was also the "Last on Grass" game, the last game played on grass at Todd Field as turf will soon be installed there, and the first 400 fans at the game were given towels commemorating the the event. Hastings travels to St. Thomas for a rematch with the Cadets Friday, Nov. 2, for a chance to go to state.
The Hastings Raiders volleyball team did it the hard way Tuesday night as they came back from behind two sets to none to Cretin-Derham Hall and won 3-2 to advance in the section playoffs. Hastings, the No. 10 seed in Section 3AAA, beat No. 7 Cretin-Derham Hall 19-25, 20-25, 27-25, 26-24, 18-16 in what was probably their closest match of the season. This comes after some expressed surprise as to the seeding of the two teams, since Hastings finished with a record of 11-16 while Cretin was just 5-18.