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' basketball program has undergone some drastic changes since the end of the 2017-18 season. They have a new head coach in Joe Lynch, and lost the leading scorer in Hastings basketball history (both boys and girls) in Krystal Carlson. However, junior Mallory Brake returns along with several players who got plenty of varsity experience last season.
Before the 2017-18 season, Hastings Raiders boys' hockey head coach Adam Welch said that, in general, his team lacked experience despite a solid senior class. The Raiders went 5-20-1 as the team learned to play with one another. This year, much of that team returns and experience will not be a problem, hopefully allowing them to pick up right where they left off.
Raiders girls' hockey entered its third season under head coach Josh Colvin a few weeks ago and started 2-2 with wins over Northfield and Chisago Lakes and losses to Rosemount and East Ridge. When talking with Colvin, he emphasized two major aspects about this year's team: their experience and their growing familiarity with him, as well as his settling into his role as head coach.
The Hastings Raiders girls' basketball team entered a new era this year under new head coach Joe Lynch after the departure of former head coach Padrick Judd. Judd resigned after last season to pursue professional opportunities elsewhere and Lynch was hired this past summer to replace him. The girls' season began this past weekend in a tournament in Red Wing on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 23-24. They played and lost to Red Wing and River Falls (Wis.) to start its non-conference schedule.
The Hastings Raiders girls' hockey team bounced back with two wins the week before Thanksgiving after starting the season 0-2. The Raiders beat Northfield at home 3-1 on Nov. 15, and then traveled to Chisago Lakes on Nov. 17, where they won 4-2. Hastings is now 2-2 and continues its non-conference schedule as they hosted Apple Valley on Tuesday and then travel to Dodge County on Saturday, Dec. 1.
Hastings seventh-grader Ashtyn Stewart surprised a lot of people when she took second in the 100-yard butterfly at the Section 1AA meet, including her own coach. However, head coach Katie McAlpin said it would be a valuable experience for the young swimmer to see what the state meet is like with no expectations for when she returns in the years to come.
The Hastings Raiders girls' hockey team started its season 0-2 over the weekend and early this week with two losses to section opponents Rosemount and East Ridge. The start of the Raiders' schedule is difficult, but in both games they found themselves down early. While they were able to mount a comeback against the Irish on Saturday before falling 3-2, against East Ridge Tuesday night the second and third periods got out of hand as the Raptors went on to win 6-1. Both East Ridge and Rosemount have started the winter 2-0.
Seventh-grader Ashtyn Stewart will represent the Hastings Raiders girls' swimming and diving team this week at the Class AA state meet after qualifying in the 100 butterfly Friday afternoon. Stewart was the runner-up in the 100 butterfly with a time of 1 minute, 0.09 seconds, just three one-hundredths of a second quicker than the third-place finisher.
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.