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 boys' and girls' cross-country teams raced twice in five days this last week as they competed in Red Wing last Friday, Sept. 28, and then at the Dakota County fairgrounds on Tuesday, Oct. 2, for the Trinity Invitational. Both teams took sixth in Red Wing and fifth at the fairgrounds (the boys in a field of 19 teams and the girls against 15).
The Hastings Raiders girls' tennis team started section play Tuesday evening after earning the No. 7 seed in section 1AA. The hosted No. 10 seed Waseca and cruised to a 6-1 victory. They travel to Lakeville South (the No. 2 seed) on Thursday to take on the Cougars and should they win, they would go on to play the winner of Rochester Century and Owatonna in the semifinals on Tuesday, Oct. 9, in Rochester.
After cruising through much of this season with an experienced lineup, the Hastings Raisers girls' tennis team experienced a slight bump in the road with back-to-back losses to Simley and Mahtomedi. However, they quickly bounced back this past week with wins over North St. Paul and Hill-Murray. The Raiders start sections on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at home against Waseca, who they beat earlier in the season, 7-0. Hastings earned the No. 7-seed and should they beat Waseca, will play the winner of Rochester Century vs. Austin.
The Hastings Raiders boys' and girls' soccer teams both enter the last week of the regular season, but are in very different positions after the last two weeks of play. The Raider boys are 9-3-0 overall, are tied with North St. Paul atop the Metro East Conference at 5-1-0 and are winners of four of their last five. Meanwhile, the Hastings girls hover around .500 at 5-6-1 and are in the middle of the pack of the MEC with a 2-3-0 conference record. They have lost three of their last five, but recently bounced back with a win over rival Park.
Neither rain or cold could stop this year's Hastings High School powderpuff football tournament. Each year during homecoming, girls from each high school class (freshmen through seniors) form a team to play in a flag football tournament (or "powder puff") that also serves as a charity fundraiser. Each participant pays an entry fee and spectators either donate $2 or a food item to watch, the proceeds of which are donated to a local organization. The games were officiated by varsity football coaches and teachers.
The Hastings Raiders volleyball team had a good homecoming week as they won three matches including sweeping Bloomington Kennedy 3-0 during their Dig Pink cancer fundraiser match on Tuesday night. The previous Saturday, Sept. 22, they also hosted their first tournament in years and went 2-2 with wins over Visitation and St. Paul Central.
The Hastings Raiders girls' swimming and diving team is on a roll through the first part of their schedule. They have competed in three dual meets and two invitationals and have come away with the win in all of them. The Raiders have beat Metro East Conference foes North St. Paul and Simley, as well as against Dakota County opponent Farmington. They have also dominated the MEC relays as well as the meet they hosted with five other teams (Henry Sibley, Mahtomedi, North St. Paul, Woodbury and St. Paul Highland Park).
Stifling defense and an effective offense continue to be the Hastings Raiders' calling cards as they won a close game for the second week in a row Friday night. The Raiders won on the road, 14-6, over the Simley Spartans to remain undefeated at 4-0 and atop the Suburban Maroon sub-district. It was the second week in a row that Hastings faced a tough test and was able to prevail.
The Hastings boys' and girls' cross-country teams faced a combination of Minnesota and western Wisconsin teams last week at the Hudson Raider Invitational. The boys took third out of nine teams with three top-20 finishers while the girls finished fifth out of seven teams.