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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Hastings wrestling has a rich history, but it had been lacking until the end of December when seventh-grader Skyler Little Soldier became the first Hastings female wrestler to record a varsity takedown, pin and win in the history of the program. Little Soldier wrestled at the Bi-State Classic Dec. 28-29 in the 113-pound weight class and went 1-2 in the tournament. All three of the records she set came in her second match against Gabe Weiks of Athens when she got a takedown and then pinned Weiks 44 seconds into the third period.
Audra Richards was hired as an assistant for the Hastings Raiders girls' hockey team two years ago, and it's tough to imagine someone more qualified or passionate to help teach the Raiders all about hockey. Richards has played at nearly every level of hockey imaginable—from youth, high school and juniors to Division 1 collegiate hockey—and now she has embarked on a new journey of professional women's hockey in the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL), inspired in part by her time coaching the Raiders.
The Hastings School Board held a special session Nov. 26 to discuss an investigation into alleged misappropriation of funds by assistant principal and head wrestling coach Josh McLay. On Wednesday during its normally scheduled meeting, the board summarized the investigation’s findings and announced its decision regarding McLay’s employment with the school district.
The Farmington Tigers boys' and girls' cross-country teams both put together some incredible performances Saturday at the Class AA state meet on the campus of St. Olaf College. The Tigers girls took fourth overall and were just 18 points out of third and the podium, led by a second and third-place finish from senior Lauren Peterson in her last prep race and a resurgent sophomore Anna Fenske. The boys took 12th behind great performances from juniors Noah Revels and Aaron Kruse.
History was made this past season on the grass of Todd Field at McNamara Stadium, though it passed unnoticed to many. During the Raiders win over the Hill-Murray Pioneers at the beginning of September, the third generation of a prominent Hastings family continued his family's legacy and accomplished a feat that surpassed what his father could do in a whole season.
Friday night will be a night the Farmington football team remembers for a long time. They held off a furious Eagan comeback in the third quarter to win 41-28 and spoil the Wildcats' homecoming. They won their first game of the season. But what they will never forget is playing in front of over 6,000 people at Twin Cities Orthopedics' (TCO) Stadium in the Minnesota Vikings' new practice facility and being the first high school football team to ever win there.
Tiger stadium was loud and raucous Friday night as Farmington celebrated its homecoming, but the Rosemount Irish quickly quieted the crowd as they routed the hometown team 35-7. The Irish offense was clicking on all cylinders while the Tiger offense had trouble finishing drives and preventing big plays. Rosemount improves to 2-2 and gets back to .500 for the first time this season while Farmington drops to 0-4.
Addison Bourdages first rode an Arctic Cat snowmobile when she was 5-years-old and after asking her dad, Carl, to go faster, she was hooked. Addison, now 14 and a freshman at Rosemount High School, has been riding and racing ever since. "I rode it and I didn't want to get off," she said about the experience. "I asked him if it could go faster and that's where we got into racing."
The Miesville Mudhens' quest to win their third straight Class B state championship came to an end on Labor Day against a familiar foe. After beating the Chanhassen Red Birds 3-2 on Saturday in the champion's bracket final, the Mudhens once again took on the Red Birds in the state championship game. Miesville need to win just one out of two games, while Chanhassen, who came up through the consolation bracket on Sunday, had to win two. The Red Birds were successful, beating the Mudhens 6-1 and 7-4 in back-to-back games Monday to win their first-ever state championship.
The renovation of the basketball courts at Pioneer Park is complete and Wednesday the Minnesota Timberwolves, along with the City of Hastings, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony honoring the event. The refurbishment of the courts at Pioneer Park was made possible by the Minnesota Timberwolves' FastBreak Foundation and its Our Courts, Our Future program, in partnership with U.S. Bank. This past spring, the Pioneer Park courts (along with courts in Hibbing, St. Cloud and St. Paul) won an online vote to be renovated by the Timberwolves.