The Hastings Raiders wrestling team hosted the Simley Spartans Thursday, Jan. 24, in a showdown that usually decides the Metro East Conference champions. The Raiders are just outside of the top-10 in Class AAA as a team and have two ranked wrestlers-senior Corbin Leflay is eighth at 170 pounds and fellow senior Alex O'Connor is ninth at 182. Meanwhile, the Spartans are the No. 2 team in Class AA behind Kasson-Mantorville and feature an astounding 10 ranked wrestlers. Hastings was missing a couple of their better wrestlers in the upper-weights and ended up winning just two matches, falling 53-8 to Simley.

After the match, head coach Josh McLay said that while the match against Simley was important for conference-standings, right now the Raiders' goal is to get healthy and ready for sections. Missing against the Spartans were sophomore Jacob Wichern and seniors Godswill Pepple and Luke Chamberlain, all of whom have wrestled in the upper-weights for the Raiders this season. McLay did praise the effort of the lower weights where Hastings' two wins came from-eighth-grader Aiden Erickson won at 113 and senior Lynden Wilson prevailed at 126. Below are the full results:

106: Eighth-grader Josh Route lost to Peyton Spychalla by a 6-1 decision (3-0 Simley).

113: Eighth-grader Aiden Erickson beat Cory Primeau by an 8-6 decision (3-3 tie).

120: Senior Matt Myers fell to No. Chase DeBlaere by pin fall in 1 minute, 43 seconds (9-3 Simley).

126: Senior Lynden Wilson won by an 18-2 tech fall over Ruben Saldivar (9-8 Simley).

132: Junior John Kendall lost to No. 2 Ryan Sokol by fall in 2:17 (15-8 Simley).

138: Senior Paul Kendall lost to No. 1 Cael Berg by a 6-3 decision (18-8 Simley).

145: Senior Mac Wilson lost to No. 4 Antonio Everett by a 9-3 decision (21-8 Simley).

152: Junior Devon McSorley lost to No. 2 Gavin Nelson by a 14-3 major decision (25-8 Simley).

160: No. 8 senior Corbin Leflay lost to No. 3 Jacob Hageman by fall in 1:09 (31-8 Simley).

170: No. 9 senior Alex O'Connor lost to No. 4 Nolan Wanzek by an 11-3 major decision (35-8 Simley).

182: Junior Mukhtar Ali lost to Esiquio Diaz by a 7-5 decision in overtime (38-8 Simley).

195: Junior Brady Schiller lost to Freddy Rivera by a 3-2 decision (41-8 Simley).

220: Senior Brandon Klym lost to Bennett Tabor by fall in 1:50 (47-8 Simley).

285. Hastings forfeit (53-8 Simley).

In between the junior varsity and varsity matches, the Hastings Middle School wrestling team as well as the Hastings seniors were honored. The middle school wrestlers were introduced to the crowd after completing an undefeated season. Each of the 12 Raider seniors-Myers, Lynden Wilson, Paul Kendall, Jesse Mimbach, Mac Wilson, Amar Thomas, Leflay, O'Connor, Klym, Pepple, Chamberlain and manager Travis Frias-were introduced and presented a gift by McLay as part of senior night.

Hastings wrestles at White Bear Lake on Friday, Jan. 25, and then at Bloomington Kennedy on Saturday.