The Hastings Raiders’ gymnastics team is having one of its best seasons in recent memory with a 4-1 record in the Metro East Conference. The Raiders held their first Alumni Night along with Senior Night on Jan. 8 when they beat the Tartan Titans 117.425-116.425 for their fourth win a row. Their victory came in front of 15-20 Raider gymnastics alumni of all ages. Then on Jan. 16, Hastings hosted Mahtomedi Zephyrs in their final home meet of the season and lost 143.85-117.85.

Freshman Ava Mamer was the standout against Tartan when she took first on beam, second in the all-around and on floor and then third on vault. Senior Erica Haas took second on bars, while fellow senior Rachel Hughes was third on bars and floor.

“As a team, the girls are all pulling together and adding new skills and difficulty,” said head coach Jeanne Kasel. “This is what we do when we are given a few challenges. So as coaches, it's been fun watching all of them tap into themselves and really step it up to the next level.”

After the Tartan meet, the Raiders were hit by the injury and illness bug that has affected several Hastings sports. They have two girls out for the rest of the season with injuries and two more who have missed significant time with illness. As a result, Kasel said they have had to bring up girls from JV to fill in.

Senior Rachel Hughes took sixth on bars, beam and floor against Mahtomedi, as well as fourth in the all-around. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia
Senior Rachel Hughes took sixth on bars, beam and floor against Mahtomedi, as well as fourth in the all-around. Alec Hamilton / RiverTown Multimedia

Against Mahtomedi, Hughes led the way with a fourth-place finish in the all-around as well as taking sixth on bars, beam and floor. Freshman Kyra Bartholomew finished sixth on vault and fifth in the all-around, while fellow freshman Anna Gerlach took sixth in the all-around.

“Mahtomedi is an amazing power house team full of so much talent,” Kasel said. “They have a few great clubs that feed into their high school program. When we compete against Mahtomedi we have a great time. The girls love to watch them and we as coaches have built a great relationship over the years as well. Mahtomedi goes to state every year as a team and then has a number of individuals qualify as well.”

Hastings’ last dual meet of the season is Thursday, Jan. 30, at South St. Paul, The conference championships are Feb. 6 at North St. Paul and then the Section 1AA meet is Feb. 14 at Rochester Century.