The Hastings Raiders boys' and girls' alpine ski teams are off to fantastic starts to their 2018 competition seasons. The boys won both the Welch Invite and the first Metro East Conference meet, while the girls finished seventh at the Welch Invite and second at the MEC meet.

The Raiders were able to have two boys and two girls teams compete at the Welch Invite. The Hastings squad 2 took fourth in the squad two meet, while the girls squad 2 took seventh.

Metro East meet to start the year

Both teams started the new year off on the right foot as they competed in their first meet of the season, a Metro East Conference contest on Jan. 8. The boys won the meet by 15 points, while the girls took second behind Mahtomedi.

The boys had three racers finish in the top five, four in the top 10 and all but one scorer in the top 20. Senior Jacob Peine won the event by taking first in both runs and a combined time of 59.18, senior Jack Caturia took third in 1:00.60, fellow senior Hayden Niebur was third (1:01.85) and another senior, Josh McKinney, placed ninth with a time of 1:05.71. Sophomore Thomas Karnick took 12th in 1:07.30, fellow sophomore Sam Molitor was 14th (1:10.44), senior Decker Whyle placed 17th in 1:11.94 and the last scorer, eighth-grader Caleb Kimmes, was 34th in 1:23.73. Senior Jack Tousignant finished 37th with a time of 1:29.35 and senior Jacob Molitor took 41st (1:36.11).

Meanwhile, the girls had three top 10 finishers and seven in the top 20. Senior Shannon O'Connor won the event with a time of 1:07.64, her fellow seniors Josie Pechous (1:09.45) and Logan Doty (1:15.67) finished second and eighth respectively and eighth-grader Taylor Pelava was 14th in 1:19.47. Junior Alexa Kimmes took 16th in 1:22.35, sophomore Miranda Ries finished 19th (1:24.95), senior Alaina Kremer placed 20th (1:25.68) and the last scorer was senior Victoria McGrath in 22nd with a time of 1:28.22. Fellow senior Kayla Boogren took 34th with a time of 1:59.14.

Welch Invite

The boys squad 1 continued its dominance by winning the Welch Invite by over 50 points amidst a field of 13 teams plus some individuals. Once again, Jacob Peine led the way by winning the event with a time of 56.12. Niebur finished sixth in 58.67 and right behind him in seventh was Jack Caturia (58.95), Sam (1:00.08) and Jake Molitor (1:00.38) placed 10th and 11th respectively, and the last scorer was McKinney in 18th with a time of 1:03.94. Right behind McKinney was Karnick in 19th (1:04.87) and Tousignant placed 24th in 1:05.48.

The member of the squad 2 team who took fourth were Kimmes, who finished eighth in 1:11.66, seventh-grader Aaron Herber took 11th with a time of 1:13.88, freshman Ben McKinney in 21st (1:20.66), sophomore Jack Simacek who finished 40th in 1:30.58 and Whyle who placed 52nd with a time of 1:38.10.

The girls squad 1 took seventh and was just 13 points behind Minneapolis Washburn. O'Connor was a top 10 finisher in ninth (1:11.88) and just two spots behind here was Pechous in 11th with a time of 1:13.19. McGrath finished 31st in 1:21.66, Doty placed 47th (1:28.00), sophomore Nicole Reents took 52nd (1:29.41) and the last scorer was Pelava in 62nd (1:32.54). Kimmes took 71st with a time of 1:39.59 and Boogren finished 90th in 2:14.37.

Hastings squad 2 also took seventh place. Freshman Delaney Kullman took 26th with a time of 1:28.30, freshman Josie Biermaier finished 32nd in 1:32.32 and eighth-grader Kira (1:32.78) and freshman Erin (1:38.19) Lindstrom placed 34th and 37th respectively. Right behind Erin was Ries in 38th with a time of 1:44.09.

The Raiders are next in action Feb. 1 at Welch Village.