The Hastings Raiders girls’ swimming and diving team are undefeated since mid-September and are winners of four-straight Metro East Conference duals. The Raiders blew out the Simley Spartans, South St. Paul Packers, Hill-Murray Pioneers and Tartan Titans over the past three weeks. In total, Hastings is undefeated in dual meets on the season along with wins at the MEC relays and their home invite.
The Raiders traveled to Simley on Sept. 12 and routed the Spartans 113-70 while winning nine of the 12 events. Head coach Katie McAlpin said the swimmer of the meet were sophomores Kendra Kosmoski and Lydia Lerbs. Kosmoski won both of her individual events -- where she set personal records -- and was part of two winning relays. Lerbs also won both of her individual events, including her first time swimming the 100-yard butterfly. The diver of the meet was freshman Ava Mamer, who took third in the diving and set a person record. Both Lerbs and Mamer are new to the team this season.
A week later they hosted South St. Paul and were victorious 100-76. The meet was the Raiders’ annual event where they do a lottery for their events as a way to switch things up mid-season. McAlpin said she had a hard time choosing swimmers of the meet for this one and ended up with freshmen Lauren Jenkins and Chloe Robinson and sophomore Olivia Smiley.
“Lauren won both of her individual events and they were back to back events. Only one race of rest between. That’s what she drew!” McAlpin said. “Lauren is hardworking and always has a positive attitude. Olivia earned five varsity letter points in her individual events. She finished third in the 100 butterfly and fourth in the 50 freestyle. (She had a ) lifetime best time in the 100 butterfly. Olivia is always smiling, encouraging and cheering on her teammates. Chloe also earned five varsity letter points in her individual events, finishing third in the 200 freestyle and fourth in the 100 freestyle. Chloe is a fantastic asset to our JV team. She is hardworking and a team player.”
The diver of the meet was eighth grader Grace Gerlach after she took third in the diving.
“Grace has really impressed me,” McAlpin said. “She works hard on the board and in dryland workouts. She is always jumping in to help and encourage her teammates. I am very excited to see what the rest of the season brings her!”
On Sept. 26 Hastings hosted the Hill-Murray Pioneers and came away with another big win 102-73. The Raiders again took nine out of 12 events and they also celebrated Parents’ Night. The swimmers of the meet were sophomore Sunshyne Radford and senior Shannon McCullough while the diver of the meet was junior Annika Tverberg. McCullough won the 50 freestyle with a season-best time while also setting a personal record in the 100 breaststroke.
“Shannon is one of our captains and a great leader in and out of the pool,” McAlpin said. “She has a big heart and is always there for anyone.”
Radford set best times in all her individual events and relays, while Tverberg won the diving with a personal best score.
Finally, the Raiders swam against Tartan in Tartan on Thursday, Oct. 3, and won 95-81. Sophomore Kendal Jenkins and junior Lauren Pace were the swimmers of the meet as Jenkins won her individual events with season-best times and Pace cut time in three of her events including over a second in the 50 freestyle. The diver of the meet was senior Lauren Ruder and compiled one of her highest season scores.
Hastings travels to Henry Sibley on Tuesday, Oct. 8, and then has their True Team meet in Farmington on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 11-12.