The end of the Hastings Alpine ski team regular season brought with it record high temps creating less than ideal conditions for the Raiders. In such warm conditions, ski hills fill with deep and challenging ruts which makes for a treacherous trip down the race hill. These challenges did not stop the Raiders who persevered in spite of mother nature’s foibles!
Tuesday was the final MEC conference championship race, and the Raiders made the most out of tough conditions. The boys finished 5th with Jackson Reents finishing in 4th place, Finn Caturia was a solid 11th, Will Bauer was 27th, Axton Bauer was 31st, James Samii finished in 37th, with Max Bauer in 43rd, and Weston Chandler in 48th places respectively. The Raider girls finished in 4th place as a team. A close .02 seconds separated 1st from 3rd place in an incredibly close race with Abbi Pelava taking the top spot in 1st place. Kate Nowak finished a strong 8th place with Alexa Loritz finishing inside the top 20 in 19th place. Claire Caturia was in 30th, Addison Mainak was in 33rd, and Maddie Herdt finished 36th. Claire Montgomery ended up in 40th place, Maddie Paulson was in 50th, with Kylee Strausborger in 55th and Lia Ferguson in 56th places respectively.
The JV boys earned this season's MEC JV championship on the results of strong skiing by Nathan Schield in 2nd place. Leighton Stoffel was in 3rd, Lenox Bauer was 4th, Jadon Mike rounded out the top 5. Henry Naber finished 6th and was followed by Fischer Kaufmann in 8th, Tor Running in 13th, Sawyer Chandler was 14th, Matt Muench was 15th, and Jens Kaufmann was 17th. Coach Gergen said of his youngest racers, “Awesome skiing guys!” The future of the Raider Alpine team looks bright!
The Raiders had a make-up race on Wednesday with Rochester. Jackson Reents was the boys winner and Kate Nowak skied her way to the win on the girls side.
Friday wrapped up a challenging week of skiing with the Afton Invite and the Raiders last race before sections. The boys and girls teamed up to finish in 2nd place overall in the co-ed challenge race with excellent skiing from Jackson Reents, Cole Caturia, Finn Caturia, James Millhollin, Axton Bauer, Will Bauer, James McNamera, and Weston Chandler on the boys team. Abbi Pelava, Kate Nowak, Addison Maniak, Maddie Herdt, Maddie Paulson, Claire Montgomery, and Lia Ferguson showed Hastings has a winning combination of both speed and depth.
The Raiders are down to the home stretch with the sections race on Wednesday, February 7 at Wild Mountain in Taylors Falls! Conditions look balmy, but the Raiders have proven their ability to ski well under any conditions. Sections is a nerve-wracking day for racers and spectators alike as racers are vying to punch their ticket to compete at the MSHSL State Meet in Biwabik at Giants Ridge on Tuesday, February 13. Go Raiders!