Alec Hamilton is a RiverTown Multimedia sports reporter covering Hastings, Farmington and Rosemount athletics. He graduated from Drake University with a journalism degree in 2014.
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The Irish boys' and girls' lacrosse teams are off to a great start in section play after both won the first round matchups in a doubleheader last Friday, May 31, at Irish Stadium. The Rosemount girls, who are the No. 4 seed in Section 3A, hosted No. 5 East Ridge in the first game and blew out the Raptors 16-3. Immediately after, the No. 2-seeded Irish boys played No. 7 Minneapolis and systematically routed them to the score of 12-1 until the game was called with less than a minute left due to lightning.
The Class AA state track and field meet at Hamline University on June 7-8 is going to be a sea of green and yellow after the Rosemount boys' and girls' track teams combined to have 24 different entries qualify. A result of those 24 entries and just as many finals appearances led to both Irish teams dominating the Section 1AA meet at Lakeville South on Thursday, May 30, and Saturday, June 1. The Irish girls beat second-place Farmington by more than 80 team points with 176.5 while the boys won their title with 143, more than 60 points ahead of runner-up Lakeville South. The two teams also combined to win 12 event championships.
Five Christian Life Academy (CLA) athletes participated in a ceremony on Tuesday, May 14, where they announced their commitments to play collegiate athletics. The five athletes were Caleb Carlson, Hanna Thompson, Ethan Eide, Caleb Fouss and Kaitlynn Corley.
The Rosemount Irish boys' and girls' track and field team swept the South Suburban Conference championships last week, May 22 and 23, at Irish Stadium. Not only did both teams win their respective conference titles, but they combined to win 17 individual conference championships as well. Both teams next race on Thursday, May 30, and Saturday, June 1, in the Section 1AA meet at Lakeville South High School. The state tournament is Friday and Saturday, June 7-8, at Hamline University.
The Rosemount Irish softball team advanced to the Section 3AAAA semifinals Thursday evening after playing two games over three days in unusual circumstances. The Irish—who are the No. 7 seed—faced No. 2 seed and No. 5 ranked in Class AAAA Park Wolfpack on Tuesday, May 21, and led 3-2 when the game was delayed due to rain. They finished on Wednesday, May 22, with 3-2 being the final and then traveled to No. 6 Hastings on Thursday, May 23. The two teams were scoreless until the seventh when Rosemount scored one run in the top of the inning and held on for the win during the Raiders' final at-bat. The Irish advance to the section semifinals where they will take on No. 1 seed and No. 3-ranked East Ridge in Richfield on Tuesday, May 28. Should they win, they would then face whoever comes out of the consolation bracket on May 31 in Richfield.
He's known as Benny to hockey fans across generations in Hastings, but his name is Steve Benson and after almost two decades with the Hastings girls' hockey program—with a few small breaks—he has decided to step back from the program. Benson's daughter Sam was a senior on the team this past winter and he coached that senior group their whole careers. With Sam graduating, Benson said his plan is to sit back and enjoy his time with family and some neglected hobbies, though he did not rule out the possibility of a return.
Rosemount and Farmington softball faced off last Monday, May 13, in Farmington for their second game of the season and it came down to the very end. Farmington won the first meeting, 4-2, in mid-April and both teams came into the game on very different trajectories. The Tigers were coming off a blowout of Lakeville South had won four out of their last seven, while the Irish were in the middle of a six-game slide. However, the script flipped as Rosemount scored at least one run in the first four innings and held on to beat Farmington 5-4.
The Rosemount Irish boys' tennis team saw their team season come to an end in the Section 3AA playoffs last week. The No. 7-seeded Irish beat No. 10 Park on Tuesday, May 14, in Rosemount (detailed results were not available) but then fell to No. 2 Eagan 5-2 in Eagan on Thursday, May 16. Next up for Rosemount is individual sections on May 24 and 29 at Lifetime Fitness in Lakeville.
The Rosemount Irish girls' track and field team secured a Class AAA True Team state championship Friday, May 17, at Stillwater High School after they edged out Wayzata by 14 points. The Irish racked up 1,137.5 team points—eclipsing their section total by 71—and they outdistanced third-place Stillwater by over 100. They had two event champions with senior Lauren Peterson in the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter runs and fellow senior Arianna Passeri in the long jump, as well as numerous top five and top-10 placements. Meanwhile, the Rosemount boys took fourth with 1,051.5 points and were just 42 points out of the top three. The Hopkins boys won with 1,280 points. Senior Max Otterdahl won the shot put and discus for Rosemount while they took had several high finishes.