Matt Steichen has been the sports editor at the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. He has previously been a sports writer at the Sioux City Journal and Le Mars Daily Sentinel and the sports editor at the Austin Daily Herald.
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The Farmington gymnastics team got healthy and hit its stride just in time to post its best score of the season at Friday's Section 3AA Championships in Eagan. The Tigers, ranked 16th in the state, bested their regular season average score by nearly three points with a 140.525. They finished third out of eight teams behind meet champion Park (145.65) and second-place Rosemount (143.45). Kiana Lord led the Tigers in the all-around throughout the season and did it again on Friday.
Farmington wasn't able to carry any momentum from last Friday's upset of Rochester John Marshall into the opening round of the Section 1AA tournament. The seventh-seeded Tigers allowed multiple goals in all three periods and bowed out in the first round for the second straight year after a 7-0 loss to second-seeded Lakeville South last Wednesday at Hasse Arena. Three days later the 14th-ranked Cougars were upset 7-5 at home by the Dodge County team that knocked out Farmington last season. The Tigers finished with a record of 5-19-2 after suffering their seventh shutout of the season.
The Farmington gymastics team turned in its highest balance beam score of the year and placed second in the floor exercise while placing third out of five teams Friday night at the Missota Conference Championships in Red Wing. New Prague defeated Northfield 145.6-143.6 for the team title. The Tigers scored 138.8. "The girls had an amazing night," coach Lynn Bauman said. "We had more ups than downs for the first time this season." Kiana Lord led the Tigers with a second-place score of 9.325 in the floor exercise.
Farmington's second 10-game losing streak of the season couldn't have come in more heartbreaking fashion. The Tigers trailed by 15 points in the second half last Thursday at home against Hastings, but took the lead with seven seconds left on a jump shot by Alicia Hett.
The Farmington wrestling team split a pair of matches in its final tune-up for the Section 2AAA team tournament last Friday in Zimmerman. The Tigers defeated host Zimmerman 62-12 and lost to 11th-ranked Anoka, 41-19. "We did not wrestle one of our best matches Friday night," Farmington coach Chad Olson said. "It seemed like the bus ride took something out of us." Jamin LeDuc, Taylor Venz, Mason Hawkins, Matt Rustad and Jamie Scavone each won a pair of matches. LeDuc improved his record to 27-1 and Venz moved to 34-2. Rustad improved to 23-13. The Tigers earned the No.
A little rest went a long way toward helping the Farmington swimming and diving team capture its second Missota Conference championship in three years. The Tigers began backing off their intense workout schedule last Wednesday. The three-day breather paid off as they won all three relays and overtook Chaska/Chanhassen 537-529 Saturday at the Shakopee West Junior High pool. "The boys got a little rest during practice and really worked on fine-tuning their strokes," Farmington coach Ryan Hamen said.
Coming off a memorable victory over Holy Angels, the Farmington boys hockey team saw some familiar problems resurface during a pair of closely-contested Missota Conference losses to Northfield and Chanhassen last week. Head coach Keith Revels was pleased to see some of those mistakes begin to get corrected in the Tigers' 5-2 non-conference win over Bloomington Kennedy Saturday at Bloomington Ice Garden. "We had goals of not taking a period off, limiting our penalties and converting on our opportunities," Revels said.
Losses like Friday night's are getting all too familiar for the Farmington boys basketball team. The Tigers led visiting Red Wing by six points with under four minutes to go, but the Wingers came back to tie the game late and iced a 61-59 victory on Ryan Boldt's basket with six seconds remaining. The loss was Farmington's ninth of the season, seven of which have come by a total of 26 points.
Farmington only won one of its three matches Friday at the Lakeville North Invitational, but wrestled well enough to make it a relaxing night for head coach Chad Olson. "Friday was probably the quietest I have been as a coach because the wrestlers were giving great effort and sticking to their plans," Olson said. "It was a very enjoyable night for me." The Tigers opened with a 40-33 win over Eden Prairie that could move them up in the seeding in the upcoming section tournament.
New Prague 142.05, Farmington 134.20 Friday night at New Prague Vault: 1. Tahra Eckert, 9.35; 4. Kiana Lord, 9.15; 5. Kathryn Beckett, 9.025 Uneven bars: 5. Kiana Lord, 8.05 Balance beam: 3. Tahra Eckert, 8.7; 5. Kathryn Beckett, 8.375 Floor exercise: 2. Kiana Lord, 9.1 All-around: 2. Kiana Lord, 33.975, 3. Tahra Eckert, 33.60 JV score: 116.3 Northfield 145.65, Farmington 137.35 Tuesday night at Farmington Vault: 2. Tahra Eckert, 9.2; 3. Kiana Lord, 9.1; 5. Kathryn Beckett, 9.05 Uneven bars: 5. Kiana Lord, 8.45 Balance beam: 2. Kylie Wharton, 9.0; 5.