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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With three weeks remaining in the regular season the Missota Conference race is wide open. Four teams sit tied atop the league standings at 6-2 -- Farmington, Shakopee, Chanhassen and New Prague. The Tigers did their part to keep pace by holding off ninth-ranked (Class 3A) Red Wing 48-43 Friday night in Red Wing, and now control their own fate as they play host to Chanhassen and Shakopee this week, then close out the regular season with a home date against New Prague Feb.
Boys hockey Farmington 5, Chaska 4 Dan Handberg scored 1:27 into overtime to give Farmington a 5-4 win over Chaska Tuesday night at Schmitz-Maki Arena. The Tigers took the lead in the third period on goals by Trevor Hockert and Andrew Peterson, but Chaska found the net with four seconds left to force overtime. Zak Payne added two first-period goals for the Tigers. Boys basketball Farmington 58, South St. Paul 39 The Tigers (8-11) ended their four-game slide with a 58-39 victory at South St. Paul Tuesday night. Darren Beenken led the visitors with 18 points.
The return of Terra Klima and Kiana Lord to the lineup helped Farmington improve its team score in the final dual of the regular season last Friday in Chaska. Lord placed in all four events and won the all-around with a score of 35.425 as the Tigers defeated Chaska/Chanhassen 139.6-134.525. Lord placed third in the vault (8.975), bars (8.75) and beam (8.625) before capping off the meet with a second-place floor exercise score of 9.175.
Girls Hockey Farmington 7, Northfield 2 The Tigers wrapped up their second-ever perfect run through the Missota Conference and their sixth league title in 11 years with a 7-2 rout of Northfield Friday night at Schmitz-Maki Arena. Farmington finished the regular season 18-6 overall and outscored its opponenets 65-22 in 12 Missota Conference games. After a likely No. 3 seed and a first-round bye, the Tigers will play again next Friday in the second round of the Section 1AA Tournament at Schmitz-Maki Arena.
Farmington held leads of 2-0 and 4-3, but couldn't hang on in a 5-4 overtime loss at Northfield Thursday night. Northfield's Andrew Scofield tied the game with a goal in the final 40 seconds of regulation, then gave the Raiders the win with another score three minutes into overtime. The Tigers (9-12) took an early 2-0 lead on goals from Jake Sorensen and Quinn Malcolm, then fell behind 3-2 before Tyler Grubb and Andrew Peterson scored to make it 4-3 with under five minutes remaining.
Farmington started the season with three goals - to win the Louis Schmitz Holiday Classic, win their second straight Missota Conference title, and win the Section 1AA title. Two goals down, one to go. The Tigers clinched their second straight league title - and sixth in 11 years - by holding off second-place Shakopee 6-4 Friday night at Schmitz-Maki Arena. The victory improved coach Jon Holmes' team to 10-0 in the league with two games remaining this week against Holy Angels and Northfield. "An undefeated conference season has never happened in hockey here before," Holmes said.
After losing a couple of lopsided dual meets Friday night, Farmington's wrestling team turned in six place-winning performances at Saturday's Northfield Invite. "We wrestled really well and got better from Friday to Saturday," Farmington coach Chad Olson said. "There was a lot of good wrestlers in the tourney and we met the challenge with great effort." Sixth-ranked Carl Elmer was once again Farmington's top performer, placing second at 140 pounds.
A stretch of four meets in nine days may have taken a bit of a tole on the Farmington gymnastics team. The Tigers lost a close 141.35-140.875 contest to New Prague last Tuesday at the Instructional Services Center, then saw their team score drop to 136.65 in a nine-point loss to the defending Class 2A State champion Raiders Friday at Northfield. "The girls were a bit sore and tired due to having a meet on Tuesday, but I believe they held up pretty good," Farmington coach Lynn Bauman said.
Sitting on a three-goal lead seven minutes into the second period Saturday night, Farmington was in good position to defeat Rochester Century and possibly earn a section tournament home game. Instead, the Panthers rallied for a 5-4 victory that dropped the Tigers to 9-10 and put the possibility of a tournament game at Schmitz-Maki Arena in jeopardy. "This was a big game for us seeding-wise. A win probably gets us a home playoff game.
Tyler Magalis has had some success diving at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. The senior capped off each of his last three seasons with appearances in the 1-meter dive at the Class 2A State Meet. Last winter, he achieved his highest placing yet with a sixth-place finish. Back at the Aquatics Center Saturday as part of Farmington's first True Team State qualifying team, Magalis set the meet record with a winning 11-dive score of 447.80. He broke Andres Hansen's previous mark of 433.35 set last season and blew away runner-up John Tellegren of Anoka by 44 1/2 points.