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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Apple Valley won seven of 12 events in its season-opening meet against Farmington last Thursday night at Levi Dodge Middle School. The Eagles couldn't match the Tigers' depth, however, as the Orange and Black used four 2-3-4 and three 1-2-3 finishes to open the season with a 92-85 dual win. The score was tied 15-15 through two events. Kirsten Kracke then gave the home team the lead for good by placing first in the 200 individual medley in a time of 2 minutes, 25.15 seconds.
Farmington soccer coach Rob Carpentier came away from the first week of the season more concerned about his team's lone loss than he was pleased with its two easy victories. As they did a season ago, the Tigers had little trouble disposing of Faribault and Waconia while picking up their first two wins. And like last year, they suffered their first defeat at the hands of a Lakers team that went on to finish just 6-8-3 against a strong South Suburban Conference schedule last season.
The Farmington tennis team didn't pick up any wins, but managed to be competitive while playing in three different match formats last week. The Tigers opened the season last Monday by placing second out of three teams in the Mound Doubles Tournament.
Volleyball (2-0) Farmington 3, Austin 0, 25-22, 25-20, 25-11 Boys Soccer (2-0-1) Farmington 2, Rochester John Marshall 0 Girls Swimming (2-0) Farmington 90, Red Wing 88 Girls Soccer (2-2) Apple Valley 2, Farmington 0
Boys soccer: Farmington 4, Faribault 0 Girls soccer: Farmington 6, Faribault 0 Swimming and diving: Farmington 92, Apple Valley 85 Volleyball: Farmington 3, Albert Lea 1
The results of last week's annual Ironman competition might be a good indicator of what to expect from this year's Farmington football team. Overall, the Tigers scored their third-fastest 40-yard dash times in the last 11 years in the seven-event skills test while ranking no better than seventh in any of the weight-lifting events.
Farmington strength and conditioning coach Scott Meier had good news and bad news to report from the Tiger football team's annual season-opening Ironman competition. The bad news: The top performers didn't score as well as in years past. The good news: The scores from the bottom half of the 67 athletes who completed the seven-event skills competition were higher than ever. "I think it's pretty safe to say that this is the best performing bottom half that we have ever had. This is somewhat reflected in the narrower range and smaller deviation," Meier said.
Looking at last year's roster, other than Katie Habeck and Jordan Bridges the team was largely made up of seniors who were playing varsity for the first time. What kind of challenges did that present? When you have that many girls without experience, it takes time to get acclimated to that level of competition. Last year's group relied too heavily on those with the experience. A lot of new faces will be in the varsity lineup once again this year.
Attendance was up and play was fast at the 15th-annual Tiger Scramble golf tournament last Friday at Fountain Valley Golf Course. A total of 22 teams and 87 golfers teed up this year -- up from 13 full teams and 60 golfers at last year's tournament -- to benefit the Farmington High School girls hockey and girls lacrosse programs. Pristine weather conditions allowed all the groups to complete the 18-hole round in under four hours. For years the Tiger Scramble functioned as a fundraiser for the Tiger Fan Club that benefited all of Farmington's sports.
Last year's team qualified for true team state for the first time ever, finished second at the conference and section meets and had its best-ever finish at the state meet. What led to all that success and what has to happen for the program to continue its success? There are several things that led to last year's team success. The girls came into the season more prepared physically than they ever had before. Lots of off-season training and conditioning provided a stronger aerobic base which led to faster swims.