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 beginning of the 2011 season may already be a bit of a blur to the Farmington Senior Babe Ruth League baseball team. Due to some bad weather and conflicts with the final week of FHS spring sports, Farmington held its first team practice of the season last Tuesday night. By Thursday, the team had failed to score a run in back-to-back losses to Rosemount and Apple Valley. "Hopefully we can get our offense going this week with two home games," coach Scott Molitor said. "It's still early in the season and I have not coached most of the players on this team.
One bad handoff in the 4x200 and one inch of distance in the triple jump kept the Farmington girls track and field team from qualifying six events for this weekend's Class 2A State Meet. Still, the Tigers were able to earn their way onto the Hamline University track in four events while scoring 52 points and finishing fifth out of 14 teams at Saturday's Section 1AA Championships at Lakeville South High School. Lakeville North beat cross-town rival South 140-105 for the team championship, while Rochester Mayo (93) and Rochester Century (74 1/2) finished third and fourth, respectively.
Sam Hanson lived up to his status as the top seed in the high jump at last weekend's Section 1AA Championships. Hanson, who entered with the best jump in the field after clearing a school-record 6 feet, 7 inches at Farmington's first outdoor meet of the season in early April, captured the section title with a jump of 6-4 Saturday afternoon at Lakeville South. The senior will serve as the Tigers' lone representative at the Class 2A State Meet this weekend at Hamline University in St. Paul where his section jump ranks in a tie for 11th among qualifiers.
Farmington qualified five events for the upcoming Class 2A State Meet at Saturday's Section 1AA Championships at Lakeville South High School. The Tiger girls will send four events to Hamline University next weekend after scoring a fifth-place total of 62 points at the Section 1A meet. Nadia Lorencz and Alyssa Parco each advanced as section champions, with Lorencz claiming the long jump with another school-record leap of 18 feet, 8 inches and Parco pulling away from the field in the 300 hurdles with a time of 45.90 seconds.
No. 14-seeded Farmington had its season come to a close after an 18-5 loss to third-seeded Eagan last Wednesday in Burnsville. The Tigers, playing with a lineup that featured 11 freshmen and sophomores, trailed 14-2 at the break before staying within 4-3 over the course of the second half. Quinn Malcolm and Trevor Howard each scored two goals for the Tigers, who finished with a record of 1-12 in the program's second season.
Farmington got personal-best performances up and down its lineup during a fifth-place finish at last Thursday's first Missota Conference Championships held at Tiger Stadium. The Tigers scored 96 1/2 points to top sixth-place New Prague by half a point. Shakopee won the meet, 182 1/2-150 over conference newcomer Chanhassen, followed by Red Wing (147), Northfield (104), Farmington, New Prague, Holy Angels (76) and Chaska (44). "The conference meet went as expected for the boys with some big personal records and great performances....
Farmington walked 16 batters in its season-opening loss to Shakopee back in mid-April. The Tigers didn't approach that number the rest of the spring, but the pitching staff continued to struggle with its control throughout a 4-16 regular season. Nine more free passes in Saturday's Section 1AAA Tournament opener put Farmington over the century mark for the season and were a big contributer in a season-ending 12-2 loss at Rochester John Marshall. "We didn't pitch well," Farmington coach Mike Winters said.
With just three seniors and a handful of returning starters on its roster, the Farmington softball team was inexperienced heading into the 2011 season. The cold and wet spring weather didn't help the young Tigers get prepared to make the transition to the varsity game. They were limited to just six outdoor practices over the course of the season.
The first Missota Conference track and field meet held in Farmington was a successful one for the Tiger girls. Led by sophomore Nadia Lorencz's three victories and three school records, the Tigers set four school records and were crowned conference champions in six events en route to a third-place finish Thursday afternoon at Tiger Stadium. "We were third and had some opportunities to move up, but they just didn't fall into place," Farmington coach Tom Hart said. "We had six champions, which is an awesome accomplishment for these ladies.
Fourth-seeded Farmington advanced past No. 5 Northfield with a 3-2 victory Wednesday afternoon in Farmington. The Tigers (11-10) play again Friday against top-seeded Hastings at Todd Park in Austin. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.