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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Back-to-back road wins and a pair of Chanhassen losses last week vaulted Farmington into a first-place tie with Shakopee in the Missota Conference standings. The Tigers blew past Holy Angels 9-2 last Tuesday in Richfield, then held on for a narrow 1-0 shutout at rival Northfield on Thursday to improve to 9-2 overall and 8-2 in league play with four Missota games to go. Junior pitcher Ashley Betzold fired a two-hit shutout and struck out seven against the Raiders.
Members of the Farmington boys track team were as surprised as anyone when they were crowned champions at last Tuesday's Missota Conference Relays in Shakopee. Without winning any events, the Tigers racked up 177 points to win the meet by a comfortable margin over runner-up Chanhassen, which scored 161 points.
The Farmington boys golf team had several good rounds at the first Missota Conference meet of the season, but they still added up to sixth place in an eight-team meet. The Tigers shot a 317 April 24 at Stonebrooke Golf Club, the best they have scored in a conference meet in at least four years, according to coach Jon Holmes. Chaska won the meet with a 299 and Red Wing was second with a 301, just a stroke ahead of Chanhassen. Farmington finished ahead of Holy Angels (324) and Northfield (335). Erik Holmstrom led the way for the Tigers with a round of 76, good for 11th place overall.
For the first time in its three-year history, the Farmington girls lacrosse team has a winning record. The Tigers matched their season high with 16 goals and extended their winning streak to three games with a 16-14 victory over Missota Conference rival Holy Angels Monday night in Richfield. "It was nice to get a win against Holy Angels and keep our streak going," Farmington coach Dan Pickens said. "This was the halfway point for the season and we are hopefully just hitting our stride." Haley Bradshaw led the Tigers on the offensive end with five goals and two assists.
A five-run first inning Friday helped Shakopee grab plenty of momentum, not only in its game against Farmington, but in its charge back up the Missota Conference standings. The Sabers held on for a 6-3 victory over the Tigers, avenging a season-opening 3-2 loss, and moved back into a second-place tie in the league standings.
A couple of late leads slipped away and left the Farmington boys tennis team on the losing end of a 4-3 decision against Minnehaha Academy Monday afternoon at Boeckman Middle School. Two of the Tigers' wins came in singles play. Ben Cline moved his record above .500 with a 6-4, 6-3 triumph at No. 2 singles and Ivan Rodriguez rallied for a 4-6, 7-6 (5), 10-8 win at No. 3 singles. "He saved two match points in the second set before forcing a tiebreaker to save the second set," Farmington coach Jack Olwell said of Rodriguez.
The Farmington baseball team capped off stretch of three road games in four days with a 6-5 nine-inning loss to St. Cloud Apollo Friday night at Dick Putz Field in St. Cloud. The Tigers led 4-0 early thanks to two-run rallies in the top of the first and third. Nathan Graham started the first with a walk and singles by Jordan Lugowski and Spencer Merle set up bases-loaded walks to Drew Hegseth and Kevin Olund. Ty Vincent started the third with the first of his team-leading three hits and scored on an error to make it 3-0.
A second-place finish in the 4x800 relay early on in last Tuesday's Eagan Wildcat Invitational ended up being the high point of the meet for the Farmington boys track team. The foursome of Chad Retterath, Eric Stoeckman, Justin Hyytenin and Tyler Lerbakken turned in a season-best time of 8 minutes, 30.15 seconds to finish behind only Apple Valley in the event. As a team, the Tigers ended up seventh among eight squads with 27 points. Hyytenin and Reid Taubenheim were the Tigers' leaders in the individual events, each garnering third-place honors.
Farmington's Nadia Lorencz came a combined three inches from capturing two individual titles at the state's most prestigious regular-season track meet. The junior finished a close second in both the long jump and triple jump at the Hamline Elite Meet Friday night at Klas Stadium in St. Paul. She covered 17 feet, 4 inches in the long jump to finish 1 1/2 inches behind meet champion Gabrielle Murphy of North St. Paul's 17 5 1/2 inches and sailed 36-4 1/2 in the triple jump to fall just short of North St.
The Farmington lacrosse team's Revenge Tour 2012 made a couple more stops last week. The Tigers opened the week by overcoming four man-down goals to score a tightly-contested 8-7 victory over a Rochester Century team they lost to 14-5 a season ago. The team then made the trip to Woodbury Thursday and knocked off an East Ridge team that won last year's meeting, 12-3.