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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A pair of close losses offered good news and bad news for the Farmington girls basketball team last week. The good news was the young and inexperienced Tigers were getting closer to their elusive first victory after losing their first three games by 30, 15 and 10 points.
A pair of ranked teams handed Farmington dual setbacks at Saturday's Prior Lake Tournament. The Tigers opened with a 54-15 loss to No. 1-ranked (Class 2A) Simley, and then fell 39-15 to fourth-ranked (Class 3A) Prior Lake before closing out the day with a 42-30 win over Tri-County. "The boys wrestled very well today," Farmington coach Chad Olson said. "Our focus all week has been confidence. They wrestled with a lot of confidence today and did not back down from the challenge." Three Farmington wrestlers went head-to-head with state-ranked opponents and came away with victories.
Two big scoring runs sparked the Farmington boys basketball team to a pair of lopsided victories last week. The Tigers started the second half with a 16-0 surge in last Tuesday's 71-54 win over Rochester Mayo at Tiger Gym. They continued to click offensively Friday night and put a young Hastings team away early with a 10-0 run out of the gate in an eventual 77-38 romp. Every player on the roster saw game action and 11 got in the scoring column against Hastings as the Tigers pulled in front 38-20 by halftime.
Owatonna's opening goal seemed to wake up the Farmington boys hockey team last Thursday night. After the Huskies broke a scoreless tie early in the second period, the Tigers piled up eight unanswered goals in an 8-1 rout of their Section 1AA rivals at Schmitz-Maki Arena. "We had a bit of a sluggish start. We were about as off as we have been in this young season," Farmington coach Keith Revels said. "It was a good response from us after giving up the first goal. We got better as the game went on.
Friday's Missota Conference home opener was a lot closer than the final score indicated. The Farmington girls hockey team spotted the defending conference champions three goals in the first period, but battled back to within a goal heading in to the third period before falling to the Storm Hawks 6-3 at Schmitz-Maki Arena. Haleigh Zwart, Michaela Tonsager and Rachael Peroutky each scored goals in the second period as the Tigers moved within 4-3.
A tired Farmington swimming and diving team was able to muster enough energy to earn a second-place finish at Saturday's Prior Lake Invitational. Less than 48 hours after winning the team championship at the inaugural Missota Conference Relays, the Tigers returned to the pool and scored 402 points to earn runner-up honors behind the host Lakers' 478 1/2. "The boys swam pretty tired. We had very few great times, but we are satisfied with the result. At this time of the year the boys should be tired and learning how to swim through it," Farmington coach Ryan Hamen said.
Farmington High School has been accepted into the South Suburban Conference beginning in the fall of 2014. The principals of the 10 South Suburban Conference schools accepted Farmington's application by a unanimous 10-0 vote Tuesday night. Farmington administrators will make their recommendation to the school board for final approval at a meeting next month. Farmington athletic director Jon Summer put the change in motion when he sent an application to the executive committee of the South Suburban Conference in September.
The Farmington girls hockey team put an end to its three-game losing skid with a 2-2 overtime tie against Owatonna Saturday at the Four Seasons Centre. The Tigers had their chances to come away with the win, but their 2-0 lead slipped away in the final nine minutes of regulation. Owatonna's Payton Noble scored the tying goal with 1:29 remaining and the teams remained deadlocked through an eight-minute overtime period. Grace Gavin opened the scoring with a goal 11:30 into the second period.
The Farmington gymnastics team kicked off its schedule with a second-place finish in the Winter Warm-up Saturday at the Austin YMCA. The host Packers looked to be in midseason form as they won the meet with a team score of 142.05. The Tigers headed up the rest of the nine-team field with a score of 126.5, four points better than third-place Stewartville. Richfield, Rochester Mayo, Century and John Marshall also competed. "As a team I was very proud of our girls. We performed everything we've been practicing," Farmington coach Lynn Bauman said.
A pair of freshmen led the Farmington wrestling team at its first meet of the season. Jamin LeDuc and Taylor Venz each captured individual titles as the Tigers moved up three places from a year ago to place seventh out of 14 teams with 99 points at Saturday's Lakeville North Paul Wolf Panther Invite. Hudson (Wis.) won the team title 183-172 over runner-up Scott West. North was third with 117 points, followed by Park of Cottage Grove, Chaska/Chanhassen, Henry Sibley, Farmington, Lakeville South, New Richmond (Wis.), Woodbury, Northfield, South St.