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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One more year of experience has made all the difference for the Farmington girls lacrosse team. Last May 23, the Tigers wrapped up a 1-11 season with a 20-8 loss to Bloomington Jefferson in the first round of the section tournament. The two teams met again on May 23, but this time with the Tigers sporting a 9-4 record and coming off an 13-11 win over Bloomington Kennedy in the opening round Monday afternoon at Tiger Stadium.
The Farmington track teams geared up for this week's Missota Conference Championships by competing against Northfield and Rochester John Marshall at the three-team Pat Foley Classic last Thursday at Carleton College in Northfield. The meet isn't scored and a traveling trophy goes to the team that wins a randomly-chosen event. This year the event was the 110-meter hurdles, so Rochester John Marshall was awarded the hardware. Despite windy conditions, both the Farmington boys and girls teams turned in several personal records.
Farmington was knocked out of the Section 1AA tournament after a 7-0 loss to Owatonna in the opening round last Tuesday in Owatonna. "We had three very close matches in which we led but couldn't close out," Tiger coach Jack Olwell said. "First, second and fourth singles all had some great chances." Blake Olmscheid led early on in his No. 1 singles match before falling 3-6, 4-6. At No. 2 singles, Ben Cline fell 7-5, 1-6 (8-10). Bennett Lagro held a 4-3 lead in the second set at No.
It took a pair of come-from-behind victories last week for Farmington to earn a share of its first Missota Conference softball title since 2007. The Tigers scored six runs in their last at bat to secure a 9-5 win over Chanhassen last Tuesday, and then fell behind 3-0 last Thursday at Red Wing before plating nine runs in the final three innings of an 11-5 win. The team finished the regular season with an overall record of 13-4 and a league mark of 11-3 matched only by co-champion Shakopee. "The girls worked hard all year and deserve the credit," Farmington coach Paul Harrington said.
The Farmington baseball team got the offensive spark it needed heading into section tournament time. Coming off a three-game span where they plated four runs, the Tigers scored four in the bottom of the first and kept adding on in a 9-5 win over Lakeville South in their regular season finale Monday afternoon at Tiger Field. "We did a good job capitalizing on their pitcher's mistakes and made aggressive and smart decisions on the base paths to keep the pressure on their defense, taking the extra base when we could," Farmington coach Mike Winters said.
Two opening-round section tournament games will be going on just a few hundred feet from each other Wednesday night at Farmington High School. The Farmington boys lacrosse team finished the season with a program-best record of 7-5, earning it the No. 8 seed and home-field advantage against No. 9 seed Rochester John Marshall.
Monday night was a promising one for the future of Farmington track and field. The Farmington freshman boys team placed first and the girls team second at the Missota Conference Ninth-Grade Championships in Shakopee. The boys team racked up 192 points, outscoring runner-up Chanhassen by 60, and the girls finished behind only New Prague while scoring 114 1/2 points. Justin Hyytinen and Ryan Parco were part of three of the boys' six first-place finishes.
The Farmington boys tennis team closed out the regular season with a match that reminded veteran coach Jack Olwell of many of his team's matches this season. The Tigers played well and were competitive, but once again came up just short in a 4-3 Missota Conference loss to New Prague last Thursday at the Boeckman Middle School courts. "It was a fun and entertaining but heartbreaking match. In many ways it was a microcosm of the season: close, but no cigar," Olwell said. "I have to say how pleased I am with the attitude of this team.
The Farmington girls track team got a record-setting day from its Big Three while placing seventh out of nine teams at last Tuesday's Section 1AAA True Team Championships in Rochester. Senior Alyssa Parco, junior Nadia Lorencz and sophomore Izzie Ferm combined to win six events, place second in one and third in two others as they helped the Tigers score 506 1/2 points. Ferm was the lone triple winner.
A couple of tightly-contested losses have the Farmington boys lacrosse team hanging on to a 6-5 record heading into the final game of the regular season. The absences of key players due to injury and illness, and too many penalties, have been the major problems for the Tigers since their 5-1 start.