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 Lakeville North Panthers and a steady 40-mile-per-hour wind teamed up to blow Farmington out of the Section 1AAAAA football playoffs Tuesday night. The second-seeded Panthers overcame a slow start to lead 17-6 by halftime, then pulled away in the third quarter to post a season-high point total in a 39-14 win. The Tigers (1-8) pulled within 7-6 on a 14-yard touchdown run by senior running back CJ Record with 3:36 left in the first quarter.
Farmington senior Elliot Fenske is going back to the Class 2A State Cross Country Meet. The senior battled a strong field of runners at Thursday's Section 1AA Championships at Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna and came away seventh out of 98 runners. His time of 16 minutes, 25 seconds on the 5,000-meter course got him to the finish line in time to earn the third-to-last individual qualifying bid. The Tiger boys finished eighth out of 14 teams, while the girls, led by freshman Maricia Pacheco's 20th-place finish, came in 10th out of 14 teams.
Sixth-seeded Farmington advanced to the second round of the Section 1AAA volleyball tournament with a 25-16, 25-23, 25-13 sweep of Hastings Wednesday night at Tiger Gym. The Tigers (9-18) advance to take on Missota Conference rival Northfield in Friday night's second round contest in Northfield. The third-seeded Raiders (19-8) finished second in the league at 6-1 and defeated the Tigers in four games in their previous meeting this season on Oct. 7 in Northfield.
Another slow start left Farmington with too big a deficit to overcome in Wednesday night's regular season finale in New Prague. The Tigers, who have lost six in a row since their lone victory of the season over Red Wing in Week 2, fell behind 21-0 by halftime on Wednesday as New Prague ate up the clock with 442 rushing yards in a 28-14 win. "They had a few big plays, their quarterback ran well off the edge and they had a quick halfback. We had a hard time catching him," Farmington coach Mark Froehling said.
Even with a good showing, there's not much room for Farmington to move up when facing the talented competition in the Missota Conference. Tenth-ranked Chanhassen needed a sixth-runner tiebreaker to beat Shakopee in the team race and No. 1-ranked Maria Hauger of Shakopee led a strong individual field while the Tigers, who turned in some of their best times of the season, had to settle for a sixth-place finish at New Prague Golf Course. The Tigers scored 142 points, 10 off the pace of fifth-place Red Wing and 14 ahead of seventh-place Northfield.
An advancing pack of four Farmington runners helped the Tigers edge Northfield and make up some ground on Shakopee at last Tuesday's Missota Conference Championships. Dan Block, Ben Olson, Lincoln Kirchoff and Adam Wallenta all lowered their times and finished within a 16-second span in helping the Tigers finish fifth out of eight teams with 126 points in action at New Prague Golf Course. Northfield also scored 126 points, but Farmington's No. 6 runner, Carl Elmer, recovered from a tough race with a gritty finish that brought him in 43rd, nine spots ahead of the Raiders' No.
Farmington has sent a handful of swimmers to the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center for the state meet over the last several seasons. But the entire Tigers team got the chance to swim in the spotlight last Thursday when the Section 1AA True Team champions turned in an 11th-place finish in the school's first appearance at the Class 2A True Team State Meet in Minneapolis. "Participating in the meet was an exciting experience," Farmington coach Jen Marshall said. "The 12 best teams in the state competed and we feel honored to be part of that....
For the second straight year, Farmington will square off against Lakeville North in the opening round of the Section 1AAAAA football playoffs. The Tigers (1-7) earned the No. 7 seed and a rematch against the second-seeded Panthers, who won last year's section game, 33-12. The Section 1AAAAA first-round game will get underway Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at Lakeville North
Farmington's first one-win regular season since the 1980s came to an end Wednesday night with a 28-14 loss at New Prague. The Tigers (1-7) trailed 21-0 at halftime. They got on the board in the third quarter on a scoring pass from Darren Beenken to Kevin Olund. Tyler Grubb added a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Section 1AAAAA Tournament gets under way next Tuesday.
A year ago at this time, Farmington was hitting its stride just in time for the start of a long run through the Section 1AAA volleyball tournament. The Tigers ended up winning six games in a row en route to their first-ever state tournament appearance.