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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Relays have been a strong suit for the Farmington girls track and field team over the last few seasons. That continued to be the case at Saturday's indoor triangular at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where the Tigers won four relays and placed second in the other during a second-place team finish. Shakopee won the meet with 71 points, 21 more than the runner-up Tigers. Holy Angels finished third with 38 points. "We ran pretty well on the track, but we are needing to find ways to score in the field events," Farmington coach Tom Hart said.
The Farmington boys lacrosse team lost its first game of the season April 11 against Lakeville South. Jacob Bauman, Marques Words, Quinn Malcolm, Matthew Ackerman and Justin Rees scored for the Tigers in the 8-5 loss at Tiger Stadium. Goaltender Charlie Weierke stopped 21 of 28 Lakeville South shots. Farmington plays Lakeville South at 6:30 p.m. April 14 at home.
Farmington scored with 5.7 seconds left to force overtime, then had time run out on a second rally in a season-opening 13-12 overtime loss at Lakeville South Monday night. The Tigers trailed 7-4 at halftime, then outscored the Cougars by the same score in the second half to force the extra session. Captain Ally Midboe knotted the score at 11-11 with a goal on a pass from eighth-grader Shelby Klotz. "We could have played all night and this would have been a one-goal game, we just ran out of time or we would have tied it up," Farmington coach Dan Pickens said.
Pitching was undoubtedly the biggest question mark for the Farmington baseball team heading into the 2011 season. The Tigers didn't find many answers in their opener last Thursday against Shakopee. Six pitchers combined for 16 walks and the Sabers rolled to a 15-4 rout in Farmington. Starter Jonathan Ellis walked four batters and surrendered five runs before getting an out. The Sabers scored single runs in the second and third, then plated three more in the fourth to extend their lead to 10-0. "It's hard to win with 16 walks," Farmington coach Mike Winters said.
Shakopee provided a tough match-up for a largely inexperienced Farmington team playing in its first game of the season. The Sabers, coming off an 18-5 season and a Missota Conference championship, return 11 seniors from a year ago, including standout pitcher Ashley Walker. They looked ready to defend their title in last Thursday's opener in Shakopee, rolling to a 4-0 shutout. Walker struck out 12 Tiger batters and allowed just one hit, a first-inning single to freshman shortstop Alyssa Kalmes. "They are loaded with talent and good pitching.
The Farmington boys tennis team rebounded from a season-opening loss last Wednesday in South St. Paul with a 6-1 win over Faribault Monday afternoon in Faribault. The Tigers swept the four singled matches, led by junior Ben Cline's 6-0, 6-1 effort at No. 1 singles. Blake Olmsheid (6-2, 6-2), Seth Roberts (6-2, 6-0) and Brian Waldbillig (6-1, 6-4) followed suit with victories in the other three singles matches. In doubles play, Jeff Zakoski and Ivan Rodriguez teamed up for a 6-2, 6-4 win at No. 2 and Austin Tremmel and Colton Sanders scored a 6-3, 6-3 decision at No.
Shakopee handled Farmington on both the baseball and softball diamonds in Thursday's season openers. The defending Missota Conference champion Sabers softball team held the Tigers to just one hit - an Alyssa Kalmes single - in a 4-0 shutout in Shakopee. Meanwhile, the Shakopee baseball team was building a 5-0 first-inning lead in an eventual 15-4 win in Farmington.
No team in the Missota Conference made bigger strides from last season to this season than the Farmington boys hockey team. After finishing 2-12 in the league in 2009-10, the Tigers went 7-7 to tie with Red Wing for third place in the conference.
A focus on defense helped the Farmington girls basketball team meet most of its lofty goals during the 2010-11 season. The Tigers held their opponents to an average of 40.2 points per game, the lowest of any of the Class 3A and 4A teams in Minnesota. They started the season with a school-record 11-game winning streak and went on to win a share of the program's first Missota Conference title by posting an 11-3 record in league play. A 22-3 regular season record earned the Tigers their first No.
Farmington took some lumps during its first season of varsity lacrosse last spring. The Tigers lost all 12 of their games and allowed 136 goals while scoring just 41. But head coach Paul Sorensen believes that first season served as a learning experience that will help his team be more competitive this season. "We learned to better rely on each other. I keep telling them it's not how you win that defines you, but how you respond to the losses and what we can do collectively to respond to that," Sorensen said. "This year you are already seeing some of that.