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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Coming home with a victory isn't typically in the cards for any of the Missota Conference gymnastics teams when they make their annual trip to Northfield. Instead, Farmington made it their goal to relax and have fun. The strategy seemed to pay off as the Tigers turned in their best team score of the young season in a 142.35-131.90 loss to the perennial state contenders. "We're on our way back. The girls are really pulling themselves together. Fun, fun, fun, that's what it's all about. We need to keep it fun," Farmington coach Lynn Bauman said.
The Farmington girls basketball team will take an 0-9 record into its holiday tournament for the second straight year, but head coach Sondra Chadwick thinks her team may have some momentum to build on heading into the Dec. 27 game against Watertown-Mayer at the Monticello Tournament. That's because her Tigers responded to a 13-point loss to Rochester Century she described as "flat and uninspired" by hanging with a bigger, more experienced Lakeville South team in a 60-51 setback last Thursday at Tiger Gym.
Rochester Century jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never trailed in a 63-56 non-conference win over Farmington last Dec. 18. The Tigers shot just 35 percent from the field and 28 percent from the free-throw line as they dropped their second straight and slipped to 3-3 overall. The team is in action again today against Burnsville in the first round of the Hastings Tournament. Alex Chadwick drained three three-pointers in the second half to tie the score, but the Tigers could never take the lead. Chadwick finished with a team-high 12 points.
Prior Lake won the first three events and pulled away for a 100-86 dual win over Farmington Dec. 18 at Dodge Middle School. The Tigers cut into Prior Lake's lead with a first-place finish by the foursome of Dahlton Bell, Dan Berg, Eric Schimmel and Christopher Kirchmann in the 200 freestyle relay, but the Lakers closed out the meet by winning the 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke and 400 freestyle relay. "We had a lot of times close to our best times, but lost a lot of close races at the finish," Farmington coach Ryan Hamen said.
Kiana Lord won three events and the all-around competition in leading the Farmington gymnastics team past Red Wing 126.04-122.075 in its first Missota Conference dual meet of the season last Tuesday at the Red Wing Gymnastics Center. Lord's highest score came in the floor exercise where she turned in a 9.275. She also topped 9.0 in the vault, which she won with a 9.125, and the balance beam, where she scored an 8.5. She also came in second in the uneven bars. Lord won the all-around title with a total of 34.825 and teammate Kathryn Beckett placed second with a 31.575.
The Farmington boys hockey team split a pair of 4-3 home contests late last week to close out its pre-conference schedule with a record of 4-4. The Tigers won by that count last Thursday against Spring Lake Park, and then lost by the same score Saturday against Rochester Mayo Saturday at Schmitz-Maki Arena. The setback left them 3-1 against section opponents. "It would have been nice to have a clean sweep of section teams we play, but 3-1 is pretty solid," Farmington coach Keith Revels said. "I see Mayo at or very near the top of the Big Nine this season.
The Farmington girls basketball team is still without a victory to show for its efforts despite a couple more promising performances last week. The Tigers saw a nine-point lead slip away in a 55-54 loss to Apple Valley last Tuesday at Tiger Gym, and then led for much of the first half in an eventual 80-66 road setback at fifth-ranked (Class 3A) Red Wing in their Missota Conference opener Friday night. The team sits at 0-7 and has lost 11 straight dating back to last season. "Those were two good games for the girls last week, although we did not find ourselves on the winning end of either.
Hopkins won seven of the 12 events at last Thursday's dual at the Dodge Middle School pool, but Farmington's depth allowed it to score a 95-89 victory. "The boys really stepped up.... Hopkins has some top swimmers who earned a number of first-places with great times. However, our depth gave us many 2-3-4 or 2-3-5 finishes, giving us more points to win," Farmington coach Ryan Hamen said. "I'm very proud of how our guys swam." Hopkins won the first three events, but Farmington kept the score close by placing 2-3-4 in both the 200 medley relay and 200 individual medley.
Shakopee's Amy Menke scored her second goal 13 seconds into the third period and Farmington could only muster three shots over the final 17 minutes as it attempted to rally in a 2-0 loss to the Sabers Friday night at Schmitz-Maki Arena. The Tigers, who were outshot 30-19 for the game, slipped to 1-7-1 overall and 0-3 in the Missota Conference. The schedule doesn't get any easier as they faced second-ranked (Class 1A) Red Wing Tuesday and take on No. 9 New Prague on the road tonight. Goaltender Maddie Bowe finished with 28 saves in the loss.
Two more closely-contested duals slipped out of Farmington's grasp in last Thursday's home triangular at the FHS auxiliary gym. The Tigers lost to ninth-ranked (Class 2A) Monticello 36-33 on a pin in the heavyweight match, and then suffered two falls and an overtime decision in the three final three matches of a 42-31 setback against Eastview. "We wrestled well again, but left too many bonus points on the mat, which cost us both duals," Farmington coach Chad Olson said. The Tigers got out to an early lead against Monticello thanks to a forfeit at 106 pounds and a quick pin by fifth-ranked (