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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Farmington senior Carl Elmer qualified for his third straight Class 3A State Wrestling Meet by winning the 140-pound championship at Saturday's section meet. Elmer advanced to the finals with a 15-7 decision, then won the finals by an 8-3 score. The state tournament gets underway Thursday at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Six different players scored goals as Farmington advanced past Rochester John Marshall 6-1 in the Section 1AA boys hockey tournament Thursday night at the Rochester Rec Center. The Tigers, winners of five in a row, take on top-seeded Lakeville South in the semifinals Saturday morning in Rochester. Goaltender Victor Simones stopped 29 shots for Farmington, which avenged a 7-1 loss to John Marshall earlier this season.
Northfield edged Farmington 63-59 Friday night in the second overtime game this season between the Highway 3 rivals. In the first matchup of the season it was Northfield that had to overcome a 13-point halftime deficit to force overtime in an eventual 50-49 loss at Tiger Gym. In the rematch, the Raiders squandered an eight-point lead late in the second half only to take control back and outscore the Tigers 6-2 in overtime. The Tigers mounted the comeback without scoring leader Alex Michels, who fouled out with four minutes left.
After two weeks of preparation, the Farmington dance team improved from 13th to seventh at the Section 1AAA Championships, held last Saturday at Bloomington Kennedy. "They really brought a strong performance to the floor," Farmington coach Shelby Kuphal said. "We're going in the right direction and are able to set goals for next year based off of our scores. We know what we have to do and understand the time and committment it requires. It was the perfect way to end our season."
Farmington is making a habit out of spoiling its opponents' Senior Nights. The suddenly streaking Tigers closed out the regular season last Thursday night with a 3-2 win over Red Wing on the Wingers' Senior Night. The Tigers' fourth straight win also vaulted them into a third-place tie with the Wingers in the final Missota Conference standings.
Junior Taylor Meyer scored her 1,000th career point with a free throw early in the first half and Farmington went on to win its school-record 20th game of the season, 53-42 over Northfield Friday night at Tiger Gym. The game wasn't as close as the final score would indicate. The Tigers held Northfield scoreless over the first five-plus minutes and led 29-9 at the break.
By the standards of the previous 15 years, 2010 was a very successful season for the Farmington gymnastics team. The Tigers finished fifth -- their highest team placing ever -- at the Section 1AA meet and qualified an individual for state for the first time since head coach Lynn Bauman in the early 90s. The 2011 edition of the Tigers has taken the program to another level.
There's a four-way tie for first place in the Missota Conference heading into the final night of the regular season. Farmington hung on for a 48-47 win over Chaska Tuesday night, while Shakopee breezed past Red Wing and New Prague defeated Chanhassen, 87-78. That means all four teams at the top of the standings - Farmington, Shakopee, New Prague and Chanhassen - sit at 10-3 going into their season finales Friday night. At least one of the teams will be knocked out of the top spot as Farmington (21-3) hosts New Prague (18-7) at Tiger Gym.
For the third straight year, a Lakeville school will represent Section 1AA at the Class 2A State Girls Hockey Tournament. No. 12-ranked Farmington was able to avenge last year's section loss to Lakeville North with a thrilling triple-overtime win last Tuesday, but the Tigers ran out of steam in Friday's Section 1AA championship game.
Farmington (13-12) earned a No. 5 seed and will travel to Rochester Thursday night to open the Section 1AA Tournament against fourth-seeded Rochester John Marshall (15-10). The Rockets won their season opener 7-1 over Farmington in late November. But the Tigers have improved since then, moving up to third place in the Missota Conference with four straight wins to close out the regular season. The top seed in Section 1AA went to Lakeville South, followed by Lakeville North and Rochester Mayo.