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 Farmington softball team looked overmatched by Stillwater in the opening round of the Class AAA State Tournament last Thursday. But by the end of the day Friday, so did the rest of the eight-team field at Caswell Park in North Mankato. The Ponies entered with the most losses of any team in the Class 3A portion of the tournament - eight - due in large part to a rigid Suburban East Conference schedule.
Bloomington Jefferson knocked Farmington out of the Class 3A state softball tournament with a 4-3 extra-inning win in Friday morning's consolation bracket. The Tigers finished the season with a record of 17-6. They were Section 1AAA champions and Missota Conference co-champions.
Nadia Lorencz is finally a state champion. After placing second in both the long jump and 100 hurdles at state last spring, and placing second this winter at the state gymnastics meet, Lorencz captured gold in the long jump at the Class 2A State Meet Friday afternoon with a leap of 17 feet, 11 3/4 inches at Hamline University in St. Paul. The Missota Conference and Section 1AA champion still has the 100 hurdles and triple jump coming up later in the meet. Check back for more results from the Class 2A State Meet.
11:12 a.m. - The grounds crew has been working overtime and we're just about to get the opening round of the Class 3A state tournament started at Caswell Park in North Mankato. Heavy rain from about nine to 10 left all six fields very wet, but an hour of maintenance has them all in playing condition. The Tigers are in the first-base dugout and warming up in the outfield grass. First pitch is expected within the half hour. The winner will take on the winner - and the loser will take on the loser - of the other first-round game between Bloomington Jefferson and Mankato East.
It was a successful start to the season for the Farmington VFW baseball team last week. Post 7662 opened its schedule with a come-from-behind 8-6 win at Rosemount last Tuesday and went on to score at least seven runs in its first four games as it chalked up four straight victories. The pitching and defense started to get on track, as well, during a 7-3, 8-5 doubleheader sweep of Prior Lake over the weekend. Farmington trailed 6-5 in the sixth inning of its opener before Nathan Kraml ripped a go-ahead two-run single.
The biggest meets of the season continued to bring out the best in the Farmington girls track team at the Section 1AA Championships. Coming off a Missota Conference meet where they won six events and placed second as a team, the Tigers once again claimed six first-place finishes - three of which set new section records - and qualified seven events for the upcoming Class 2A State Meet while placing third as a team Saturday afternoon at Lakeville South. The host Cougars ran away with the meet, scoring 171 points to runner-up Lakeville North's 109.
Tommy May will end his Farmington High School golf career at the state tournament. The FHS senior qualified for next week's competition with a two-round total of 149 that tied him for fourth place at the Section 1AAA tournament played Thursday and Monday at Bellwood Oaks Golf Club in Hastings. He shot a 74 on the par-73 course in last week's first round and followed up with a 75 Monday. "Tom showed some real character (Monday) by fighting and grinding around the course to shoot a 75," golf coach Jon Holmes said.
The Farmington boys track team saved its best for last at Saturday's Section 1AA Championships. None of the team's events had finished any higher than third before the 4x400 relay team raced around the track in 3 minutes, 29.58 seconds in the meet's final event to grab second place and earn a spot in this weekend's Class 2A State Meet.
Paul Harrington has participated in plenty of state softball tournaments since graduating from Farmington High School in 1974. He was a player-coach for Farmington's men's fast-pitch teams that placed in the top two at the state tournament eight times from 1977 to 2001. He got into high school coaching in the mid-90s and went on to guide the Totino-Grace program to five state tournament appearances in 11 seasons. Now, Harrington is taking his alma mater to state.
The Farmington boys and girls track teams combined to qualify eight events for the upcoming state meet at Saturday's Section 1AA Championships at Lakeville South. Seven of those performances were turned in by the Tiger girls, who set three section meet records in the process. Junior Nadia Lorencz set new section marks while winning the 100 hurdles and triple jump and also qualified for state in the long jump. Senior Alyssa Parco will make another trip to state in the 300 hurdles after setting a new personal-best and running a section-record time in the event.