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 boys swimming and diving coach Ryan Hamen was pleased with the progress his team showed while splitting a pair of dual meets to open the 2010 season last week at the Dodge Middle School pool. The Tigers won seven events in a 101-83 decision over Hopkins Tuesday night at Dodge Middle School, then suffered their first loss by a score of 92-89 Thursday night against Prior Lake. "We had some real good swims last night. The new swimmers are really getting used to competition and making great improvements with their swimming form," Hamen said.
After opening the season with three games decided by an average of 26 points, the Farmington boys basketball team played a game reminiscent of last year's team on Friday night. The 2009-10 Tigers lost 11 games decided by single digits, including six by five points or fewer. On Friday night the Tigers rallied to take a one-point lead in the final two minutes before Rochester Century pulled ahead for a 61-59 win at Tiger Gym. The Panthers, who improved to 4-0, got a game-high 28 points from 6-foot-5 post player Ater Manyang.
Two more lopsided victories helped Farmington continue its perfect start to the girls basketball season last week. The Tigers held Lakeville South to 14 second-half points in a 63-39 win at Tiger Gym last Tuesday, then limited Minneapolis Washburn to 17 points after the break in a 62-35 road win Friday night in Minneapolis. Washburn managed just one point in the opening nine minutes of the game. The Tigers built a 22-5 advantage before Washburn closed to a 30-18 halftime score. The Tigers were able to pull away after that, limiting the Millers to four field goals in the second half.
Some lineup changes helped Farmington's gymnastics team top the 140-point mark for the first time this season. Nadia Lorencz stepped in for the injured Erin Hickey and led the Tigers to a second-place score of 140.3 at Saturday's Annandale Invite. Becker topped the eight-team field with a score of 143.4. Lorencz added the bars and the beam to her meet schedule and ended up fourth in the all-around with a score of 35.05. Lorencz finished second in both the vault and floor exercise with matching scores of 9.25.
Two area players had a big impact on Saturday's Division II national championship football game in Florence, Ala. Rosemount graduate Chase Vogler was an offensive hero at quarterback and Farmington alum Cody Eich made the defensive play of the game as the University of Minnesota-Duluth rallied to complete an undefeated 15-0 season with a 20-17 victory over Delta State. With the score tied at 17-17 in the final minute, Eich intercepted a Delta State pass at the 30-yard line and returned it to midfield.
The young season has already been a bit of a roller coaster ride for the Farmington boys basketball team. Despite a roster short on varsity experience, the Tigers came out of the gates with a 31-point win over Rochester John Marshall in their season opener two weeks ago. The team's weaknesses were exposed a bit in an 80-55 loss last Tuesday at Owatonna, but the Tigers showed some resilience and bounced back with a 70-48 win over another section opponent, Hastings, Thursday night at Tiger Gym. "I thought that was a pretty good game.
Injury and illnesses couldn't keep the Farmington gymnastics team from winning its second consecutive meet Thursday night at Red Wing. With Erin Hickey suffering from a sprained finger and Kathryn Beckett and Nadia Lorencz each under the weather, the Tigers still scored 136.675 points in a 12-point victory over the Wingers. "The girls really were supportive for each other due to last minute roster changes," coach Lynn Bauman said. "The girls really pulled through as a team. I am very proud of them." Kiana Lord led the way by winning the all-around for the second straight meet.
After scoring 13 goals in a span of seven periods, the Farmington boys hockey team was blanked by section rival Owatonna over the final 34 minutes of Thursday night's contest at Schmitz-Maki Arena. The scoring lull lasted just long enough for the Huskies to overcome a 1-0 deficit and end the Tigers' two-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory. The Tigers struggled throughout a first period in which they were outshot, 11-6. Still, they held on to a 1-0 lead thanks to a goal by Quinn Eden on a pass from Quinn Malcolm just 62 seconds in.
A couple of solid Missota Conference home wins last week gave the Farmington girls hockey team the early lead in its quest for a second straight league title. The Tigers bounced back from a Saturday loss to Lakeville North with a 6-4 win over 13th-ranked (Class 1A) Red Wing last Tuesday, then returned to Schmitz-Maki Arena Thursday for a 2-0 shutout over a New Prague team that entered sporting a record of 5-1.
Farmington gymnastics coach Lynn Baumann was impressed by her team's first performance of the season Saturday, and so were some of the other coaches at the Winter Warm-Up Meet in Austin. "We had an Amazing meet," Bauman said. "I had many compliments from other coaches saying our team was really fun to watch, and they were right." The Tigers won two of the meet's four events, as well as the all-around, as they topped the seven-team field with a score of 135.8. Austin was second with a 131.15, followed by Rochester John Marshall in third at 129.15.