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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An advancing pack of four Farmington runners helped the Tigers edge Northfield and make up some ground on Shakopee at last Tuesday's Missota Conference Championships. Dan Block, Ben Olson, Lincoln Kirchoff and Adam Wallenta all lowered their times and finished within a 16-second span in helping the Tigers finish fifth out of eight teams with 126 points in action at New Prague Golf Course. Northfield also scored 126 points, but Farmington's No. 6 runner, Carl Elmer, recovered from a tough race with a gritty finish that brought him in 43rd, nine spots ahead of the Raiders' No.
Farmington has sent a handful of swimmers to the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center for the state meet over the last several seasons. But the entire Tigers team got the chance to swim in the spotlight last Thursday when the Section 1AA True Team champions turned in an 11th-place finish in the school's first appearance at the Class 2A True Team State Meet in Minneapolis. "Participating in the meet was an exciting experience," Farmington coach Jen Marshall said. "The 12 best teams in the state competed and we feel honored to be part of that....
For the second straight year, Farmington will square off against Lakeville North in the opening round of the Section 1AAAAA football playoffs. The Tigers (1-7) earned the No. 7 seed and a rematch against the second-seeded Panthers, who won last year's section game, 33-12. The Section 1AAAAA first-round game will get underway Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at Lakeville North
Farmington's first one-win regular season since the 1980s came to an end Wednesday night with a 28-14 loss at New Prague. The Tigers (1-7) trailed 21-0 at halftime. They got on the board in the third quarter on a scoring pass from Darren Beenken to Kevin Olund. Tyler Grubb added a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Section 1AAAAA Tournament gets under way next Tuesday.
A year ago at this time, Farmington was hitting its stride just in time for the start of a long run through the Section 1AAA volleyball tournament. The Tigers ended up winning six games in a row en route to their first-ever state tournament appearance.
Farmington made second-seeded Lakeville North sweat a little bit in the opening round of the Section 1AA Tournament last Thursday night. The Tigers played the Panthers to a 0-0 halftime tie, and put some decent shot attempts on goal, before a goal two minutes into the second half allowed Lakeville North to advance with a 1-0 victory. "We played a great game of soccer," second-year coach Julian Buss said.
A season that opened full of promise came to an anticlimactic end for the Farmington girls soccer team last Tuesday night. The Tigers battled injuries to several key players and a much tougher schedule during their second straight nine-win season, but once again bowed out in the opening round of Section 3AA after a 4-0 loss at Rosemount. The Irish took control with two first-half goals against sophomore goaltender Alex Frost, who was in the net for injured all-conference player Taylor Meyer.
Both the Farmington boys and girls cross country teams saw some good things while finishing in the middle of the pack at last Tuesday's Shakopee Invitational. The boys finished sixth out of 11 teams, but tightened the time among their top five runners down to 1 minute, 18 seconds. The fourth-place girls received a season-best time from Bailey Opsal and played three runners in the top 17. Opsal finished eighth out of 67 runners with a 4,000-meter time of 16 minutes flat. "Bailey Opsal had her best race of the season. She's been working hard for it," Farmington girls coach Heidi Revels said.
True team scoring was designed to reward teams for their depth, rather than just their high individual finishers. The format was perfect for Farmington, which showcased both on Saturday while upsetting Rochester John Marshall for its first Section True Team championship Saturday at Faribault. The Tigers scored 722 points, while John Marshall settled for second with 688 points.
Twice during the second half of Friday's Senior Night game, Farmington running back CJ Record extended the football away from his body as he reached for the goal line. Both efforts came up just short -- as did a late field goal attempt by Tyler Grubb -- as the Tigers once again found themselves a play or two away from turning around their fortunes in a 16-6 Missota Conference loss to Chaska at Tiger Stadium. "We were right there. We had the opportunities and we couldn't take advantage," Farmington coach Mark Froehling said after his team's third straight tough loss.