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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Former thrower Troy Hoffman emerged to win a pair of sprint events in leading the Farmington boys track team to second place at the closely-contested New Prague Triangular last Thursday. Hoffman ran personal-record times of 11.99 and 24.05 seconds in winning the 100- and 200-meter dashes. As a team, the Tigers won seven events, set 97 personal records and scored 57 points to edge the host Trojans by half of a point. Shakopee won the meet with 72 1/2 points. "(Hoffman) has looked great in practice this last week and has gained some confidence.
Simley used a sweep of doubles play to secure a 5-2 victory over Farmington Monday afternoon at Simley High School. The Tigers picked up their victories in singles play, where Ivan Rodriguez and Bennett Lagro each improved to 2-0 on the season. Rodriguez, a sophomore, picked up a 6-3, 6-3 decision at No. 3 singles, while Lagro, an eighth-grader, won the last four games to claim his second straight three-setter, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3. The other two singles matches were well-contested. Blake Olmscheid fell 4-6, 2-6 at No. 1 singles and Ben Cline fell 2-6, 3-6 at No.
A fast start gave way to a disappointing finish for the Farmington girls lacrosse team in Monday night's season-opening contest at Lakeville North. The Tigers took an early lead with three goals in the first six minutes, but were outscored 9-0 the rest of the first half in an eventual 16-5 setback to the Panthers. "I didn't really have any expectations going into this game. We need to find our identity yet," Farmington coach Dan Pickens said. "We started well, unfortunately they kept ball control the rest of the half after that and took advantage of our defense.
So far, so good for the Paul Harrington coaching era in Farmington. The Tiger softball team is off to a 2-0 start after an 8-1 rout of Holy Angels Monday in Richfield. Harrington's squad opened the season with a head-turning 3-2 victory over defending Missota Conference champion Shakopee last Thursday in Farmington, ending a six-game losing streak against the Sabers during which it scored a total of five runs. "The girls were very excited about the game and looking forward to playing them," Harrington said. "The girls were determined to win the game.
All the optimism surrounding the Farmington boys lacrosse team looked justified after Monday night's season opener. The third-year program started the season with a victory for the first time ever as it blew by Simley 15-3 at Tiger Stadium. Mitch Collier paced a list of six Farmington goal-scorers with five goals and an assist. Matt Ackerman scored a career-high four goals and supplied two assists and Trevor Howard set a team record with eight points, backing up two goals with six assists. Brendon Berg scored a pair of goals and single goals were supplied by Cory Rudrud and Jacob Bauman.
Missota Conference rival Shakopee nipped Farmington 75-71 to win the two-team girls race at the season-opening Farmington Co-Ed Meet last Tuesday at Tiger Stadium. Returning all-stater Nadia Lorencz and Maria Kiminski won two events apiece as the Tigers claimed titles in half of the meet's 18 events. Lorencz, the Class 2A state runner-up in the 100 hurdles and long jump last spring, breezed to first-place finishes in both events.
Farmington won four events and came in third in the team race in its outdoor debut last Tuesday at Tiger Stadium. The Tigers scored 48 points, while Burnsville outscored Shakopee 75-63 for the team title at the three-team co-ed meet. The 4x200 relay team of Mason Auge, Sean McHenry, Tyler Lerbakken and Mason Gaylord scored the team's first victory with a time of 1 minute, 38.44 seconds. Freshman Justin Hyytinen followed that up by turning heads with a winning time of 4:42.54 in the 1,600.
Four Farmington errors led to two unearned runs and double plays killed rallies in the sixth and seventh innings as the Tigers dropped a 5-4 contest to Missota Conference rival Holy Angels Monday night at Feely Fields. "This is the type of game we needed to win, we just didn't execute defensively," veteran Farmington coach Mike Winters said. "We were in positions to make plays and didn't follow through. We need to clean that up.... Our pitching and hitting were fine." The Stars extended their lead to 5-1 with three runs against Farmington starter Jonathan Ellis in the top of the sixth.
No score was kept, but Farmington girls lacrosse coach Dan Pickens liked what he saw from his team in its first scrimmage of the season Friday night at Tiger Stadium. The Tigers scored plenty of goals and played stride-for-stride with an Eastview team that won three games last season in the South Suburban Conference. "I thought our girls looked good. Our scoring was very spread out. We got some scoring from the usuals and also from a bunch of newcomers," he said. "I try not and put too much stock in the goals scored for and against in the early season scrimmages.
Confidence is not usually a characteristic associated with a team that has lost 24 of its last 25 games. But for the Farmington lacrosse team, there's no shortage of confidence heading into the upcoming season. After taking their lumps in their first two seasons as a varsity program, the now-experienced Tigers look poised to make big strides in their level of play and put a few more games in the win column.