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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Outside of the state meet, it would be difficult to find a more impressive lineup of prep track and field teams than the one that gathered at Lakeville North for Friday's Mega Meet. Farmington finished 12th out of a field of 17 boys teams and cracked the top 10 in only six events, but the important number to head coach Brian Helmstetter was 22 -- the number of personal records turned in by his athletes during the windy 7 1/2 hour meet. Good competition produces good times and there was plenty of both in a meet where Wayzata outscored Eden Prairie, 96-92, for the team title.
The Metrodome may have been deemed obsolete for Major League Baseball, but it's still plenty good for Farmington high school's team. The Tigers ripped a season-high 16 hits under the teflon roof Saturday and got another solid start from Justin Lavey as they rolled past Hutchinson, 12-1. Hutchinson was a 3-2 winner in the previous matchup between the two teams 11 days earlier. "If I had $7,000, I'd schedule all our home games in the Dome," Farmington coach Mike Winters said.
First-year head boys golf coach Jon Holmes plans to juggle his varsity lineup for tonight's meet at Prior Lake after watching his JV team's top six beat his varsity team's top six by three strokes at Monday's season-opening Missota Conference meet. The Tigers' top six varsity golfers combined to shoot a team score of 520, with the top four golfers earning seventh out of eight teams with a 336 at River Oaks Golf Course. Prior Lake won the meet, 311-315, over runner-up Holy Angels. Sophomore Tommy May led Farmington with a seventh-place round of 78.
Even though his team scored a combined five runs in its first three games, all losses, Farmington baseball coach Mike Winters was confident the offense was improving. The Tigers proved their coach right Monday night, pounding out 10 hits in a 6-4 home win over Edina. "We have improved hitting the ball every game," Winters said. "This was one of the best games we've played in two years. Everybody was positive and participated in a positive manner. It was a lot of fun." The Tigers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but the fun really started in the bottom of the sixth.
Sophomore Ben Cline's 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 2 singles highlighted Farmington's season-opening 6-1 tennis loss last Friday at Lakeville South. "(Cline) played his usual brand of relentless tennis, refusing to give his opponent anything easy," said Farmington coach Jack Olwell, who was unable to field a complete varsity lineup. "All things considered I think we had a good showing. We added a couple of new players this week, but not in time to add them to the varsity lineup, so we forfeited at No. 2 and 3 doubles. That may be the last time we have that problem." The No.
So far, so good for the Rob Laden era. The Farmington softball team, led by its first-year coach, came away with a pair of victories over Missota Conference rivals Hutchinson and Red Wing in the first two games of the 2010 season last week. The Tigers held on for a 5-3 win over Hutchinson last Wednesday, then used a four-run top half of the seventh inning to secure a 5-1 win Friday at Red Wing. Freshman pitcher Ashley Betzold picked up the winning decision in both games.
The Farmington boys and girls track team appear ready to head outdoors. The Tigers used contributions from up and down their respective lineups to grab a pair of meet victories at Saturday's Academy of Holy Angels Indoor Invite at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. The girls team dominated its team race, winning 11 of 18 events while outscoring runner-up New Prague, 93-57. The boys race wasn't a run-away, but the Tigers still ended up with a 74-69 victory over second-place Shakopee. "The girls competed very hard last night and went out there with a mission.
Before the start of the season Farmington baseball coach Mike Winters was the first to admit the Tigers had question marks all over the diamond with just four regulars returning from last spring's 8-14 team. Things still appeared a bit unsettled in Thursday's season opener, but Winters saw some positive signs in an 8-1 home loss to Hastings. "We put the ball in play and threw strikes, which is a positive. It should lead to better outcomes in the future," Winters said.
Both Brian Helmstetter and Tom Hart came away pleased with their teams' first performances of the season at last Friday's indoor track scrimmage at St. Olaf College in Northfield. No official scores or times were kept, but the coaches still got a chance to see both their veteran and returning runners go up against competition from other area schools. "I love this meet because you get a chance to introduce track to all of your new faces," Helmstetter said. "We had a number of first timers perform quite well and were excited/nervous to get the first meet out of the way.
It will take contributions from some first-time varsity performers if the Farmington baseball team is going to put together its first winning season since 2006. The Tigers went 17-6 that season and won the Missota Conference title. Since then they have had three straight losing seasons, going 7-17 and 7-15 before improving to 8-14 last spring.