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 girls swimming and diving team doesn't ease into the season. The 50 or so high schoolers who reported to the first practice of the season Monday morning at Levi Dodge Middle School were treated to a 7,700-yard workout courtesy of 11th-year head coach Jen Marshall. Marshall said her swimmers were ready for the base training, as about half of them spent the summer participating in club swimming and swim camps. "They exceeded my expectations.
Plenty of good volleyball players have come and gone during the last four years, but Farmington coach Mike Woody has always found a way to build around his returning players with a cast of newcomers and form a winning team. The 2010 season could be Woody's biggest challenge yet. The Tigers started practice Monday morning at Farmington High School without six senior regulars that helped lead the team to its first appearance at the Class 3A State Tournament last fall at Xcel Energy Center.
Everybody should be back this year for a Farmington girls cross country team that improved from 11th to ninth place at last year's section meet while fielding a senior-less lineup. Experience and leadership will come from this year's lone senior, Nicole Clifton, as well as varsity veterans Bailey Opsal (junior), Marissa Stewart (junior) and Maria Kiminski (sophomore). Clifton led the Tigers with a 37th-place finish at last year's Section 1AA meet, while Opsal led the way with a 23rd-place showing at the Missota Conference Championships.
Elliot Fenske has some high expectations for his senior season and, apparently, the people at the Minnesota State High School League do, as well. The Farmington senior sits 13th in the MSHSL's pre-season rankings for Class 2A cross country coming off a junior season in which he finished 28th in the state meet with a time of 16 minutes, 36 seconds on the hilly course at St. Olaf College in Northfield. Seventeen of the top 27 state finishers were seniors, so Fenske is eager to get back to state and see how far he can move up.
On Sept. 13 Farmington Community Education will begin a seven-week gymnastics program called Twist-N-Tumble Gymnastics for youth ages 2 and up. The program will be led by Farmington High School gymnastics coach Lynn Bauman, who was a state champion for the Tigers in 1991 and a four-year state placewinner.
The name says it all. Brutal Recess. It's a moniker Farmington High School strength and conditioning coach Scott Meier has borrowed for his summer training camp, which is giving Tiger student-athletes more and more creative ways to stay in shape in its 11th season. "Brutal Recess is actually a term I borrowed from a guy named Chip Conrad of Bodytribe Fitness in Sacramento. I came in contact with him last year, and he has some interesting philosophies when it comes to fitness and exercise," Meier said.
Even though this year's VFW baseball team finished with a record a little under the .500 mark, assistant coach Tyler Luhman believes some of his players will be ready to contribute to the Farmington varsity squad by the time next spring rolls around. "Our record doesn't show it, but I felt like this year we had a really talented team, and I have a feeling a lot of these guys are going to be playing or challenging for varsity spots," Luhman said.
Twenty Farmington residents competed in Saturday's Run for the Gold road race in Rosemount. The top Farmington finisher was Chris Mergens, who placed fifth overall out of 195 runners in the four-mile race with a time of 23 minutes, 43 seconds. Rick Schuldt was 26th overall and first in his age group in a time of 28:54 and Dallen Schnichels was 32nd overall and seventh in his age group in 29:25. The top female finisher from Farmington was Lisa Kresky-Griffin, who crossed the finish line 40th overall and fifth out of the 91 women in the race with a time of 30:16.
Jake Baskerville led off the game with a triple, but Farmington couldn't get the big hit to bring him home. That set the tone in Monday's night's 5-0 shutout loss at Minnetonka. Minnetonka used two pitchers to hold the VFW to five hits over seven innings - one apiece from Baskerville, Ty Vincent, Nate Graham, Nick Newman and Ryan Schoening. "We just couldn't get the big hit. We had our chances," VFW coach Jared Rowan said.
At the conclusion of the legion baseball summer season, the top 12 teams in the 32-team district vote on the next best eight teams that will join them in the playoffs. Farmington's Post 189 Legion baseball team entered the final day of the season with a shot at sneaking into the field, but a pair of 10-run-rule losses to a tough Eastview team left them on the outside of the playoff picture with a record of 8-12. "This group was honestly a good group. They were competitive and they had fun. We were just on the cusp of making (the playoffs)," Farmington coach Andy Pierskalla said.