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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Inexperience once again proved to be the downfall of the Farmington girls golf team in the Section 1AAA tournament last week. With a lineup featuring two eighth-graders, two freshmen and just one senior, the Tigers finished last with a round of 454 at Cannon Falls Golf Course. Lone senior Alexia Rains closed out her career with a team-best round of 110 for 18 holes. Brianna Swenson followed with a 114 and Alexis Preese and Terra Klima provided matching rounds of 115.
There was an audible gasp from the crowd as Logan Hussung's second preliminary shot put toss sailed high through the air at last Thursday's Section 1AA Championships. Seconds later, there was thunderous applause when the distance of the heave was announced on the loud speakers at Lakeville South High School's track: "60 feet, six and one-half inches." Hussung didn't hear any of it. He has trained himself not to.
From 2005 to 2007, the Farmington girls track team didn't qualify a single event for the Class 2A State Meet. But in the last three years, it's become commonplace to see Tiger athletes competing alongside other top performers in the section and earning their place on the Hamline University track.
Farmington's VFW Post 7662 baseball team had both of its practices rained out during the week-and-a-half off between when the high school season ended and the summer season began. That down time resulted in some rust.
A look at some of the numbers says it all: a 59-foot shot put toss, a 50-second 400, a 1:59 800, a 4:43 1,600. The Farmington boys track and field team is peaking at just the right time. Distances continued to climb and times continued to dwindle Thursday as the Tigers finished third with 146 1/2 team points at the highly-competitive Missota Conference Championships Thursday at Prior Lake. Host Prior Lake outscored runner-up Shakopee 199 1/2-152 for the team title.
Farmington played competitive tennis, but eventually dropped all four of its opening matches in the sub-section 1AA individual tournament last Thursday in Hastings. No. 1 singles player Seth Roberts played a great first set and picked up a 6-0 victory before dropping the final two sets, 3-6, 4-6. "Seth played so well in the first set it would have been difficult to maintain that level. I don't even have dreams where I play that well," veteran Farmington coach Jack Olwell said.
Three school-record-setting performances and three first-place finishes pushed Farmington to third place in the girls' portion of the Missota Conference Championships last Thursday in Prior Lake. The Tigers scored the bulk of their points in the relays and field events, but were still able to pile up 124 1/2 team points. That was just nine points off the pace of runner-up New Prague in a meet the host Lakers won handily with 233 1/2 points. "The kids came to perform and did so at quite a high level," Farmington coach Tom Hart said. "I couldn't have asked for much more from then.
Despite striking out 15 times and collecting just five hits, Farmington managed to squeak out a 3-2, 11-inning victory over seventh-ranked Prior Lake back on May 19. The Tigers scored just three runs total in their final two games of the regular season after that -- both losses -- and the offense never got back into a groove in the Section 1AAA Tournament.
Two days after pounding out 17 hits in a section-opening victory over Rochester John Marshall, the Farmington baseball team managed just three hits in a season-ending 2-1 Section 1AAA Tournament loss Monday at Winona. The Tigers finished the season with a record of 9-13, a game better than last season and their best mark since 2006.
The Farmington baseball team will open the Section 1AAA baseball tournament with a road game at fourth-seeded Rochester John Marshall Saturday at 1 p.m. in Rochester.