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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Farmington's girls basketball team had the weekend to celebrate after overcoming a 15-point second-half deficit to beat a two-win Holy Angels team in dramatic fashion Friday night at Tiger Gym. Unfortunately for the Tigers, their competition was of a much higher caliber on Monday. Seventh-ranked (Class 3A) New Prague defended its home court by forcing Farmington into a season-high 27 turnovers in a 78-38 rout. It was the program's most lopsided setback since an 83-30 loss against Holy Angels in January of 2005.
Brian Huls and Loren Hatten were the only Farmington swimmers to claim top honors during last Thursday's 100-78 Missota Conference dual loss to Red Wing at Dodge Middle School. Huls outclassed the field in the 100 freestyle with a time of 52.32 seconds, while Hatten was the top finisher in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:09.43 clocking. Huls added three other second-place finishes.
Coming off a week in which his team lost four more games and extended its losing streak to nine games, Farmington head coach Keith Revels could only hold on to the thread of consolation that the Tigers' latest loss was by a narrower margin than the previous eight. The Tigers, who were outshot 38-13 in their first matchup against New Prague in early January, managed play even with the Trojans for over 50 minutes Monday night at Schmitz-Maki Arena before what Revels described as a "seeing-eye goal" knuckled into the goal in the final minute of a 2-1 loss. "Last night was not exactly what we ne
When Jessica Erchul was an eighth-grader helping the Farmington girls hockey team reach the state tournament she was given the nickname "The Erch Factor." Now a sophomore, Erchul is once again a key factor in the Tigers' run toward a Missota Conference championship and another trip to Xcel Energy Center. She picked up her third and fourth shutouts of the season last week and stopped 52 of 54 shots that came her way as the Tigers stayed in control of the conference race with three straight victories.
Farmington's five senior gymnasts went out in fine fashion last Tuesday night, helping the Tigers break their own school record with a team score of 141.275 in a narrow loss to New Prague at Boeckman Middle School. "The girls were on fire. The energy in the gym was unbelievable," Farmington coach Lynn Bauman said. "Everyone was on their feet cheering and showing off to the fullest." The atmosphere helped produce some historic results.
Farmington's wrestling team continued to battle state-ranked competition during Saturday's eighth-place finish at the 16-team Veldman Invite at South St. Paul High School. Four Tigers wrestled to top-three finishes, while four more earned spots in the top eight in their weight classes as the team scored 113.5 points. Monticello crowned five individual champions and won the meet with 251.5 points, more than 90 points ahead of runner-up South St.
By Saturday night the Farmington swimming and diving team was in need of a breather. The Tigers continued to build toward the post-season by competing in three meets in a span of five days. They capped off the hectic stretch with a third-place finish at Saturday's Section 1AA True Team Meet at Northfield. The team scored 336 points to champion Northfield's 449, with its lone first-place finish coming from junior standout Tyler Magalis in the 1-meter dive. Magalis scored 353.10 points to outdistance second place by over 32 points.
A combined 39 turnovers overshadowed stretches of well-played basketball for Farmington last week. The Tigers got sloppy with the ball and saw their lead disappear over the final eight minutes of last Tuesday's 53-42 home loss to Shakopee.
Farmington claimed four of the top five spots in the floor exercise Friday night, but lost two points worth of ground in both the bars and balance beam in a 139.55-136.575 loss to section and conference leader Northfield at Boeckman Middle School. Second-place all-around finisher Haley Luhman (34.925) paced the Tigers in the floor exercise with a first-place score of 9.25. Kathryn Beckett was third at 8.925, followed by Miranda Guilfoyle in fourth at 8.8 and Amy Kiminski in fifth with an 8.65.
Despite a 4-3 loss at Prior Lake on Thursday, the Missota Conference is still Farmington's to win with four games remaining. The Tigers sit at 8-2-0 in the league -- just ahead of second-place Prior Lake's 7-2-1 mark -- but their final four regular season games are against teams they have already beaten this season.