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 streak of three straight trips to the Section 1AAA vollyeball semifinals ended with a 3-0 sweep at the hands of Northfield Friday night in Northfield. The Tigers, coming off three straight 20-win seasons and their first-ever trip to the state tournament, called it a season having amassed a 9-19 record. The team hadn't won fewer than 16 games since head coach Mike Woody's first season in 2006. "In the big picture, I'd say the learning curve took longer than I'd hoped for," said Woody, who returned just two regulars from last year's team.
Farmington finished behind Northfield at the recent Missota Conference Championships, but got its revenge by edging the Raiders for 10th place in the girls portion of the Section 1AA Championships. The Tigers scored 249 team points to edge the Raiders by three. Lakeville North beat Lakeville South, 40-84, for the team title, then Big Nine Conference teams occupied the Nos.
A strong finishing kick in the final half-mile earned Elliot Fenske another trip to the Class 2A State Cross Country Meet. The Farmington senior moved up four places with his sprint to the finish line at Thursday's Section 1AA Championships at Brooktree Golf Course, finishing the 5,000-meter course in a time of 16 minutes, 25 seconds, to earn seventh place out of 98 runners. "Battling a bit of a cold he faltered a bit and was seventh at the two-mile. He was struggling a bit with 800 meters left and fell out of state meet qualifying at 11th," Farmington coach Keith Revels said.
Farmington's girls tennis team finished the 2010 season winless at 0-7 in the Missota Conference and 0-13 overall, but coach Jack Owell still saw improvement from his team throughout the season. "We improved greatly from the start of the season through the finish. Even though we got steamrolled by Century in both the team and individuals, most of our players hit their peak during that competition," he said. "I was most pleased that our kids' efforts did not flag during the losing streak.
The list of 2010 accomplishments keeps getting longer for the Farmington girls swimming and diving team. Coming off an 11th-place finish at the program's first-ever appearance at the Class 2A True Team State Meet, the Tigers improved from fifth to second at Saturday's Missota Conference Championships in Northfield. The runner-up Tigers finished with 342 points to the Raiders' 455, but the battle between the league's top two teams was closer than it appeared as Northfield held a 51-point edge in the 1-meter dive and a 40-point advantage in the 400 freestyle relay, where Farmington's No.
The Lakeville North Panthers and a steady 40-mile-per-hour wind teamed up to blow Farmington out of the Section 1AAAAA football playoffs Tuesday night. The second-seeded Panthers overcame a slow start to lead 17-6 by halftime, then pulled away in the third quarter to post a season-high point total in a 39-14 win. The Tigers (1-8) pulled within 7-6 on a 14-yard touchdown run by senior running back CJ Record with 3:36 left in the first quarter.
Farmington senior Elliot Fenske is going back to the Class 2A State Cross Country Meet. The senior battled a strong field of runners at Thursday's Section 1AA Championships at Brooktree Golf Course in Owatonna and came away seventh out of 98 runners. His time of 16 minutes, 25 seconds on the 5,000-meter course got him to the finish line in time to earn the third-to-last individual qualifying bid. The Tiger boys finished eighth out of 14 teams, while the girls, led by freshman Maricia Pacheco's 20th-place finish, came in 10th out of 14 teams.
Sixth-seeded Farmington advanced to the second round of the Section 1AAA volleyball tournament with a 25-16, 25-23, 25-13 sweep of Hastings Wednesday night at Tiger Gym. The Tigers (9-18) advance to take on Missota Conference rival Northfield in Friday night's second round contest in Northfield. The third-seeded Raiders (19-8) finished second in the league at 6-1 and defeated the Tigers in four games in their previous meeting this season on Oct. 7 in Northfield.
Another slow start left Farmington with too big a deficit to overcome in Wednesday night's regular season finale in New Prague. The Tigers, who have lost six in a row since their lone victory of the season over Red Wing in Week 2, fell behind 21-0 by halftime on Wednesday as New Prague ate up the clock with 442 rushing yards in a 28-14 win. "They had a few big plays, their quarterback ran well off the edge and they had a quick halfback. We had a hard time catching him," Farmington coach Mark Froehling said.
Even with a good showing, there's not much room for Farmington to move up when facing the talented competition in the Missota Conference. Tenth-ranked Chanhassen needed a sixth-runner tiebreaker to beat Shakopee in the team race and No. 1-ranked Maria Hauger of Shakopee led a strong individual field while the Tigers, who turned in some of their best times of the season, had to settle for a sixth-place finish at New Prague Golf Course. The Tigers scored 142 points, 10 off the pace of fifth-place Red Wing and 14 ahead of seventh-place Northfield.