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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Rob Laden has some talent to work with and some holes to fill in his first season as a high school softball coach. Laden, who has spent the last 12 years coaching club, youth and traveling softball in Lakeville, ran his first practice Monday afternoon with a varsity squad that was missing five starters from last year's team that Heather Ballstadt guided to a 14-10 record. "As a new coach I don't know a lot about the players yet. I am excited to start practice and get to know the players and see what we have," Laden said.
Rochester Mayo's Sam Calcagno almost single-handedly knocked Farmington out of the Section 1AAAA basketball tournament last Wednesday night. Calcagno, who entered averaging 10 points per game for the 10-14 Spartans, drilled four three-pointers and rang up a career-high 37 points in an 84-76 victory over the fifth-seeded Tigers in Rochester. "We really struggled defending him," Farmington coach Shane Wyandt said. "He made the difference both off his penetration and shooting." Calcagno helped the Spartans overcome an early deficit and take a 37-33 lead into the break.
Owatonna's packed-in zone defense dared Farmington to make some perimeter jump shots during last Saturday's Section 1AAAA semifinals. The Tigers couldn't do it. Coach Jason Berg's team shot just 28 percent from the field -- including a 1-for-14 showing from beyond the three-point arc -- in a 50-31 season-ending loss to the second-seeded Huskies. "We just did not make any perimeter jump shots. (Taylor ) Meyer hit one three and we hit only two other jump shots," Berg said.
It was only fitting that the Farmington basketball team's final game of the regular season would be decided by one point and come down to the final second. A 7-19 regular season that has featured 11 games decided by five points or fewer, four games decided by a single point and four more decided by two or three points concluded with a 63-62 road win Friday night at Red Wing.
Tyler Magalis just keeps getting better every year he dives at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. The Farmington junior improved his score at the Class 3A State Meet for the third year in a row on Saturday, finishing sixth with a total score of 366.85. Magalis came in 12th against a tough field last year with a 310.85 and was 11th as a freshman with a score of 281.6. Magalis moved up from seventh to sixth after scoring a 247.65 in the semifinal round.
Farmington's Eric Adrian showed no signs of being intimidated in his first appearance at the Class 3A State Wrestling Tournament. The senior won his first two matches by fall and went on to place fifth in the 160-pound bracket last weekend at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Adrian's upper lip was split open during his first-round match against Richard Carlson of Mounds View, but the senior managed to fight through the pain and score a third-period pin.
Senior Eric Adrian was the lone Farmington wrestler to win his opening match at the Class 3A State Wrestling Tournament. Adrian, making his debut at Xcel Energy Center, opened with a pin in his 160-pound match. State returners Carl Elmer and Nick Albano each lost their first-round matches.
Farmington's girls basketball team is welcoming the opportunity to take on some teams from outside the Missota Conference in the upcoming Section 1, Class 4A Tournament. The Tigers have dropped six straight league games and fallen to 10-14 overall, but remain in position to make a post-season run thanks to a 7-3 mark in non-conference play. They earned the No. 3 seed in the section and played host to a Rochester John Marshall team they beat by 30 points earlier in the season in Wednesday night's tournament opener.
New Prague exploded for 46 second-half points and ended its three-game losing streak with a 73-64 victory over Farmington Friday night in New Prague. The Tigers led 31-27 at the break and were still within a possession when their offense went cold in the final four minutes. Meanwhile, the Trojans pulled away as senior Danny Geiger put the finishing touches on his 27-point outing. Jed Kreuser added 18 points and Cale Girten chipped in 14 for New Prague, now 15-9. Farmington, which slipped to 6-18 with its third straight loss, was led by Kyle Winkelman's 20 points.
Three state-qualifying events led Farmington to a third-place finish in the eight-team Section 1AA Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday in Rochester. The Tigers scored 267 points, edging Hastings (261) and Owatonna (240) for a spot in the top three. Rochester Century won the meet and beat runner-up Northfield by nearly 100 points, 386-288. "We expected to finish at least fourth," Farmington coach Ryan Hamen said. "The sheet we received from all the entries put us in that position.