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 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.
The many faces of the Farmington boys basketball team all made appearances during another inconsistent stretch of three games last week. The Tigers opened Missota Conference play last Tuesday with a good defensive effort at Shakopee, but lost their 10th in a row as the Sabers rallied late for a 52-51 victory. The team came back with an energetic effort Friday night when it scored a 73-60 home win over Prior Lake.
Farmington's Eric Adrian and Nick Albano each beat ranked wrestlers en route to winning individual titles at Saturday's Eastview Invitational. Adrian, now 15-2 this season, made his way to the 160-pound championship with an opening pin and a 5-3 decision in the semifinals. He finished off a 3-0 day with a 9-4 decision over Eastview's Nels Peterson, who qualified for state last year and is currently ranked fifth at 160 pounds. "We really like the dominating style of wrestling that we are seeing from Eric right now," coach Jon Lund said.
The Missota Conference hasn't been kind to the Farmington boys hockey team so far this season. The Tigers, winners of 11 games a year ago, were standing at 7-2-1 and riding a six-game winning streak after three lopsided wins at the Waseca Tournament in late December. The team opened league play with a 13-1 loss to fifth-ranked Holy Angels on Jan. 5 and hasn't won since, dropping six straight games.
Farmington's gymnastics team danced to "Bad" as part of what turned out to be a very good performance at Saturday's Michael Jackson-themed Farmington Invite. The Tigers won the dance-off competition backed by the 1987 Jackson hit and topped the field at their own four-team meet with a score of 140.7, their second score over 140 this season. They also avenged an early-season loss to Austin, which finished second with a 135.85. "The girls were well-rested and ready to perform," Farmington coach Lynn Bauman said.