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 carried early leads in both games of its doubleheader Friday afternoon in Rochester, but struggles both on the mound and in the field made them disappear in a Missota Conference sweep at the hands of Red Wing. The Wingers clubbed 14 hits and took advantage of six walks and four errors in winning the opener, 14-6.
The Farmington boys track team made the most of its two events at Friday night's Hamline Elite Meet in St. Paul. The 4x400 foursome of Tyler Lerbakken, Tommy Weigel, Justin Hyytinen and Tanner Grubb combined for a school-record time of 3 minutes, 25.17 seconds that was good enough for second place behind event champion Wayzata. "We have a talented group of middle distance runners and these four, at this point in the season, have run well," Farmington coach Brian Helmstetter said.
The Farmington softball team finally started its season Friday, and it did so right where last season ended -- at Caswell Park in North Mankato. After 13 cancellations and postponements over the last month, the Tigers finally got to dig in their spikes against New Ulm in the opening round of the Mankato East tournament. The last time the team took the field it was at the same complex against Bloomington Jefferson in the consolation round of the Class 3A state tournament last June. This trip to Mankato fared much better for the Tigers.
The Farmington boys lacrosse team lost its first two games by identical 7-6 scores. The Tigers got out to another slow start in game number three, but surged ahead in the second quarter and assured another close one wouldn't escape their grasp. Three unanswered goals sparked an 11-2 run over the final three quarters and the Tigers pulled away from Spring Lake Park 13-4 last Thursday night at Tiger Stadium. "We came out a bit flat, but found our groove midway through the second and never looked back," Farmington coach Paul Sorensen said.
Farmington coach Dan Pickens wanted his girls lacrosse team to focus on fundamentals in Monday night's season opener: Fielding ground balls, winning draws, reducing turnovers and playing solid defense. But Mother Nature made it hard for both the Tigers and Prior Lake to focus on much besides the conditions. Freezing rain seemed to be coming in sideways during the first half and Tiger Stadium looked like a scene straight out a snow globe during the second half of the Lakers' 10-5 victory. "I guess the snownami got the best of us tonight," Pickens said.
At this point, the Farmington boys track team will take an opportunity to compete any way it can get it. The Tigers, who had their first three outdoor meets postponed, finally got the chance to run outside last Tuesday when they joined Rosemount, the Mounds View JV and the Eden Prairie JV for several exhibition events during the Irish Girls Invitational in Rosemount.
The snow melted and the sun came out just long enough to get the Irish Girls Invitational track meet completed last Tuesday night at Irish Stadium. Prior Lake won the meet with 165 1/2 points, followed by Eagan with 102 and third-place Rosemount with 66 1/2 points. Farmington was a close fourth with 58 1/2 points, ahead of teams from Rochester Century, Eastview and Northfield. Two straight days with temperatures in the mid-40s were just enough to clear the track, which was covered up by six more inches of snow just two days later. "We were thrilled to get the meet in.
Conditions could have been generously described as miserable for the Farmington boys lacrosse team's season opener Friday night. First-half rain turned into second-half snow as the sun went down and temperatures dipped into the upper 20s at Tiger Stadium. Offensive leader Jake Bauman left at the half with what coach Paul Sorensen described as "hypothermia-type symptoms" and the Tigers scored just two goals over the final two periods in a 7-6 loss to Lakeville South. "Sloppy conditions and 22 penalties called in total made the game unwatchable at times.
The 40-degree temperature and light snow didn't bother the Farmington boys lacrosse team for long Friday night. The team was just happy to be playing again. "Beyond the first few minutes I don't think the guys really noticed the weather as they were just glad to strap on the pads and helmet and get after it," Farmington coach Paul Sorensen said. "Credit to Apple Valley as they always come prepared and every time we have scrimmaged it's been competitive and hard fought." The Tigers scrimmaged the Eagles for two 30-minute halves on the snow-powdered Tiger Stadium turf.
The Farmington boys tennis team started the spring season in promising fashion with a 7-0 sweep of Bloomington Jefferson Monday afternoon at the Boeckman Middle School courts. "We played very well up and down the lineup," Farmington coach Jack Olwell said. "I like what I saw today. I think being outside in the elements longer than every other team in the metro has given us a quick start and it showed today." Freshman Bennett Lagro moved up to No. 1 singles after a solid eighth-grade season a year ago and responded with a 6-1, 6-0 victory.