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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Friday's Missota Conference home opener was a lot closer than the final score indicated. The Farmington girls hockey team spotted the defending conference champions three goals in the first period, but battled back to within a goal heading in to the third period before falling to the Storm Hawks 6-3 at Schmitz-Maki Arena. Haleigh Zwart, Michaela Tonsager and Rachael Peroutky each scored goals in the second period as the Tigers moved within 4-3.
A tired Farmington swimming and diving team was able to muster enough energy to earn a second-place finish at Saturday's Prior Lake Invitational. Less than 48 hours after winning the team championship at the inaugural Missota Conference Relays, the Tigers returned to the pool and scored 402 points to earn runner-up honors behind the host Lakers' 478 1/2. "The boys swam pretty tired. We had very few great times, but we are satisfied with the result. At this time of the year the boys should be tired and learning how to swim through it," Farmington coach Ryan Hamen said.
Farmington High School has been accepted into the South Suburban Conference beginning in the fall of 2014. The principals of the 10 South Suburban Conference schools accepted Farmington's application by a unanimous 10-0 vote Tuesday night. Farmington administrators will make their recommendation to the school board for final approval at a meeting next month. Farmington athletic director Jon Summer put the change in motion when he sent an application to the executive committee of the South Suburban Conference in September.
The Farmington girls hockey team put an end to its three-game losing skid with a 2-2 overtime tie against Owatonna Saturday at the Four Seasons Centre. The Tigers had their chances to come away with the win, but their 2-0 lead slipped away in the final nine minutes of regulation. Owatonna's Payton Noble scored the tying goal with 1:29 remaining and the teams remained deadlocked through an eight-minute overtime period. Grace Gavin opened the scoring with a goal 11:30 into the second period.
The Farmington gymnastics team kicked off its schedule with a second-place finish in the Winter Warm-up Saturday at the Austin YMCA. The host Packers looked to be in midseason form as they won the meet with a team score of 142.05. The Tigers headed up the rest of the nine-team field with a score of 126.5, four points better than third-place Stewartville. Richfield, Rochester Mayo, Century and John Marshall also competed. "As a team I was very proud of our girls. We performed everything we've been practicing," Farmington coach Lynn Bauman said.
A pair of freshmen led the Farmington wrestling team at its first meet of the season. Jamin LeDuc and Taylor Venz each captured individual titles as the Tigers moved up three places from a year ago to place seventh out of 14 teams with 99 points at Saturday's Lakeville North Paul Wolf Panther Invite. Hudson (Wis.) won the team title 183-172 over runner-up Scott West. North was third with 117 points, followed by Park of Cottage Grove, Chaska/Chanhassen, Henry Sibley, Farmington, Lakeville South, New Richmond (Wis.), Woodbury, Northfield, South St.
Two Farmington football players were named to all-state teams after helping the Tigers to a 7-3 season and a share of the conference title. Senior quarterback Darren Beenken was named to the Minnesota High School Football Coaches Association 5A Academic All-State team. Beenken finished his career as the school-record holder for passing yards in a season (1,661), career yards (3,830) and completion percentage (career: 54 percent, season: 62 percent). Junior kicker Reid Taubenheim was named Associated Press honorable mention all-state.
It didn't take the Farmington boys hockey team long to shake off its season-opening loss to Hastings. The Tigers rebounded with a pair of road wins over section opponents last week in Rochester, first edging Rochester John Marshall 4-3 on Tuesday and then rolling to their first-ever victory over Rochester Century by a 6-0 count last Thursday at the Rochester Recreation Center. Thursday's game didn't become a blowout until the third period. Despite outshooting the Panthers 33-8 over the first 34 minutes, the Tigers led just 1-0.
Farmington got out to a good start, but Rochester John Marshall had an even stronger finish in Friday night's season opener at Tiger Gym. The Tigers started the game with an 18-3 run, but the Rockets snuck back within 11 by halftime and then scored a whopping 57 points in the second half to rally for an 85-70 victory. "In the first half we struggled shooting, but made up for it with our defense and rebounding. That led to a quick transition game, which gave us a number of lay-ups off the break," Farmington coach Shane Wyandt said.
Shane Wyandt didn't need any scores kept to find out quite a bit about his Farmington team during a pair of scrimmages over the weekend. The Tigers hosted Spring Lake Park and Belle Plaine Friday night at Tiger Gym, and then traveled to Hill-Murray Saturday where they took on White Bear Lake, Trinity and Woodbury on Saturday. The busy slate allowed all 18 members of the JV and varsity squads to get court time in the team's final dress rehearsals before tomorrow night's opener vs.