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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For the second straight year Farmington came away with three straight losses at its own Louis Schmitz Holiday Classic. The Tigers continued to struggle on the offensive end as their losing streak stretched to eight games. They outshot eighth-ranked (Class 1A) Mound-Westonka 49-25, but came away with a 5-1 loss in Thursday's first-round game at Schmitz-Maki Arena. In Friday's consolation bracket game, the team came up empty on all 22 of its shots and was shut out for the fourth time this season in a 1-0 loss to Apple Valley.
The Farmington girls hockey team's slide continued last week against a pair of state-ranked teams. The Tigers lost 6-1 to second-ranked (Class 2A) Red Wing Dec. 18 at Schimtz-Maki Arena. Their losing skid reached five games after a 5-0 shutout at the hands of ninth-rated (Class 1A) New Prague Dec. 20 at the New Prague Community Center. The Tigers have been shut out three times during a nine-game winless streak that dates back to their lone win of the season Nov. 15 at Rochester Mayo. Goaltender Maddie Bowe had 29 saves in the loss to New Prague.
The Farmington wrestling team earned a win, a virtual tie and a loss the Dec. 18 Richfield Quadrangular. The Tigers officially came away with a record of 1-2 after Chaska/Chanhassen won the third tiebreaker - most pins, 4-2 - in a match that ended with the score tied at 33-33. The team opened by registering five pins and three forfeits in a convincing 48-21 win over host Richfield. Jamin LeDuc, Joe Liden, Jake Rudeen, Chris McCue and Godfrey Mpetey all won by fall.
Coming home with a victory isn't typically in the cards for any of the Missota Conference gymnastics teams when they make their annual trip to Northfield. Instead, Farmington made it their goal to relax and have fun. The strategy seemed to pay off as the Tigers turned in their best team score of the young season in a 142.35-131.90 loss to the perennial state contenders. "We're on our way back. The girls are really pulling themselves together. Fun, fun, fun, that's what it's all about. We need to keep it fun," Farmington coach Lynn Bauman said.
The Farmington girls basketball team will take an 0-9 record into its holiday tournament for the second straight year, but head coach Sondra Chadwick thinks her team may have some momentum to build on heading into the Dec. 27 game against Watertown-Mayer at the Monticello Tournament. That's because her Tigers responded to a 13-point loss to Rochester Century she described as "flat and uninspired" by hanging with a bigger, more experienced Lakeville South team in a 60-51 setback last Thursday at Tiger Gym.
Rochester Century jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never trailed in a 63-56 non-conference win over Farmington last Dec. 18. The Tigers shot just 35 percent from the field and 28 percent from the free-throw line as they dropped their second straight and slipped to 3-3 overall. The team is in action again today against Burnsville in the first round of the Hastings Tournament. Alex Chadwick drained three three-pointers in the second half to tie the score, but the Tigers could never take the lead. Chadwick finished with a team-high 12 points.
Prior Lake won the first three events and pulled away for a 100-86 dual win over Farmington Dec. 18 at Dodge Middle School. The Tigers cut into Prior Lake's lead with a first-place finish by the foursome of Dahlton Bell, Dan Berg, Eric Schimmel and Christopher Kirchmann in the 200 freestyle relay, but the Lakers closed out the meet by winning the 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke and 400 freestyle relay. "We had a lot of times close to our best times, but lost a lot of close races at the finish," Farmington coach Ryan Hamen said.
Kiana Lord won three events and the all-around competition in leading the Farmington gymnastics team past Red Wing 126.04-122.075 in its first Missota Conference dual meet of the season last Tuesday at the Red Wing Gymnastics Center. Lord's highest score came in the floor exercise where she turned in a 9.275. She also topped 9.0 in the vault, which she won with a 9.125, and the balance beam, where she scored an 8.5. She also came in second in the uneven bars. Lord won the all-around title with a total of 34.825 and teammate Kathryn Beckett placed second with a 31.575.
The Farmington boys hockey team split a pair of 4-3 home contests late last week to close out its pre-conference schedule with a record of 4-4. The Tigers won by that count last Thursday against Spring Lake Park, and then lost by the same score Saturday against Rochester Mayo Saturday at Schmitz-Maki Arena. The setback left them 3-1 against section opponents. "It would have been nice to have a clean sweep of section teams we play, but 3-1 is pretty solid," Farmington coach Keith Revels said. "I see Mayo at or very near the top of the Big Nine this season.
The Farmington girls basketball team is still without a victory to show for its efforts despite a couple more promising performances last week. The Tigers saw a nine-point lead slip away in a 55-54 loss to Apple Valley last Tuesday at Tiger Gym, and then led for much of the first half in an eventual 80-66 road setback at fifth-ranked (Class 3A) Red Wing in their Missota Conference opener Friday night. The team sits at 0-7 and has lost 11 straight dating back to last season. "Those were two good games for the girls last week, although we did not find ourselves on the winning end of either.