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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A talented field of teams pushed Farmington down to seventh place at last Friday's Apple Valley Invitational. The Tigers placed four events in the top 10 as they scored 1,525 team points. Stillwater outscored Lakeville South 2,342-1,971 for the team title in a meet that also included teams from Anoka, Lakeville North, Cretin-Derham Hall, Eau Claire, Rochester Mayo and Apple Valley. Junior Evan Carufel supplied the highest Farmington finish with a fourth-place score of 292.20 points in the 1-meter dive. Teammate Nick Stephan was the only other top-10 individual place-winner.
The Farmington girls basketball team won't take a winless record into the start of the Missota Conference season. The Tigers ended a 10-game losing streak by knocking off host Orono 54-31 in the third-place game of the Orono Tournament Thursday. The 54 points was a season high and the 31 allowed a season-low. "We have been putting a greater focus on our full-court defensive pressure and that is creating more scoring opportunities for us in transition," head coach Sondra Chadwick said.
Darren Beenken caught fire in the third-place game of the Hastings Holiday Classic Tournament last Thursday. The junior guard scored 18 of his team's first 20 points of the second half as the Tigers broke a 41-41 halftime deadlock to beat winless Burnsville, 79-68. Beenken threw down a slam dunk and nailed four three-pointers in the second half as he finished with a career-high 34 points. Burnsville crept back within four points in the closing minutes, but Jacob Hanson, Alex Chadwick and Johnny Dittman combined to connect on eight free throws to seal the team's third win of the season.
Three gymnasts captured first-place finishes for Farmington as the Tigers got together over their holiday break to score 133.75 points and edge host Rosemount by less than a point Thursday night. "It's always hard to have a meet during the holidays,"Farmington coach Lynn Bauman said. "We tried our best and pulled out a win. The girls were positive and made a big improvement on the beam." Kathryn Beckett led the Tigers with a second-place finish in the all-around.
Farmington started out the Missota Conference season in fine fashion Friday night. The Tigers scored three goals in the second period and pulled away from Shakopee 4-1 in their league opener at Shakopee Ice Arena. "It's nice to start out the conference season with a win," Farmington head coach Keith Revels said. "We continue to play better in our defensive zone, limiting quality opportunities.... We are working hard, playing physical and finishing around the net." Jason Thomas opened the scoring with his first goal of the season (assist to Kevin Olund) 11:53 into the first period.
Sixty teams from six states offered a big challenge for the Farmington wrestling team at last week's Rumble on the Red tournament at the Fargodome. Four wrestlers registered wins and scored points in the varsity portion of the tournament as the Tigers placed 52nd with 24.5 points. "We had a good tournament," Farmington coach Chad Olson said. "Twelve wrestlers made the second day. We only had three make it last year. Eleven of the 12 were 10th grade or younger." Taylor Venz (106 pounds) and Jake Rudeen (138 pounds) set the pace, each wrestling to records of 3-2.
Last week's Louis Schmitz Holiday Classic provided a stark contrast between the Farmington girls hockey teams of 2010-11 and 2011-12. A season ago, the Tigers scored 13 goals in three games and rolled past Apple Valley, Park of Cottage Grove and Hastings to the tournament title. This year's team -- without graduated seniors Krystal Baumann and Hannah Alexander, two of the top scorers in program history -- managed just four goals on 82 shots while falling to Eastview, Park and Hastings.
Farmington head coach Keith Revels is hoping a couple of tough losses to Suburban East Conference schools last week will have his team ready for its Missota Conference opener tomorrow night. The Tigers, mired in a three-game losing streak overall after a 3-1 loss to Hastings and a 3-2 setback at Cottage Grove, open up league play tomorrow night with a date against the Sabers at Shakopee Arena. "It was good preparation for us starting the Missota schedule next week," Revels said.
Farmington caught fire from three-point range and scored a season-high 79 points in what head coach Shane Wyandt called his team's "best game of the season" last Tuesday night against Park of Cottage Grove at Tiger Gym. Two nights later, the Tigers saw their road record fall to 0-4 as an equally-hot Simley team jumped out to a 19-0 advantage in an 87-70 setback. Simley ended up shooting 75 percent from beyond the three-point arc and 72 percent from the floor in the game.
The Farmington girls hockey team scored three goals in a game for the first time this season as it collected its third win in four tries against Section 1AA rival Owatonna Thursday night at Schmitz-Maki Arena. After a scoreless first period, Grace Gavin got the Tigers on the board with a power-play goal in the second (assist to Betsy Anderson). The home team posted a 20-4 advantage in shots on goal in the second, but still led just 1-0 heading into the final 17 minutes. Anderson put the Huskies (5-5) away for good with a pair of unassisted goals in the third.