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 swimming and diving coach Ryan Hamen knows there's no shame in finishing last when competing against the 12 best teams in the state. The Tigers have done it the last two seasons, placing 12th at the True Team state meet after winning the Section 1AA title in convincing fashion. Still, the Tigers were pleased not to finish at the bottom of the standings at Saturday's meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center. Led by a pair of high finishes by senior Christopher Kirchmann, the Tigers placed 10th with 1,092 points.
Contributions from a multitude of players helped Farmington overcome a five-point second-half deficit and rally for a 72-68 win over defending Missota champion Chanhassen Friday night at Tiger Gym. Mac Bassett scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and led five starters in double figures for Farmington, which improved to 10-6 overall and remained a game behind first-place Shakopee (5-0) with a league mark of 4-1. The Tigers surged to a 25-16 lead in the streaky affair, but found themselves trailing 36-33 by halftime and 55-50 midway through the second half.
Lakeville North turned in the top three scores in the balance beam and the all-around while securing a 141.525-137.25 victory over the Tigers Friday at the Instructional Services Center. "What a fun meet to have with our neighboring school," Farmington coach Lynn Bauman said. "We are definitely improving, with the exception of the beam. We need to stay on the beam. When that happens we will be seeing very big scores." The team's biggest score came in the floor exercise where Kiana Lord placed second with a 9.525.
The Farmington girls hockey team made the long trip to Red Wing last Thursday and was handed an 8-1 setback by the Wingers at Prairie Island Arena. At least the Tigers are in good company. The Wingers won for the 21st time in 23 outings this season and - at 6-1 - are one win or one Shakopee loss away from clinching the Missota Conference title. The Wingers, whose only losses have come to third-ranked Blake and sixth-ranked New Prague, scored two goals in each of the first two periods Thursday night.
The Farmington boys hockey team continued its high-scoring ways and extended its winning streak to four games with four goals in the final seven minutes of a 6-4 come-from-behind road victory last Tuesday at Faribault. Back at Schmitz-Maki Arena Friday night, the Tigers' luck ran out. After scoring 18 goals in four games, they were dealt a 1-0 shutout by a Red Wing team that entered the week with a record of 0-13-1. "The Red Wing goalie played well with a very stingy defense behind him.
A big second period carried the Farmington girls hockey team to its third victory of the season Saturday at Veterans Memorial Community Center in Inver Grove Heights. The Tigers scored three goals in the period and pulled away for a 6-3 win over Simley, which has now lost seven in a row. Six different Farmington players scored goals, starting with Madeline Oines in the first period. Dani Wright and Breanna Raske provided assists. Wright scored a goal of her own in the second, with assists going to Megan Stivers and Haleigh Zwart.
For the last two years, Farmington has only had to defeat two teams - Northfield and Owatonna - while winning back-to-back Section 1AA True Team championships. Hastings and Winona were added to the fold at Saturday's True Team meet in Northfield, but Farmington still came out on top. The Tigers once again used their superior depth to rack up 37 top-10 finishes and outscore runner-up Hastings 825 ½-750 for their third straight True Team championship.
A slow start doomed the Farmington girls basketball team in its fifth straight setback Friday night in Richfield. The Tigers fell behind 29-15 by halftime and couldn't gain any ground in the second half of a 60-45 Missota Conference loss to the Stars. Sofia Chadwick and Alicia Hett paced the visitors with 14 points apiece.
Farmington's Kiana Lord turned in a clean sweep of all four events at Friday night's Missota Conference meet against Chaska/Chanhassen. Lord scored 9.0 or better in the vault, uneven bars and floor exercise en route to a season-best all-around score of 36.7 in leading the Tigers to a season-best team score in a 136.9-133.7 victory at the Instructional Services Center.
With several team members fighting illness, Farmington sent just seven wrestlers to compete in the Eastview Invite Saturday in Apple Valley. Second-ranked 106-pounder Taylor Venz captured the Tigers' lone individual title, upping his record to 26-1 with a perfect 3-0 day. Venz opened with a technical fall, and then won his semifinal match 14-9 over a Shakopee wrestler that entered with a record of 21-4. In the finals, Venz scored a 10-2 major decision over the state's fifth-ranked 106-pounder, Christian Bahl of Stillwater. Matt Rustad and Jamie Scavone each added fifth-place finishes.