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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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.
The Farmington girls were a late addition to the 14-team field and ended up making their presence felt Saturday at the All-American Invitational in River Falls. The Tigers had several high finishes and placed third as a team in their final indoor meet of the spring. Returning state 100 hurdles and long jump champion Nadia Lorencz competed for the first time this season and placed in three events for the Tigers.
There were no complaints from Farmington baseball coach Mike Winters about his team's loss in its season opener. He was just happy to see it on the field. The Tigers escaped the cold spring weather by retreating under the Teflon roof of the Metrodome for last Wednesday's season debut against St. Cloud Apollo. The Eagles, coming off a 22-3 season, scored three runs late to grab a 5-2 victory. "All in all, the game went pretty well for a first game of the year," Winters said.
The Farmington and Rosemount softball teams escaped the cold spring weather by moving into the Irish Dome for a scrimmage last Wednesday morning. No official score was kept, but the live-game action gave both coaches an opportunity to evaluate their teams and find things they need to work on as they prepare for the upcoming season. "It was a great experience to get out of the gym and play in some game-type situations," Farmington coach Paul Harrington said. "We know we have a lot of improvements to make to get where we want to be by our first game....
Records continued to fall for the Farmington boys and girls track teams at last Wednesday's University of St. Thomas indoor meet. The boys team set three indoor school records on the 200-meter Field House track in St. Paul. Tanner Grubb provided one in the 400-meter dash and came back to run a 52-second split in the 4x400 relay.
The Farmington girls lacrosse team has a lot going for it, including an experienced goalie, a solid group of returning midfielders and a talented crop of newcomers that helped the JV team go undefeated last season. One big question remains: Who is going to score the goals for the Tigers this spring? The team lost eight seniors to graduation from last year's 9-5 squad, including six that combined to score 127 of its 152 goals. "We lost about 85 percent of our scoring, so we will have to replace a lot of that," Farmington coach Dan Pickens said. "We will be quick to reload, however.
The Farmington boys and girls track teams got their first chance to face some competition Friday night at an eight-team indoor scrimmage at St. Olaf College. No official results were kept, but both head coaches were pleased with a good portion of the performances turned in by their teams. "St. Olaf went well and we had some nice improvements from last year already," Farmington boys coach Brian Helmstetter said. "Our relays ran real well and all three took first in their heats, but more importantly they had some nice timed performances....