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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Senior Eric Adrian was the lone Farmington wrestler to win his opening match at the Class 3A State Wrestling Tournament. Adrian, making his debut at Xcel Energy Center, opened with a pin in his 160-pound match. State returners Carl Elmer and Nick Albano each lost their first-round matches.
Farmington's girls basketball team is welcoming the opportunity to take on some teams from outside the Missota Conference in the upcoming Section 1, Class 4A Tournament. The Tigers have dropped six straight league games and fallen to 10-14 overall, but remain in position to make a post-season run thanks to a 7-3 mark in non-conference play. They earned the No. 3 seed in the section and played host to a Rochester John Marshall team they beat by 30 points earlier in the season in Wednesday night's tournament opener.
New Prague exploded for 46 second-half points and ended its three-game losing streak with a 73-64 victory over Farmington Friday night in New Prague. The Tigers led 31-27 at the break and were still within a possession when their offense went cold in the final four minutes. Meanwhile, the Trojans pulled away as senior Danny Geiger put the finishing touches on his 27-point outing. Jed Kreuser added 18 points and Cale Girten chipped in 14 for New Prague, now 15-9. Farmington, which slipped to 6-18 with its third straight loss, was led by Kyle Winkelman's 20 points.
Three state-qualifying events led Farmington to a third-place finish in the eight-team Section 1AA Swimming and Diving Championships Saturday in Rochester. The Tigers scored 267 points, edging Hastings (261) and Owatonna (240) for a spot in the top three. Rochester Century won the meet and beat runner-up Northfield by nearly 100 points, 386-288. "We expected to finish at least fourth," Farmington coach Ryan Hamen said. "The sheet we received from all the entries put us in that position.
Carl Elmer, Eric Adrian and Nick Albano backed up their state rankings at Saturday's Section 2AAA Individual Tournament in Prior Lake. All three Farmington wrestlers reached the finals in their respective weight classes to qualify for the Class AAA State Tournament, which got under way Wednesday night at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. "These three have all had fantastic seasons and have high expectations," Farmington coach Jon Lund said. "I believe that each one has the goal to be a state champion. We hope that these kids are able to earn themselves a chance to place.
For the fourth straight year Farmington bowed out against Lakeville North in the Section 1AA Tournament. But for head coach Keith Revels, there were a few more positives than in years past to take away from Thursday night's 4-1 season-ending loss. "We left there feeling a bit better than the years before," Revels said. "We did get out-shot, but that was not a big surprise.
Farmington gymnast Terra Klima saved her best for last in her record-setting junior season. Klima, competing in her first Class AA State Meet Saturday night at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion, broke her own school record with a score of 9.5 on the uneven parallel bars. The score earned her a sixth-place finish, which matched the finish of Farmington's last state qualifier, current head coach Lynn Bauman, in 1993. "Her score was well deserved. She had a great routine," Bauman said. "After practicing every day this week ... I was hoping she would make it in the top six.
The sixth-seeded Farmington boys hockey team was knocked out of the first round of the Section 1AA Tournament after a 4-1 loss at third-seeded Lakeville North Thursday night. The full story on the game will appear in next week's print edition of the Independent.
Twice last week Alex Michels found himself with the outcome of a game squarely on his shoulders as the final seconds ticked away. Once he came through, once he didn't, and the Tigers had to settle for a split of a pair of Missota Conference contests. Michels found himself open under the basket and turned a Kyle Winkelman pass into a game-winning lay-up with 1.6 seconds left in Tuesday night's 61-59 road victory at Prior Lake.
Farmington pieced together its first complete lineup of the season at Saturday's Section 2AAA Team Championships, but it wasn't enough to avoid a 45-21 loss to top-seeded Bloomington Jefferson/Kennedy. The Tigers won five of their 14 matches, three of which came from state-ranked wrestlers Carl Elmer, Eric Adrian and Nick Albano. Elmer, ranked eighth in the state, scored a second-period pin at 140 pounds.