Alec Hamilton is a RiverTown Multimedia sports reporter covering Hastings, Farmington and Rosemount athletics. He graduated from Drake University with a journalism degree in 2014.
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Farmington baseball could not be any hotter heading into the Section 1AAAA playoffs, even if they literally were on fire. The Tigers ended their regular season with eight-straight wins—including Eastview and Lakeville North—to tie-for-second in the South Suburban Conference and finish with a 13-7 overall record. They start section play on Friday, May 24, as the No. 2 seed and will host No. 7 Owatonna. Should Farmington win, they would then play the winner of No. 3 New Prague and No. 6 Lakeville South in Farmington on Tuesday, May 28. The Tigers did not play Owatonna during the regular season, but they did lose to New Prague 2-1 in the season opener and split two games with the Cougars.
He's known as Benny to hockey fans across generations in Hastings, but his name is Steve Benson and after almost two decades with the Hastings girls' hockey program—with a few small breaks—he has decided to step back from the program. Benson's daughter Sam was a senior on the team this past winter and he coached that senior group their whole careers. With Sam graduating, Benson said his plan is to sit back and enjoy his time with family and some neglected hobbies, though he did not rule out the possibility of a return.
The Farmington Tigers girls' golf program has come a long way since head coach Keith Revels returned to coach six years ago. The year before Revels returned—he is now in his fifth season coaching—numbers were a problem.
Rosemount and Farmington softball faced off last Monday, May 13, in Farmington for their second game of the season and it came down to the very end. Farmington won the first meeting, 4-2, in mid-April and both teams came into the game on very different trajectories. The Tigers were coming off a blowout of Lakeville South had won four out of their last seven, while the Irish were in the middle of a six-game slide. However, the script flipped as Rosemount scored at least one run in the first four innings and held on to beat Farmington 5-4.
The Farmington Tigers girls' track and field team competed in the Class AAA True Team state meet this past Friday, May 17, at Stillwater High School and they took 11th out of 12 teams with 683 points. They finished just 18 points behind Roseville and the champion was Rosemount with 1,137.5 points. Junior Nyeaee Robins the 400-meter for the Tigers. The girls and the boys will next compete in the South Suburban Conference championships at Rosemount High School on Wednesday and Thursday, May 22-23. Sections are at Lakeville South High School on Thursday, May 30, and Friday, June 1.
The No. 11-seeded Farmington Tigers boys' tennis team traveled to Rochester on Tuesday, May 14, for the first round of the Section 1AA team playoffs where they faced off against No. 6 Rochester John Marshall and lost 7-0 to the Rockets. This ends the team portion of the Tigers' season with individual sections coming up next on May 23 and 28 at either Lakeville North or Austin.
The Farmington Tigers boys' tennis team has taken its lumps this year as almost half of the team is made up of freshman and there are just three seniors out—Spencer Mayleben, Tyler Samion and Grant Gruver. Head coach Blake Olmsheid said that this season's approach has had to be somewhat different than in years past.
The Farmington Tigers boys' and girls' track and field teams competed in the Section 1AAA True Team meet on Tuesday, May 7, at Lakeville South. The Farmington girls took second with 974.5 team points—31 behind champion Lakeville South—while the Tiger boys finished fourth with 928 points. The winner of each True Team section meet automatically advances to True Team State at Stillwater High School on Friday and Saturday, May 17-18. However, the second-through-fifth place finishers in each of the eight sections compete in a "paper" meet—in which those 32 teams' True Team section results are compared to each other to determine the four best teams—and they are considered wild card teams who will also compete. Those teams are announced on Saturday, May 11. Both teams will compete in the South Suburban Conference championships on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 21-22, at Rosemount. Sections are May 30 and June 1 at Lakeville South.
The Farmington and Rosemount boys' lacrosse teams came into their Thursday, May 2, matchup in remarkably similar circumstances. Both teams had gotten off to a slow start and had been hit hard by injuries and illness. And both are making adjustments on the fly and just now getting into a groove.
The Rosemount Irish and Farmington Tigers girls' lacrosse teams faced off in the first game of an Irish/Tiger doubleheader last Thursday, May 2, at Tiger Stadium. Rosemount prevailed 16-6 after scoring six unanswered goals to start the second half. The Irish are now 4-4 overall after beating Burnsville 17-8 last Tuesday, April 30, and falling to Park (8-7) on Friday, May 3, and Prior Lake (19-3) on Monday. Meanwhile, the Tigers are 1-6 after losing to Rosemount and Apple Valley 15-7 last Tuesday.