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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The Farmington Tigers boys' and girls' track and field teams both put in great showings at the South Suburban Conference championships held at Rosemount High School last week, May 22-23. The Tiger girls finished as runners-up behind champion Rosemount, while the Farmington boys took fourth. Between the two teams they had four individual champions and numerous strong finishes. Freshman Ramy Ayoub won the 800-meter run, the boys' 4x800 relay team were champions and junior Nyeaee Robins took the 100 and 200.
Heading into their Friday, May 24, Section 1AAAA playoff game at home against Owatonna, the Farmington Tigers were riding an eight-game winning streak. They finished in a tie-for-second in the South Suburban Conference and that winning streak including wins over section opponent Lakeville North and against Eastview. They earned the No. 2 seed in the section and faced No. 7 Owatonna at home on Friday. Farmington led 2-0 and were in complete control of the game until the sixth inning. However, Owatonna scored one run in the sixth and one in the seventh to send the game into extra innings before scoring four more runs in the top of ninth and then held on for the 6-2 wins. In the end, it was the Tigers' own mistakes and offensive struggles that cost them the game. Farmington drops to the consolation bracket and will face the loser of No. 3 New Prague and No. 6 Lakeville South on Tuesday, May 28, in Farmington. Should they win, they then would play the loser of a semifinal game.
The weather may have conspired against the Farmington Tigers softball team, but that did not stop them from winning their first two games of the Section 1AAAA playoffs in a doubleheader Thursday, May 23, at Todd Park in Austin. The Tigers—who are the No. 3 seed—beat No. 6 Rochester Mayo 12-0 in five innings behind a no-hitter by senior pitcher Rebecca Hoeve, and then immediately beat No. 2 Rochester John Marshall 5-2 to advance to the semifinals. Farmington was initially slated to host Rochester Mayo on Tuesday, May 22, but the game was moved to Wednesday due to rain. It was then announced on Wednesday that they would play a doubleheader in Austin on Thursday. They will now face No. 4 New Prague—who knocked off top-seeded Lakeville North 3-0—on Tuesday, May 28, at Todd Park.
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.