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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South Suburban Conference rivals Prior Lake, Eagan and Eastview provided a tough test for the Rosemount girls track team at its home Irish Invitational last Tuesday at Irish Stadium. Those three teams occupied the top three spots in the final team standings (Prior Lake, 155 ½; Eagan, 146 ½; Eastview, 107) and combined to win 10 of the meet's 18 events. Northfield slipped into fourth place with 104 points, leaving the hosts fifth in the eight-team field with 92 points. Freshman Rachel Schow and senior Natalie Busher each won individual events for Rosemount.
Two of the state's premier track teams proved to be a good match for each other Friday night in Wayzata. Rosemount edged the Trojans, last year's Class 2A state runner-up, 73-72 in a rare regular season dual meet. In the dual meet format, relays were winner-take-all, with five points being awarded to the first-place team. In individual events, first place received five points, second place three points and third place one point. Rosemount won nine of the meet's 17 events, including 1-2-3 finishes in the 400-meter dash and shot put.
Rosemount No. 1 singles player Andreas Dinkelmeyer debuted at No. 7 in the state individual rankings this week after beating ranked players Brady Rademacher of Eagan and Will Biernat of Eastview last week. Unfortunately for the Irish, Dinkelmeyer suffered an injury during Saturday's eventually rained-out Maple Grove tournament and wasn't available for Monday's home meet against Red Wing. The Wingers took advantage of his absence and used three singles victories and a pair of doubles wins to post a 5-2 team triumph. "Red Wing is a very good team.
An enthusiastic group of lacrosse fans turned up to cheer on the Rosemount lacrosse team last Friday against Woodbury at Irish Stadium. The Irish won, 16-2.
The Rosemount High School athletic department announced Tuesday the hiring of Brad Stepan as the new head boys hockey coach. Stepan has an extensive background in hockey. He was drafted as a junior out of Hastings and went on to play in the Ontario Hockey League and for Herb Brooks on the 1986 Junior Olympic team. He then played in the New York Rangers' system. Stepan worked on the coaching staffs at Hastings and Henry Sibley High School and served as a scout for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Rosemount came up just short in a battle between two of the top lacrosse teams in the state Saturday in Minnetonka. The second-ranked Skippers surged to a 9-3 halftime lead, then had to hold on as the fifth-rated Irish fought all the way back to within a goal before falling, 13-12. "We weren't united and we came out flat-footed and made selfish plays in the first half," Rosemount coach Lance Kuehn said. "In the second half we changed our personnel, played as a team and got ourselves back into the game.
The Rosemount girls track team won just one event, but Irish athletes were sprinkled among the place-winners at last Thursday's Prior Lake Invitational. The host Lakers pulled away from the rest of the six-team field with 231 1/3 points, but the Irish hung with the rest of the pack, scoring a third-place total of 108 5/6 points. "The coaching staff was pleased with the performances. Many athletes improved from their performances from last week at Eastview," Rosemount coach Sara Hatleli said. "There were also athletes who tried new events and their performances were very encouraging.
One bad pitch turned Rosemount's fortunes last Thursday against Prior Lake. Relief pitcher Mitch Olson left a pitch up to the first batter he faced in the top of the seventh inning and the result was a two-run home run that lifted the Lakers to a 6-5 South Suburban Conference road win. Starter Nick Seipel had just left the game with a high pitch count after holding the Lakers to four runs (two earned) over the first 6 1/3 innings.
The Rosemount boys golf team started the season with a busy slate of meets last week, competing three times in a span of four days. The young Irish opened by shooting a team score of 352 at the Park of Cottage Grove Invitational last Tuesday. They fell 15 1/2 to 8 1/2 in the first part of a home-and-home match play competition with Farmington at Fountain Valley Golf Course last Wednesday, and then closed out the week on a high note by placing fifth out of 16 teams with a round of 330 at the Shattuck St.
Rosemount's inexperienced pitching duo of Nichole Johnson and Melissa Seldon made some adjustments after allowing 12 runs on 20 hits in last Monday's season-opening loss to Eastview. The same pitchers teamed up to hold Kennedy to a single run on six hits as the Irish evened their record with a 6-1 South Suburban Conference win last Wednesday in Bloomington. "Both pitchers just had very little experience going in. Nichole had zero varsity innings and Seldon had 22. Eastview had good hitters, but I just think they realized you can't be on the plate at all," Rosemount coach Tiffany Rose said.