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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Down two points after the vault and bars, the Rosemount gymnastics team outscored Prior Lake by nine points in the balance beam and floor exercise to remain undefeated in the South Suburban Conference with a 132.6-129.6 victory last Tuesday at Twin Oaks Middle School. Eighth-grader Abby Nelson led a 1-2-3 Rosemount finish in the balance beam with a score of 9.05. It was her third score of at least 9.0 in the beam this season. Jenna Schlukebier and Rachel Schow rounded out the top three in the beam. The Irish finished 2-3-4 in the floor exercise, led by Schow's second-place score of 8.85.
Rosemount bounced back from a one-point loss to Park of Cottage Grove by downing Eagan 43-22 in the finale of a double dual between three section rivals last Wednesday at Eagan. Six Irish wrestlers picked up wins in both duals. It was the additional victories turned in by Austin Swanson and Sebastian Paradise that turned out to be the difference-makers against Eagan. Swanson continued a strong start to the dual by registering a pin at 132 pounds in his second varsity match, extending the Irish lead to 19-4.
Rosemount withstood a long second-half drought to rally for its fourth straight victory Thursday night at Irish Gym. The Irish saw a 12-point second-half lead over Cretin-Derham Hall turn into a seven-point deficit before a series of clutch shots and defensive stops in the final four minutes forced overtime. The Raiders broke a 53-53 tie with the first basket of overtime, but those were the last points they would score.
Since scoring six points in the second half of a 50-point loss to Edina on Nov. 29, the Rosemount girls basketball team has started to turn things around. The Irish followed up that debacle by beating Farmington and Tartan and putting forth what head coach Sam McDonald called a "much, much better effort" in a 24-point loss to fourth-ranked Lakeville North.
The 200 medley relay team opened the meet by setting another pool record and the Rosemount swimming and diving team improved to 2-0 in the South Suburban Conference with a 111-73 win over Eagan Friday night at Dakota Hills Middle School. The foursome of seniors Braden McCormack, Jake Stern, Luke Dowell and Conor Manning combined on a winning time of 1 minute, 40.70 seconds, over seven seconds better than Eagan's second-place team.
Seven of Rosemount's 13 wrestlers reached the finals Saturday afternoon as the Irish cruised to the team title at the Kenyon-Wanamingo Dave Mauseth Invitational. The Irish crowed three tournament champions -- Dan Rosa, Adam Jackson and Sam Moeller -- as they racked up 197 1/2 points and outscored runner-up Kenyon-Wanamingo by 44 1/2 points. Stillwater Area (141), Medford (139), Faribault (136), Cannon Falls/Randolph (123), Burnsville (121), Triton (86), Northfield (82) and Blooming Prairie (39) rounded out the 10-team tournament. "We had a great day. It was an overall team effort.
It had been nearly two years since Rosemount's boys basketball team held an opponent under 40 points. The combination of a patient Shakopee offense and a defense that kept the ball out of the paint allowed the Irish to get past Shakopee 47-37 in a non-conference road game last Tuesday. Three days later, the winless Sabers stepped back onto their home court and upset No. 6-ranked (Class 3A) Waconia, 65-58. "We did a very nice job protecting the paint and forcing them to shoot from the outside," Rosemount coach Bryan Schnettler said.
Rosemount's defense clamped down in the second half and helped the Irish earn their first victory of the young season Saturday afternoon. A two-point halftime advantage gradually stretched to double figures as the Irish held Minneapolis South to 21 second-half points in a 66-52 win at Irish Gym. "We played great half-court defense for the last 15 minutes of the game," Rosemount coach Bryan Schnettler said. Senior Matt Nelson led Rosemount on the offensive end for the third straight game, scoring 20 points to go along with 14 rebounds.
If Friday's season-opening meet against Lakeville South was any indication, it's going to be another successful winter for the Rosemount boys swimming and diving team. The fourth-ranked Irish won 11 of 12 events -- and finished second by nine-hundredths of a second in the other - while rolling to a 97 1/2-80 1/2 victory over the Cougars at Kenwood Trail Middle School. "It was a good first meet for us. It gave the guys a chance to get some racing under their belt and practice all the meet-type situations we have been talking about," Rosemount coach Patti Wegner said.
Steve Levine and Adam Jackson finished first in their weight classes in leading Rosemount to second place out of nine teams Saturday at the Shakopee Invitational. The host Sabers outscored the Irish 210 1/2-184 1/2 for the team title. Rochester Mayo placed third with 145 1/2 points, followed by Bloomington Kennedy (137), Lakeville South (137), Prescott (134), Blaine (97), Rocori (83) and Blooming Prairie (38). In all, 10 Irish wrestlers finished in the top four in their division.