Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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River Falls won five individual titles while advancing 12 individuals and four relay teams from at the May 24 WIAA Division 1 regional track and field meet at the high school. Both the boys' and girls' teams finished fourth at the 8-team regional. Michael Johnson won the regional title in the boys' high jump by clearing 5 feet, 10 inches, and Oscar White set a new school record of 43 feet, 4.5 inches, to win the triple jump.
It might have been more fun to do it with a victory, but Thursday's scoreless double-overtime tie with Menomonie was enough to give the Wildcat girls' soccer team its very first Big Rivers Conference championship. The tie kept the Wildcats undefeated at 8-0-2 in BRC play, 12-0-3 overall, and earned them their first conference title in program history. Officially, the Wildcats had six shots on goal, but they sent many more shots just wide or over the net.
After finishing third at a 7-team Big Rivers Conference meet last Tuesday at Clifton Hollow the Wildcat boys' golf team wrapped up the regular season with a meet at Chippewa Valley Golf Course in Menomonie Tuesday before heading to Rice Lake for the BRC Tournament Wednesday at Turtleback Golf Course. Check the Journal's website at www.riverfallsjournal.com for Tuesday's and Wednesday's results. The Cats tuned up for the BRC Tournament by placing 12th at the rain-shortened Rice Lake Invitational at Turtleback last Thursday.
Wildcat softball coach Rick Hansen said his team played about as well as it could in its last two games. But the Cats came away with just one win to show for it. After Baldwin-Woodville scored two runs in the seventh to come from behind and beat the Cats 6-5 May 13 in River Falls, the Cats hit the road Saturday and came home with a 7-4 victory over West Allis. The Cats, now 4-12 overall, returned to Big Rivers Conference action May 18 at home against Rice Lake.
Sara Vitale and Ella Bump hooked up for a pair of goals to lead the Wildcat girls' soccer team to a 2-0 victory at Hudson Thursday night, May 13, to strengthen the Cats' grip on first place in the Big Rivers Conference. The victory improved the Wildcats' record to 7-0-1 in the BRC and moved them four points ahead of both Hudson (5-3-1) and Eau Claire Memorial (5-2-1) in the conference standings. Bump led Vitale with a well-placed ball and Vitale deposited a shot into the upper right-hand corner of the net to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead 27 minutes in. The pair hooked up again in the second
Paige Skorseth and Natalie Powell finished first and second, respectively, in the 3200 meter run to provide the margin of victory for the Cats at the Ellsworth Track and Field Invitational last Monday in Ellsworth. Skorseth won with a time of 11 minutes, 56.4 seconds and Powell was second in 12:03.37 to earn 14 team points and give the Cats a total of 104 points for the meet.
The Wildcat softball team dropped a pair of Big Rivers Conference doubleheaders to Eau Claire Memorial and Menomonie last week before losing twice at Saturday's Pepin Tournament. The Cats were swept by Memorial, 8-0 and 8-2 last Tuesday, and by Menomonie, 4-1 and 11-4 Thursday, before losing to Durand, 9-8 in the bottom of the seventh and Chippewa Falls McDonnell, 10-0, on Saturday. River Falls, now 0-8 in the BRC, 3-11 overall, will host Baldwin-Woodville (9-6) Thursday at 5 p.m.
Even when not playing its best, the Wildcat girls' soccer team still played well enough not to lose last week. Head coach Steph Nelson said the Cats "...couldn't hit the broad side of a barn" at Rice Lake last Tuesday in a 1-1 double overtime tie with the Warriors before playing much better in a 3-1 victor over Eau Claire North May 6 at Wildcat Field. The win and tie were enough to keep River Falls in first place in the Big Rivers Conference with a record of 6-0-1 (10-0-2).
Two days after being swept by undefeated Hudson, the Wildcat softball team bounced back in style by taking first place at the St. Croix Central Tournament. The Cats pounded Somerset, 12-1 in the semifinals before defeating Baldwin-Woodville, 14-13 in eight innings in the title game. "Extra inning games are nail biting," Wildcat coach Rick Hansen said about the win over Baldwin-Woodville. "It was nice to win a close game, coming from behind several times.
The Wildcats baseball team picked up a 7-3 victory over Hudson last Thursday before being swept by undefeated and sixth-ranked Eau Claire Memorial, 6-0 and 3-0, Monday at the high school field. The Cats, now 2-4 in the Big Rivers Conference, 7-6 overall, will host Menomonie (0-4, 2-5) Thursday before facing Sioux Falls and D. C.