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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Junior Logan McLaughlin posted a pair of top ten finishes and senior Huck Boles placed sixth in diving to lead River Falls representatives at the WIAA Division 2 State Swimming and Diving Championships Friday, Feb. 16, at the University of Wisconsin Natatorium in Madison. McLaughlin finished fourth in the 200 yard freestyle and ninth in the 100 freestyle while teaming up with senior John Augustin, sophomore Seth Larsen and senior Andrew Richardt for a ninth place finish in the 400 freestyle relay.
The Wildcat girls basketball team tuned up for the playoffs with a pair of wins on the road in the final week of the regular season, beating Baldwin-Woodville, 52-41, Tuesday, Feb. 13, and New Richmond, 54-40, Saturday, Feb. 17. The Cats and Tigers squared off again in a first round playoff game Tuesday, Feb. 20, with the winner advancing to face top-seed Onalaska Friday, Feb. 23, in Onalaska.
Junior Nathan Fuller and senior Mitchell Williamson won individual titles and junior Chance Kamrowski placed second at the WIAA Division 1 Wrestling Sectional at Wausau West High School Saturday, Feb. 17. All three Wildcats advanced to the WIAA Individual State Wrestling Championships beginning Thursday, Feb. 22, in Madison. Williamson faced Hudson's Cole Godbout for the second time in two weeks in the title match at 285 pounds, and after earning an overtime win at the New Richmond regional Williamson posted a 7-3 decision over Godbout to take the sectional title.
The St. Croix Valley Fusion scored four goals in the third period to pull away from Superior and post an 8-1 victory over the Spartans in a WIAA Section 1 girls hockey regional final Thursday, Feb. 15, in River Falls. Kamryn Jacobs had two goals and an assist and Anna Albrightson, Maddy Shew and Gabby Bresina had a goal and assist each as the third-seeded Fusion moved on to face No. 2 Eau Claire Area in a sectional semifinal Tuesday, Feb. 20, in Eau Claire.
Wildcat gymnastics coach Lauren Kaminski told her team to go out and have fun at the Big Rivers Conference Tournament Friday, Feb. 16 at Meyer Middle School. So what did the Cats do? They went out and posted their highest score of the season to wrap up their third straight conference title and eighth in the last 10 years. "Our goal was to go out and have fun, but we also wanted to have the best meet of our season," Kaminski said. "To finally hit our goal of a 140-plus feels really good, especially at this point in the season."
Kamryn Jacobs had two goals and an assist and Anna Albrightson, Maddy Shew and Gabby Gresina had a goal and assist each in the St. Croix Valley Fusion's 8-1 victory over Superior in a WIAA Section 1 girls hockey regional final Thursday, Feb. 15, in River Falls. Up in Superior, the Wildcat boys’ hockey team saw its season come to an end with a 6-1 loss to Superior.
The Wildcat gymnastics team capped off a perfect season in Big Rivers Conference duals with a 137.025 to 135.1 victory over Chippewa Falls Thursday, Feb. 8, in Chippewa Falls. The victory puts the Wildcats in position to wrap up the overall BRC title when they host the conference meet Friday, Feb. 16, at 6:30 p.m. at Meyer Middle School. Head coach Lauren Kaminski said she's starting to see the consistency she wants from the young Wildcat team heading into the postseason. Seven of the 14 gymnasts on varsity are freshmen and 10 are underclassmen.
Kevin Karras and Hailee Markey set new school records and four Wildcat powerlifters posted first place efforts at the final meet of the regular season Saturday, Feb. 10, in Elk Mound. Karras broke the school deadlift record with a lift of 505 pounds and the school bench press record with a lift of 280 pounds on his way to winning the boys 275-pound weight class. Markey set a new school record in the girls deadlift with a lift of 405 pounds after pursuing the mark relentlessly for over a year. Markey also took first place in her division.
Despite finishing second to three-time defending regional champion Hudson, earning four individual titles, and advancing 10 wrestlers through to this weekend's sectional tournament, Wildcat head coach Kevin Black was blunt is his assessment of the WIAA Division 1 regional Saturday, Feb. 10, in New Richmond. "It ended up being a very disappointing day, despite wrestling really well as a team," Black noted. "When all was said and done, we all realized that we were right there and missed a great opportunity to win the regional."
After a sluggish start at home against Eau Claire Memorial Thursday, Feb. 8, the Wildcat girls basketball team put together a much better defensive effort Saturday, Feb. 10, at Chippewa Falls. Unfortunately it wasn't enough against the Big Rivers Conference co-leaders and the Cats lost their fifth straight conference game, 61-53. The loss at Chippewa came after the Wildcats found themselves trailing 10-0 right off the bat two nights earlier in a 64-49 loss to Eau Claire Memorial.