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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Twin brothers Cale and Shane Blinkman, 16, represented the St. Croix Swim Club at the USA Swimming Speedo Winter Junior Nationals at the University of Iowa Dec. 6-9. Shane Blinkman finished first in the 200 yard individual medley to become the Junior National champion for the western half of the United States. There was a second identical meet run at the same time at the University of Tennessee, where swimmers from the eastern half of the USA attended.
MADISON—The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) has announced the members of its 2018 Hall of Fame class that includes three Falcons, Merilee (Healy) Cardinal, Dr. R.A. Karges, and Roger Kuss. The WIAC established a Hall of Fame to coincide with the conference's celebration of its 100th anniversary, which took place during the 2012-13 academic year. The 27-member class for 2018 will be inducted at the WIAC Hall of Fame Banquet to be held on July 28, 2018, at UW-Eau Claire.
After pounding Chippewa Falls/Menomonie, 8-0, in its Big Rivers Conference opener Thursday, Dec. 14 the third-ranked St. Croix Valley Fusion girls hockey team held on for a 6-5 victory over the defending state champion Central Wisconsin Storm (D.C. Everest co-op), 6-5, Saturday, Dec. 16, at River Falls' Wildcat Centre.
Wildcat wrestling coach Kevin Black said the Cats wrestled much better at the Osceola Duals Saturday, Dec. 16, than they had the previous two weeks, but there is still plenty of room for improvement The Wildcats went 4-1 on the day, defeating St. Croix Central 65-12, Cumberland 51-30, Boyceville 478-27 and Barron 60-18 while losing to Clear Lake 39-33.
The holiday break is coming at a good time for the Wildcat gymnastics team. Over half the team was either sick or injured in a dual meet against Red Wing last Tuesday, Dec. 12, but the Cats still managed to score 138.85 compared to the Wingers 123.375 in the Meyer Middle School gymnasium. "We had over half the team either struggling with an injury or coming down with illness, so we had several girls stepping into new spots," head coach Lauren Kaminski said. "So, with all of that, to stay consistent with our team score felt good."
The Wildcat boys basketball team started last week with an emphatic 86-47 victory over visiting St. Paul Highland Park Monday, Dec. 11, but the week ended on a low note with a 72-62 Big Rivers Conference loss Friday, Dec. 15, at Rice Lake. It was the first conference loss of the season for the Wildcats and head coach Zac Campbell said it continued a trend of slow starts for the Cats in the Warriors' home gym.
Alex Herink of Hudson scored 20 of his game-high 24 points in the second half to help the eighth-ranked the UW-River Falls men's basketball team rally from a 21-point deficit to win their seventh straight game, 65-60, over the University of Northwestern Saturday, Dec. 16, in St. Paul.
The Wildcat girls basketball team picked up a 66-57 nonconference win over Osceola at home Tuesday, Dec. 12, before dropping a 65-52 Big Rivers Conference decision at Rice Lake Friday, Dec. 15. After clinging to a one-point lead at the break, 28-27, the Wildcats outscored the Chieftains by eight in the second half to post the 66-57 win.
The UW-River Falls women's basketball team will take a four-game winning streak into the holidays after defeating St. Catherine University, 75-63, Saturday, Dec. 16, in St. Paul. UWRF jumped out to a 41-20 first half lead behind 10 first half points each from Brynn Liljander and Taylor Karge. St. Catherine cut the Falcon lead to eight, 50-42, at the end of the third quarter but Liljander hit a three-pointer to open the fourth and the Falcons led by double digits the rest of the way.
The Wildcat boys hockey team earned an overtime victory at Rice Lake and went toe-to-toe with second-ranked Eau Claire Memorial in a pair of Big Rivers Conference contests last week. Jake Bergmanis' second goal of the game with 44 seconds left in overtime gave the Cats a 5-4 come-from-behind win over the Warriors Tuesday, Dec. 12, in Rice Lake. Two nights later Eau Claire Memorial clung to a 1-0 lead over the Wildcats through two periods before the Old Abes scored four goals in the third period to remain undefeated with a 5-1 win.