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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What a difference two days makes. After being held to one hit in a 6-1 loss to fifth-ranked Eau Claire Memorial Tuesday, May 1, in River Falls, the Wildcats pounded out 10 Thursday, May 3, at Carson Park, including six during a seven-run third inning, to hammer the Old Abes, 11-0, and push ahead of them in the race for the Big Rivers Conference title. Three of the Wildcats' 10 hits were for extra bases, including a two-run home run by sophomore Joe Stoffel during the seven-run third inning that completely took the wind out of the Old Abes' sails.
UW-River Falls junior Nikki Jurik survived a fall on the last lap to hold off UW-Eau Claire's Katie George to win the 3,000 meter steeplechase title at the WIAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships Friday, May 4, at Ramer Field. Jurik claimed UWRF's only individual conference champion with a time of 11 minutes, 38.9 seconds. UW-La Crosse swept the team titles with the Eagle women winning their seventh straight outdoor championship and the men claiming their 28th straight. The Falcon men and women both placed eighth.
In the midst of a stretch of 11 games in 14 days, the Wildcat girls soccer team is showing no signs of fatigue. The latest proof was a 3-1 victory over Hudson Monday, May 7, that gave the Cats their first season sweep over the Raiders in six years. It was the fifth game in seven days for River Falls and they came out of it with four wins and a tie to improve to 7-0-1 on the season. Even head coach Charles Conley is impressed. "I knew we'd be good, but we're playing better than I expected," he admitted.
The River Falls Youth Hockey Association is offering a free learn to skate program this fall. All boys and girls 4-7 years old in the River Falls, Ellsworth and Prescott school districts that haven't skated with RFYHA before are eligible. Lessons will be at 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 5 p.m. Sundays from Oct. 24-Nov. 18. There is no previous skating experience requirement and all equipment provided by RFYHA is free of cost. The first 30 boys and girls to register are guaranteed a spot and equipment use. Pre-register to reserve a space at rfhockey.com/learntoskate.
The River Falls Gymnastics Club's new home just got a name. River Falls State Bank is partnering with the RFGC to name the new facility the River Falls State Bank Center, club vice president Julie Bruns announced last week.
This year's Ladies City League bowling champions are Selah Vie Bistro after they defeated River Falls State Bank in the annual roll-off Wednesday, April 18, at St. Croix Lanes. Each team bowled three games with the winner determined by total pins, plus handicap. Selah Vie Bistro outscored River Falls State Bank, 3,086 to 3,064.
With their meet in Richfield, Minn, cancelled due to weather last Thursday, April 26, the Wildcat track and field teams headed to the New Richmond Open and came away with 16 first place finishes while sweeping the boys' and girls' team titles. Sofia Naranjo-Mata led one-two-three sweeps in both the 100 and 200 meter dash races to lead the River Falls girls while the boys took the top three spots in the 800 and 1600 and the top two places in the 3200, long jump and triple jump.
After grinding out a 4-3 nonconference victory over Osceola Monday, April 23, the Wildcat boys tennis steam had a rougher go of it in a pair of Big Rivers Conference matches against Hudson and Menomonie. The Cats were swept by the Raiders, 7-0, Tuesday, April 24, in Hudson, before dropping a 6-1 decision to the Mustangs Thursday, April 26, at home. Last Monday the Cats swept all four singles matches in a 4-3 win over Osceola.
So far the River Falls girls soccer team has passed every test it's taken this season. But the curriculum is about to get a lot more challenging.
Freshman Emmy Farago of Hudson won the 3,000 meter steeplechase to highlight the UW-River Falls women's track and field team's performance at the St. Mary's Open Saturday, April 28, in Winona, Minn. Farago won the race with a time of 12 minutes, 19.35 seconds to post UWRF's only first place finish of the day.