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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They already earned the reputation as a record-setting relay team, but Friday, June 2, at the WIAA State Track and Field Championships in La Cosse they put an exclamation mark on that title. Freshman Emily Banitt, sophomore Sarah Langlois, senior Alaina Syverson and senior Tessa Rayne knocked three-quarters of a second off the previous school record in the 4x400 meter dash by posting a time of 3 minutes, 56.94 seconds in their preliminary heat. All four ran lifetime-best splits.
Wildcat junior Hugo Schreckenberg took his first round match at the WIAA State Boys Tennis Tournament with Franklin's Ethan Grissom down to the wire Thursday, June 1, but couldn't hold on in a match-deciding tiebreaker. Schreckenberg took the opening set, 6-3, before Grissom earned a 7-6 win in the second set and clinched the match by taking the tiebreaker. Grissom went on to lose to second-seeded Colt Tegtmeier of Madison Memorial 6-2, 6-1 in the second round. Tegtmeier went on to lose the championship match to Robert Krill of Brookfield East.
The annual UWRF Athletics Don Page Memorial Golf Tournament to support UW-River Falls athletics will be Monday, June 19, at the River Falls Golf Club. Page served UWRF as a coach of several sports and as athletic director from 1970 until his retirement in 1992. Known as the Falcon Athletics Icon, Page was inducted into the Madison Sports Hall of Fame in 1988, the UWRF Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992 and into the Wisconsin Football and Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fames in 2004.
River Falls girls' 4x400 meter relay set a new school record in the preliminaries before finishing ninth in the finals at the WIAA State Track and Field Championships Saturday, June 3, at Veterans Memorial Stadium in La Crosse.
The 14th-seeded Wildcat softball team gave No. 2 D.C. Everest a battle in its WIAA regional softball semifinal Wednesday, May 24, in Wausau, but the Evergreens held on for a 5-1 victory to end the Wildcats' season. Senior Rachel Wakefield pitched six strong innings and drove in the Wildcat's only run of the game with a sacrifice fly while Sophie Lee and Stephanie Fleming had the Cats' only two hits. Wakefield capped her senior season by earning a spot on the All-Big Rivers Conference Second Team.
UW-River Falls senior David Paynotta of Finlayson, Minn., ended his collegiate track and field career with a pair of All-American efforts Saturday, May 27, at the NCAA Division III National Outdoor Championships in Geneva, Ohio. Paynotta finished fourth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.48 seconds and seventh in the 200-meter dash in 21.38 seconds. The top eight finishers in each event earn All-American honors.
One week after losing the regional title to Hudson in a one-hole playoff at New Richmond, the Wildcat boys golf team and Hudson found themselves going extra holes again at the Marshfield Sectional Tuesday, May 30.
After dropping a 3-2 decision to Division 2 sectional foe New Richmond Monday, May 22, the Wildcat girls soccer team ended the regular season on a high note with a pair of victories over Division 1 Big Rivers Conference opponents later in the week. The Cats blanked Superior, 8-0 Tuesday, May 23, before topping Eau Claire North, 2-1, Thursday, May 25, to secure the No. 2 seed in its WIAA Division 2 regional behind top-seeded New Richmond.
River Falls girls will send its 4x400-meter relay team to the WIAA State Track and Field Championships for the fifth straight season while a host of Wildcats will be making their state meet debut after qualifying Thursday, May 25, at the D.C. Everest Sectional in Wausau. The girls 4x400-meter relay team of senior Alaina Syverson, senior Tessa Rayne, sophomore Sarah Langlois and freshman Emily Banitt qualified and Banitt earned a spot in the 100-meter dash while junior Sam Krueger advanced to state in the pole vault.
RIVER FALLS — Riese Nelson was visiting his dad's family farm when he shot his first clay "bird." "He had a trap thrower on the farm when he was young," Nelson recalled. "So one weekend when I was up there I brought my shotgun, and he was throwing clays and I started shooting at them. Then my freshman year in high school they started a trap team and I thought, 'hey I just did that; I think I'll try it out and see how it goes.'"