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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A record-setting effort from the Wildcats' 400 yard freestyle relay team in the last event of the day gave the Cats their second straight sectional runner-up finish at the WIAA Division 2 boys swimming and diving sectional in Hudson Saturday, Feb. 10. Senior John Augustin, sophomore Seth Larsen, senior Andrew Richardt and junior Logan McLaughlin combined for a new school record time of 3 minutes, 24.32 seconds to take second in the 400 free relay and earn a spot at this weekend's WIAA State Championship Meet in Madison.
Falling behind 16-3 on the road in the Big Rivers Conference and being outscored by seven in the final 50 seconds is usually not a recipe for success. But when you outscore your opponent 40-16 in the middle of the game that can be the difference. That's what the Wildcat boys basketball team did at Eau Claire Memorial Friday, Feb. 9, locking down the Old Abes over a span of 21 minutes and getting some big shots from freshman Zac Johnson to earn a 46-42 victory and move into sole possession of second place in the BRC standings.
Eau Claire North scored the final two goals of the game to hand the Wildcats a 5-3 defeat in the Big Rivers Conference boys hockey finale for both teams Thursday night, Feb. 8, in Eau Claire. River Falls battled back from a 3-1 deficit to tie the score early in the third period but couldn't get over the hump. Eau Claire North scored just 12 seconds into the contest before the Wildcats tied things up on a goal by Tye Kusilek at the 11:07 mark of the first period, assisted by Noah LaVold.
Senior captain John Augustin won the conference championship in the 50 yard freestyle and junior captain Logan McLaughlin was runner-up in the 200 free to lead the Wildcat boys swimming and diving team to a third place finish at the Big Rivers Conference Meet Saturday, Feb. 3, in Eau Claire. Eau Claire Memorial/North won the team title with 694.5 points followed by Hudson with 534 and River Falls with 249. Rice Lake was fourth with 217 and Chippewa Falls was fifth with 212 followed by Superior with 171 and Menomonie with 168.5.
Hall sets NCAA wins record Senior Angie Hall set a new NCAA Division III record for most wins by a goalie in the UW-River Falls women's hockey team's 8-1 victory over St. Olaf College Wednesday, Jan. 31, in Northfield, Minn. Hall's win was the 76th of her career, the most ever by a women's goalie in NCAA Division III. Hall stopped 13 of 14 shots and Carly Moran registered a four-point night as the fifth-ranked Falcons won their fourth straight game to improve to 16-4-2 on the season.
Now that's how Wildcat gymnastics coach Lauren Kaminski wanted to see her team perform in the last invitational of the season. The Cats posted a season-high score of 139.9 to win the six-team G-E-T Invitational Saturday, Feb. 3, in Galesville. They can wrap up the regular season Big Rivers Conference title this Thursday, Feb. 8, in Chippewa Falls before hosting the BRC Championship Meet Friday, Feb. 16.
Last week's win over Rice Lake would have meant a lot more if the Wildcat boys basketball team had beaten Menomonie two nights earlier. As it stood, the Wildcats let a 17-point first half lead slip away Thursday, Feb. 1 at home and the Mustangs hit a shot with seven seconds remaining to defeat the Cats, 53-52 for their first Big Rivers Conference victory of the season.
The Wildcat girls basketball team couldn't dig itself out of an early hole in a 71-66 loss at Menomonie last Tuesday, Jan. 30, before falling to Rice Lake, 67-51, Friday, Feb. 2 at home. Head coach Ian Sticht said the Cats played much better Friday against Rice Lake and Big Rivers Conference Player of the Year candidate Brooke Olson, despite shooting just 30 percent from the floor.
The UW-River Falls men's basketball team split a pair of close games last week, beating UW-La Crosse, 77-74, in overtime Wednesday night, Jan. 31 at Page Arena before losing to UW-Stevens Point for the second time this season, 66-64, Saturday, Feb. 3 in Stevens Point. The split left the Falcons even in WIAC play at 5-5 (14-6 overall), heading into games this week at UW-Stout (1-9, 7-14) Wednesday, Feb. 7, and home against UW-Whitewater (6-4, 16-5) Saturday, Feb. 10.
The River Falls Gymnastics Club Teams had outstanding showings in their last two meets. The teams traveled to Austin, Minn. for an 11-team invitational Jan. 27 and all three teams posted season high scores with a handful of individuals earning their highest all-around scores of the season. Team 1 Equinox scored 132.35 to place first in its division, Team 2 Eclipse scored 123.95 and Team 3 Super Novas scored 118.9 to place first in its division. On Jan. 21 the teams competed at in invitational in La Crosse with Team 1 placing first, Team 2 second and Team 3 first.