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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Connor Barr won two individual races to lead the Wildcat boys' swimming and diving team to a sixth place finish at the Packer Invitational hosted by South St. Paul High School Saturday, Jan. 12. Faribault won the team title with 213 points followed by Orono with 200.5 and Owatonna with 188. River Falls was sixth with 116.5. "The guys continue to drop time in their events and it's been a lot of fun watching them progress throughout the season," head coach Caitlin Brudzinski said.
Senior Hailey Markey earned the Best Overall Lifter award for the second straight time and freshman Anna Anderson took first place in her weight class to lead the River Falls girls' powerlifting team to a second place finish at a regional meet in Osceola Saturday, Jan. 12. Seventy River Falls' athletes competed in the club's second meet of the season. Markey shattered her own state record total for her division by nearly 50 pounds to highlight the girls' second place team finish.
The Wildcat gymnastics team always wants to do its best at its home Winter Wonderland Invitational. So you'd think after posting a season-high score of 136.4 at the annual event last Saturday, Jan. 12 the Cats would be celebrating a win. Instead it was only good enough for a third place finish at the 11-team event. But coach Lauren Kaminski wasn't complaining. "Of course we had our sights set on a victory," she said. "But a third place finish against some good competition was an okay place to end up and our team score improved significantly."
There may be no hotter girls' hockey team in the state right now than the sixth-ranked St. Croix Valley Fusion. The Fusion have won five straight games since Christmas, including three at the Culvers Cup in Madison, to improve to 10-3-0 on the season. St. Croix Valley has outscored its opponents 28-1 during that stretch while outshooting them by nearly a 3-to-1 margin.
The Wildcat boys' basketball team moved into a four-way tie for first place in the Big Rivers Conference with a 55-46 win over Chippewa Falls Friday night, Jan. 11, in River Falls. The Wildcat victory, coupled with Eau Claire North's win over Eau Claire Memorial and Hudson's win over Rice Lake, leaves the Wildcats, Huskies, Old Abes and Raiders all tied for first place at 4-2.
Twice the Wildcat boys' hockey team pulled to within one goal of Big Rivers Conference leader Eau Claire North but it couldn't get over the hump in a 6-3 loss to the Huskies Thursday night, Jan. 10, at Hobbs Arena in Eau Claire. Eau Claire North led 2-0 after one period of play before the Wildcats cut the deficit in half with a power play goal by Zak Paulson 3 minutes, 39 seconds into the second period. Paulson was assisted by Jake Bergmanis and Braedon Harer.
Eau Claire’s power play goal late in the second period proved to be the difference as the defending state champion Stars defeated the St. Croix Valley Fusion 2-0 Thursday night, Jan. 10, in River Falls. The loss snapped the Fusion's six game winning streak and created a logjam at the top of the Big Rivers Conference standings with St. Croix Valley, Eau Claire Area and Hudson all with one loss.
After a three-week break for the holidays, the Wildcat boys' swimming and diving team turned in a number of season-best efforts in its first meet of the new year Friday, Jan. 4. The Cats split a Big Rivers Conference double-dual with Hudson and Superior, beating the Spartans 59-39 while falling to the host Raiders 72-27. Head coach Caitlin Brudzinski said the Cats have been working hard over the holiday break. "This was our first meet since the middle of December and they swam well," she said. "The swimmers have been working really hard."
River Falls High School Boys Basketball Jan. 11 Chippewa Falls H 7:15 Jan. 14 Highland Park A 7:00
The only two one-loss teams in the Big Rivers Conference squared off in Eau Claire Tuesday night, Jan. 8, and when the dust settled only one of them remained on top of the conference standings.