Staff Directory 10644451

Rachel Blount

Reporter/Columnist | Sports
Phone: 612-673-4389
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Rachel Blount is a sports reporter for the Star Tribune who covers a variety of topics, including the Olympics, Wild, college sports and horse racing. She has written extensively about Minnesota's Olympic athletes and has covered pro and college hockey since joining the staff in 1990. 

An Iowa native, Blount is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. She has won numerous state and national writing awards. Her favorite stories to tell are those that convey the emotion and humanity of sports. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Pat Borzi, who also is a sportswriter.
Recent content from Rachel Blount
John Betts, sitting backwards facing the horses, runs the starter's car for the harness races as his wife Sandy steers

At Running Aces, hooves pound, manes fly and the '95 Caddy rolls on

For John and Sandy Betts, who have gotten more than 5,000 races off to a good start at Running Aces harness track in Columbus, every 1-mile business trip is a joy ride.
The Australian and American stars and stripes waved before the Aussie Peppers and Canadian Wild met in fastpitch softball earlier this month in North

Australia's national women's softball team finds summer home — in Mankato

Mankato is going the extra mile to serve as home for the Australian national fastpitch team. "This is massive. The whole community has gotten behind it," one player said.
The Aussie Peppers celebrated their comeback victory in the bottom of the seventh inning against the Canadian Wild on July 3 in North Mankato, Minn.

About the Aussie Peppers of Minnesota

A closer look at the Australian softball team that is spending a few months in Minnesota.
Gophers diver Sarah Bacon will be competing in both the 1-meter and 3-meter individual events at the FINA World Aquatic Championships in South Korea.

U's star diver Bacon needs to change her game to live Olympic dream

In diving circles, Gophers diver Sarah Bacon is recognized as a master on the 1-meter board. But that won't help her pursue a dream of getting to the 2020 Olympics.
Johnnie Jamison, Canterbury Park track superintendent

Keeping horses safe: This man knows all the dirt at Canterbury Park

Johnnie Jamison, who oversees a 1-mile dirt oval that was fully renovated last fall, can sometimes be found in the middle of the night checking on the race track surface.
Gabe Grunewald in 2017.

Grunewald to be honored with Tuesday public ceremony

Tuesday would have been her 33rd birthday.
After Gabriele Grunewald's burial, family, friends, and supporters gathered for a song and a one-mile run/jog/walk to honor Gabriele just outside Hill

Grunewald remembered as she lived her life: Running for hope

Her friends, family and admirers paid tribute by running or walking 1.405 miles — her favorite number — on the Minneapolis Diagonal Trail along the edge of Hillside Cemetery, where she was buried.
Gabe Grunewald, pictured in April 2018.

Gabe Grunewald's funeral, visitation and memorial run announced

The late runner's funeral will be held Monday at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis.
Gabriele “Gabe” Grunewald, shown in 2017, continued to compete and train long after being diagnosed with cancer as a senior with the Gophers in 20

Runner Gabe Grunewald dies after long battle with cancer

Gabe Grunewald, 32, was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma in 2009 and inspired thousands with her bravery and resolve.
Gabriele Grunewald (shown training in 2017), the Minnesota distance runner who gained a legion of fans during her long bout with cancer, is in grave c

Ex-Gophers runner Grunewald in grave condition, moved to comfort care

Gabriele Grunewald, the Minnesota distance runner who gained a legion of fans during her long bout with cancer, is in grave condition and was moved to comfort care Sunday afternoon.
Gable Steveson warmed up before wrestling against Rutgers at Maturi Pavilion in January.

'Refreshed' Steveson seeking spot at world championships

The Gophers heavyweight wrestler has turned the page after finishing third at the NCAAs as a freshman.
Sarah Murray, one of the coaches of the combined Koreas team answers a reporter's question after the practice match between the combined Koreas team a

St. Mary's hires Sarah Murray as women's hockey coach

The Faribault native and former standout player at Minnesota Duluth coached the unified Korean team at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Gabriele “Gabe”Grunewald trained at Macalester College in 2017 with husband, Justin.

Champion runner Grunewald returns to ICU in Minneapolis

The distance runner's husband, Justin, described her harrowing battle and said she's "not out of the woods yet."
In this Jan. 25, 2019, file photo, U.S. Women's National Team member Kendall Coyne Schofield skated during the Skills Competition, part of the NHL All

Showdown intensifies between NWHL, unionized players

The NWHL announced two player signings, making clear it is forging ahead on a day a new union formed.
Gophers first baseman Hope Brandner was the hero Saturday with a walk-off homer.

Gophers walk off Georgia, await winner of Drake-Georgia

Hope Brandner's walk-off home run in the eighth inning ended a Gophers rally in dramatic style, giving them a 2-1 victory over Georgia in Saturday in an NCAA softball regional.
St. Thomas wide receiver Tanner Vik carried the Holy Grail trophy after the Tommies beat St. John’s at Target Field on Sept. 23, 2017.

If MIAC ousts St. Thomas, what happens next? It's complicated

Move to Division I? That process takes more than a decade to complete. What about the rivalry with St. John's or a move to another Division III conference? Experts provide some answers.
Glenn Caruso’s St. Thomas football team entered the field before a game.

Augsburg leader sees consensus to boot St. Thomas from MIAC

In an email obtained by the Star Tribune, Augsburg's Paul Pribbenow wrote that the athletic conference of Minnesota colleges "would have imploded" if that consensus hadn't been reached by the presidents of the member schools.
Gophers distance runners Megan (left) and Bethany (right) Hasz.

Hasz twins divide and conquer distance events for Gophers

Megan and Bethany Hasz, from Alexandria, have set records for the Gophers, heading into the Big Ten meet.
Flavien Prat on Country House, left, raced against Luis Saez on Maximum Security, third from left, during the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby on S

Canterbury racing official: Derby DQ call tough but totally correct

David Hooper knew something was amiss when he watched the horses come out of the final turn during the Kentucky Derby. "We could have had a major accident. Thank God we aren't talking about a disaster today."
Richie Gary, right, ridden by Eddie Martin Jr. inched ahead of Sink The Bismarck, ridden by Constantino Roman, in the home stretch to win the first ra

Opening race at Canterbury is shaded in gray

Richie Gary, in a small field in the rain, opened Canterbury Park's 2019 season with win in the first race
Randy Sampson guided the effort to get Canterbury reopened in the 1990s. His father, Curt, risked a chunk of his personal wealth to provide the seed m

Canterbury still hitting its stride, 25 years after lengthy shutdown

Built for $85 million in 1985, the track in Shakopee hosted huge crowds and high-end racing during its first two seasons. Then the challenges began.

What to know ahead of Canterbury Park's 25th season

Dates: Friday through Sept. 14 (66 racing days) Opening weekend: Live racing begins Friday (6 p.m. first post) and Saturday (12:45 p.m. first post), with eight…
Exercise riders and jockey trained horses on the track at Canterbury Park ahead of the 2019 meet season opening in early May.

Horse deaths at Santa Anita cause concern at Canterbury

Horse racing's constituencies — including trainers, horse owners, track management and regulatory bodies — often have differing agendas, impeding their ability to work together.
University of St. Thomas coach Glenn Caruso celebrated with his team after a 207 victory over St. John's. at Target Field in Minneapolis.

MIAC presidents discuss issues, postpone decision on St. Thomas

Sources told the Star Tribune that presidents seeking to oust St. Thomas would push to change conference bylaws, instituting a cap on enrollment at a level that would exclude the Tommies..
Will college presidents boot St. Thomas from the MIAC?

Will college presidents boot St. Thomas from the MIAC?

School presidents are believed to be meeting Thursday to discuss if St. Thomas is too big - and its teams too good - for the main athletic league of Minnesota's private colleges.
Gophers gymnast Lexy Ramler practiced earlier this month.

Show-stopper and team leader, Ramler brings thrills to U gymnastics

Those who follow Gophers gymnastics know Lexy Ramler can captivate an audience, with performances so enthralling they can't look away. Here's her story and a look at her in action.

Nichols, Trautman want Oklahoma gymnastics back on top

Olivia Trautman and Maggie Nichols lead top-ranked Oklahoma into NCAA meet.
Jason Zucker talked to reporters as Wild players cleaned out their lockers Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center.

Wild winger Zucker faces uncertain summer

After some of his buddies were traded during the season, he could be on the block as a hot commodity.
Wild coach Bruce Boudreau and General Manager Paul Fenton appeared at a season ending news conference Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center.

Boudreau gets vote of confidence; Parise finished year with broken foot

The Wild missed the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons, and players were realistic as they cleaned out their lockers. "We've got a lot of work to do," said winger Zach Parise.
Virginia coach Tony Bennett held the net aloft following the Cavaliers’ national championship Monday — standing on a special ladder designed for t

Why of course the Final Four has an official ladder and scissors ...

Champions' annual ritual features the Final Four's own official ladder and scissors
Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said being eliminated from the playoffs left him feeling blue like Winnie the Pooh’s friend Eeyore but that the team is st

Wild aims 'to put on a good show' in final two games

"We're playing to win," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said Wednesday, the day after the team was officially eliminated from playoff contention.
The Minesota Whitecaps won the NWHL title during their first season in the league.

After Canadian women's league folds, NWHL announces expansion

The league champion Minnesota Whitecaps will now be one of seven teams in the league, which will include two teams in Canada for 2019-20.
Winger Zach Parise, the Wild’s leader in goals and points, has missed the past four games because of a lower-body injury, a costly absence for a sco

Parise's absence adds to Wild's scoring challenge

The Wild's leader in goals and points has missed the past four games because of a lower-body injury, a costly absence for a scoring-starved team.
Nico Sturm

Wild signs free agent center Sturm

The native of Germany is a Hobey Baker Award finalist for Clarkson.
Brad Hunt wasn’t getting much playing time with Vegas, but since coming to the Wild in January he is a regular.

Wild defenseman Brad Hunt enjoying new son, new team

The Bemidji State product barely played this season with the Golden Knights, whom the Wild visits on Friday night.
Sisters Amy and Sarah Potomak have combined forces at the U, helping lead the Gophers back to the Women’s Frozen Four.

Potomak sisters reunite, helping Gophers reach women's Frozen Four

The Potomak siblings will wrap up their first season together at the U at this weekend's Frozen Four in Hamden, Conn., starting with Friday's semifinal against Cornell.
The Wild’s Jason Zucker, shown above fighting for the puck with San Jose’s Brent Burns, says he thinks it’s great that the Wild will finish the

Wild must continue to play its best against the best

With all of its remaining games against teams currently in playoff position – starting with Friday's at Washington – the Wild hope the pattern of playing its best games against the best teams holds.
Penn State's Anthony Cassar scored on a take down over Minnesota's Gable Steveson during the Big Ten Championships at Williams Arena earlier this mont

Score to settle: Steveson enters NCAAs looking to avenge only loss

Apple Valley's Gable Steveson didn't waste time feeling sorry for himself after losing in the heavyweight title match at the Big Ten tournament, his only defeat after 30 victories.
After placing 63rd in the 500-yard freestyle in her first Big Ten Championships, the Gophers' Chantal Nack won that event in her final conference meet

Nack can top off 'incredible' Gophers career at NCAA swimming meet

Chantal Nack started slow, now is a Big Ten champ competing in the NCAAs.
Katie Mcgovern, left, and Jonna Curtis celebrated Lee Stecklein's (2) overtime goal at Tria Rink on Sunday

'Can you believe it?' Whitecaps work OT to win NWHL championship

Lee Stecklein scored 49 seconds into overtime for the winner, sparking a loud celebration at Tria Rink in St. Paul as the Whitecaps beat the Buffalo Beauts.
A sellout crowd took in the Minnesota Whitecaps win over the Metropolitan Riveters in the WNHL semifinals Friday

Whitecaps' first season leads to title game and other successes

Minnesota's National Women's Hockey League team has been a boon to the league.
Whitecaps goalie Amanda Leveille stopped a shot by the Riveters’ Madison Packer during the third period. Leveille made 35 saves. win over the Rivete

Whitecaps reach NWHL final in their first year in the league

The Whitecaps defeated the Metropolitan Riveters 5-1 in the Isobel Cup semifinals at Tria Rink. That put the Whitecaps into Sunday's championship game against Buffalo.
Gophers goalie Sydney Scobee makes a save last Sunday against Wisconsin at Ridder Arena.

Gophers prep for Princeton, one win from Women's Frozen Four

Minnesota is 9-1 in the NCAA quarterfinal home games, and this one is back at Ridder Arena.
“The more rest, the better,” said Jason Zucker, center. But the Wild’s winger said Wednesday’s practice was “needed.”

In a six-game rut, Wild works to right its power play

The Wild enters Thursday's game against Dallas one point out of a wild-card berth yet without a power-play goal in six games. The first faceoff is vital, and it's something we've been lacking lately," Bruce Boudreau said.
Penn State’s Anthony Cassar leaned into a decisive two-point takedown of No. 1-ranked Gophers heavyweight Gable Steveson in the title bout in the Bi

U heavyweight Steveson loses for first time in Big Ten title match

After going 30-0, U freshman Gable Steveson lost 4-3 to Penn State's Anthony Cassar in the finals. Here's the full story and video of the title match.
The Minnesota Whitecaps (shown gathered around co-head coach Ronda Engelhardt during an October practice) have secured the top seed and home ice for t

Whitecaps eager for semifinal after tickets sold out in 25 hours

In their first NWHL season, they secured the top seed and home ice for playoffs.
Gophers heavyweight Gable Steveson (shown in a January match vs. Iowa) advanced to Sunday's finals.

Gophers' Steveson reaches Big Ten heavyweight final

The unbeaten freshman is the only Gopher still in contention for a title.
The Gophers' Nicole Schammel skated against Wisconsin in last year's Frozen Four.

Schammel still thriving for Gophers, even with Olympic teammates back

Gophers coach Brad Frost worried the senior might ease up, but she keeps delivering.
Penn State’s Mark Hall, an Apple Valley native, is 23-0 this season and the top seed at 174 pounds.

Big Ten wrestling tournament at Williams Arena: What to watch

Unbeaten Penn State heads the Big Ten field; the Gophers, led by Gable Steveson, seek a top-five finish.
Minnesota Duluth goalie Maddie Rooney.

WCHA Final Faceoff preview

A look at this weekend's tournament at Ridder Arena.
Olympic gold medalist skier Jessie Diggins was recognized at a Vikings game in October. Diggins is currently competing for gold at the world champions

Olympic gold medal set a new course for Diggins

Currently fifth in the World Cup overall standings, Jessie Diggins, 27, said it has been "a year of learning" as she figures out how to pace herself off the snow as well as on.
Brad Hunt and the Blues' Vince Dunnfight for the puck during a game last week.

Wild newcomer Hunt gains confidence in regular role

Former Bemidji State standout Brad Hunt is 'more relaxed' after coming to the Wild in a trade.
Gophers coach Bob Motzko watched from the bench during a game last month. Minnesota lost Friday night, 3-2 to Notre Dame.

Gophers hockey turns in 'very poor effort' in loss to Notre Dame

Minnesota lost 3-2 despite holding a 2-0 lead after the first period in the opener of the final Big Ten series of the season.
Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk, who stopped the Devils’ Nico Hischier in a Feb. 9 game, said he hasn’t lost confidence in his game during the team’s s

Wild goalie Dubnyk hasn't lost confidence, gets vote of support

Devan Dubnyk's self-esteem has remained unshaken, and he is expected to be back in the net Tuesday against Anaheim as the team wraps up a four-game set at Xcel Energy Center.
Ryan Saunders, center, at 32-years-old is the youngest head coach in the NBA — one of several coaches under 40 of local major-sports teams.

Game-changers: Big things expected from major move to young coaches

Five of the people hired to coach high-profile Twin Cities sports teams in the last few years are still in their 30s, part of an unprecedented move toward hiring leaders with different skills than were once expected from leaders.
The Wild were booed off the ice after losing 4-1 to Edmonton in its last home game.

Stung by booing fans, Wild seeking to regain winning form at the X

"I don't understand it,'' goaltender Devan Dubnyk said. "Ever since I've been here, playing at home has been a huge advantage for us."
Lindsey Vonn poses in 2010 with Olympic medals and Women's World Cup skiing trophies

Conqueror of mountains: Vonn to race for final time

Lindsey Vonn's final race is Sunday morning. The Buck Hill product will leave the sport with 82 World Cup victories, the most by any woman in history, and the only Olympic downhill gold won by an American woman.
Wild right wing Mikael Granlund fired a bad-angle shot, with a predictable result, at Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot in the third period Thursday.

Granlund, in need of a lift, moved to center for slumping Wild

Zero goals since Jan. 7 for winger Mikael Granlund prompted Wild coach Bruce Boudreau to make bold switch.
Wild center Kyle Rau (37), who saw action in a preseason game against Dallas in September, was called up from Iowa and practiced Monday.

Wild recalls Kunin and Rau; assigns Prosser and Brown to Iowa

Kyle Rau, the former Eden Prairie star and Gophers captain, has a team-leading 14 goals and 16 assists in 45 games at Iowa.
Burnsville’s Lindsey Vonn was a downhill bronze medalist in her last Olympics, in South Korea last year.

'She was good for America': Vonn's skiing accomplishments celebrated by many

Injuries took a toll on Burnsville native Lindsey Vonn; next week's stop in Sweden will be the last for the only American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in downhill skiing.
Goalie Devan Dubnyk has been a big part of the Wild’s success as the team plays a stretch of 12 games in 21 days.

Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk piles up All-Star evidence

The goalie is 4-0 since being selected for the Western Conference.
Zach Parise celebrated a goal against Toronto on Jan. 3.

Zach Parise not elected for final NHL All-Star spot

Gabriel Landeskog will be the Central Division's last representative thanks to fan balloting. Goalie Devan Dubnyk is the Wild's representative.
The Wild's Zach Parise (11), Jared Spurgeon (46) and Eric Fehr (21) celebrate a goal against the Winnipeg Jets during the third period Saturday.

Back home after a win, Wild gets an attitude boost

With the weight of a five-game losing streak lifted off its shoulders, the Wild showed up in high spirits Sunday for practice.
Gymnast Maggie Nichols of Little Canada is the Star Tribune's Sportsperson of the Year for 2018.

Maggie Nichols, courageous champion, is Star Tribune Sportsperson of the Year

After identifying herself as "Athlete A" in the USA Gymnastics sexual-abuse scandal that sent team doctor Larry Nassar to prison, Maggie Nichols of Little Canada won the NCAA all-around championship competing for the University of Oklahoma. 'I found out how strong I really am.'
Stanford's Audriana Fitzmorris (12) spiked the ball past Nebraska outside hitter Lexi Sun

Stanford, Nebraska made NCAA championship must-see volleyball

Stanford and Nebraska treated 18,000-plus at Target Center to a thrilling final.
Stanford celebrated after defeating Nebraska in five sets to win the NCAA volleyball championship on Saturday at Target Center.

Stanford beats Nebraska in five sets for NCAA volleyball title

Both rival coaches expected a great final — and it was that, going the distance at Target Center.
Nebraska's Lauren Stivrins celebrated her point in the final set against Illinois.

Husker love: Record-setting Nebraska volleyball fans cheer on a 'state treasure'

Seeking its sixth NCAA title and its third in the past four years, Nebraska rules the college volleyball world in other ways as well, including a 29-station radio network.
Junior middle blocker Taylor Morgan (12) is one of five returning Gophers volleyball players who earned All-Big Ten and All-Region player honors this

As pain subsides, Gophers cherish superb volleyball season

The sudden end didn't diminish Hugh McCutcheon's pride in a season that will be remembered as one of the Gophers' best ever. The team finished 19-1 in the Big Ten and recorded the most league victories in program history.

Peaking Nebraska beats Oregon to return to volleyball Final Four

After sweeping its first three foes in the NCAA tournament, Nebraska did it again Saturday, defeating Oregon 25-22, 25-23, 25-17 in the regional finals at Maturi Pavilion to reach its fourth consecutive Final Four.
Coach Hugh McCutcheon says the Gophers were “a work in progress” when they lost 3-1 to Oregon on Sept. 7 on a neutral court. The rematch is Friday

Twice as nice? Ducks aiming to upset Gophers volleyball again

Oregon was one of only three teams to beat the Gophers this season.
(From left) The U’s Regan Pittman, Adanna Rollins and Samantha Seliger-Swenson are two victories from the Final Four.

Assume nothing: U volleyball needs to battle through regional

As fans grow more excited at the possibility of watching the Gophers make the Final Four at Target Center, coach Hugh McCutcheon is trying to manage those expectations.
Gophers volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon and Samantha Seliger-Swenson were both honored by the Big Ten on Wednesday.

Seliger-Swenson, McCutcheon win top Big Ten volleyball honors

Gophers senior setter Samantha Seliger-Swenson was named Big Ten MVP while coach Hugh McCutcheon nabbed another top honor.
St. John's quarterback Jackson Erdmann during practice.

St. John's star quarterback Erdmann fights for social justice

Jackson Erdmann has passed for 40 touchdowns this season, second most in the nation, and his 2,727 passing yards lead the MIAC. It is off the field, though, where Erdmann considers himself a true warrior.
The Blackhawks’ Alexandre Fortin battled for the puck with Wild defenseman Matt Dumba (24) and Ryan Suter on Sunday. Dumba and Suter were on the ice

Wild's top two pairs on defense split up after Suter, Dumba struggle

The second pair, Jared Spurgeon and Jonas Brodin, has become an exceptional shutdown tandem through the first 21 games, but coach Bruce Boudreau is willing to reshuffle the top four.
Kirill Kaprizov celebrated a goal for Russia against the Czech Republic in the Karjala Cup in Finland last Sunday. Kaprizov is “as good as anybody t

Back from Russia, Wild GM Fenton impressed by top prospect Kaprizov

Kirill Kaprizov, 21, was drafted by the Wild in and is perhaps the team's most highly anticipated prospect. "He's going to be a terrific player for us,'' Paul Fenton said.
More from Star Tribune