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
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.
Gophers outside hitter Alexis Hart spiked the ball in the second set Saturday against Purdue.

Not to miss: Gophers stay undefeated in Big Ten

The third-ranked Gophers made quick work of the error-prone Boilermakers in a packed Maturi Pavilion on Saturday, a night coach Hugh McCutcheon skipped his International Volleyball Hall of Fame induction.
Frehsman libero and defensive specialist CC McGraw, who was Minnesota’s Ms. Volleyball at Prior Lake last season, leads the Gophers volleyball team

Freshmen McGraw, Rollins find role right away with Gophers volleyball

As the successful regular season winds down, freshmen CC McGraw and Adanna Rollins have been key to the Gophers' success.
The Wild’s Eric Staal, a veteran of 1,100-plus NHL games, is one goal away from the 400 mark. ...

Wild's Staal citing discipline as goal milestone nears

Eric Staal has 399 career NHL goals, and his next will make him the sixth active NHL player and 96th overall to reach the 400-goal mark. It could come as soon as Saturday
Minnesota players, including defensive specialist Lauren Barnes (2), celebrated a 3-0 sweep over Penn State in September. The Gophers defeated Nebrask

Gophers volleyball stays perfect in Big Ten with win over Nebraska

Freshman Adanna Rollins had 20 kills and 14 digs to lead the way for the third-ranked Gophers, and Stephanie Samedy added 13 kills against the No. 5 Cornhuskers.
Minnesota head coach Hugh McCutcheon addresses his team during a match earlier this season.

Powerhouse Gophers volleyball team not talking about Final Four at home yet

The Gophers enter Saturday's match against No. 5 Nebraska with a 15-2 record, sweeping eight of their first nine Big Ten opponents. But there's five weeks to go before the 64-team NCAA tournament field is announced.
Gophers volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon talked to his players earlier this season.

U volleyball continues to roll in Big Ten, dominating No. 7 Illini

The Gophers opened a homestand with another victory over a top opponent.
Coach Bruce Boudreau and winger Zach Parise are trying to solve the Wild's offensive woes.

Parise, Boudreau press for solutions to Wild's sluggish start

The Wild was outshot 82-51 in a loss at Colorado and shootout loss to Las Vegas.
An announced sellout crowd of 1,200 saw the Whitecaps win their inaugural game, 4-0 in St. Paul.

'Incredible' packed house sees Whitecaps win first NWHL game 4-0

Former Minnesota Duluth forward Katie McGovern scored the Whitecaps' first goal on a power play, much to the delight of a 1,200-fan sellout.
15-year old Tierney Wolfgram of Woodbury, running her first marathon, finished the Twin Cities Marathon in a time of 2:40:03, good for sixth place amo

Woodbury 15-year-old finishes sixth in Twin Cities Marathon

Tierney Wolfgram, the two-time defending Class 1A cross-country champion, was the youngest woman in the top 25 by eight years, and one of two Minnesota teens to finish in the top 50.
Rebecca Walker approached the finish line as the women’s champion in the wheelchair division. Walker, of Little Canada, finished in 3:01:13.

TC 10 Mile winner Shadrack Kipchirchir pushes himself to add an extra $10,000

Faced with a classic dilemma — and with little time to consider his choices — Shadrack Kipchirchir asked himself: Should I stay, or should I go?
Jane Kibii, winner of the women’s race at the past two Twin Cities Marathons, enjoys running in Minnesota. “There’s something magic here,’’

Photo-finishers in TC 10 Mile all returning

Shadrack Kipchirchir, Leonard Korir and Sara Hall hit the finish line almost simultaneously at last October's TC 10 Mile. All will be back on Sunday morning.
Charlie Coyle watched practice drills at Wild camp on Sept. 14 at Xcel Energy Center.

Shoot more, score more: Coyle gets boost from players summit

This summer, Charlie Coyle some intensive study in the art of creating more quality chances — and putting them in the net
Wild winger Jordan Greenway (18) and center Joel Eriksson Ek, right, celebrated Ek’s goal in Monday night’s 5-3 preseason loss to the Stars in Dal

Wild's Eriksson Ek ready for 'big-sized jump' this season

Knowing what to expect in the NHL has allowed the young Wild forward to think only about showing he is ready to make a significant leap.
Wild defenseman Matt Bartkowski got his stick a little high on Winnipeg’s Mathieu Perrault during Monday’s preseason game.

Put him in, coach: Bartkowski hopes to stick with Wild

Veteran defenseman Matt Bartkowski has remained positive despite some idle times while playing for NHL teams.
Stephanie Samedy spiked the ball against Penn State for one of her 14 kills on Wednesday night.

No. 7 Gophers sweep No. 4 Penn State in Big Ten volleyball opener

In a loaded conference — seven Big Ten teams are ranked in the top 18 in the country — this match was just as fierce and thrilling as coach Hugh McCutcheon expected.
Gophers volleyball player Taylor Morgan last week at Maturi Pavilion. In her fourth year on campus, Morgan has taken advantage of her opportunity to p

Taylor Morgan thriving with U volleyball after getting chance to start

After four knee surgeries and a lot of sitting, Taylor Morgan has turned into a force.
Jordan Greenway (18) was among Wild players greeting Matt Hendricks (15) after the lone Wild goal in Monday’s 2-1 loss in Winnipeg.

Wild considers keeping Jordan Greenway at center

The big rookie skated between Joel Eriksson Ek and Charlie Coyle in Monday night's game in Winnipeg.
Nate Prosser

As usual, Nate Prosser fighting for spot with Wild

The veteran defenseman continues to be a mentor for his younger Wild teammates as he prepares for his ninth pro season.
Gophers Sara Nielsen and CC McGraw, right, celebrated a winning point in their season-opening victory over Florida State at Target Center.

Big-time battle: No. 1 U volleyball team to meet former No. 1 Stanford

The Gophers are heading to the Pac-12/Big Ten Challenge at Stanford, where they will play No. 18 Oregon on Friday and No. 4 Stanford on Sunday.
John Shuster, who skipped the U.S. curling team to Olympic gold, got high-fives last week before taping “Curling Night in America.”

Minnesota, Wisconsin curlers get rock star treatment

Life hasn't been the same for Team Shuster since winning Olympic gold in curling.
Leandro Goncalves enjoyed a fairly easy trip aboard star colt Mr. Jagermeister, finishing 4½ lengths ahead of five other horses Sunday afternoon in t

Mr. Jagermeister's runaway highlights Canterbury Park's Festival of Champions

Call heavy favorite Mr. Jagermeister's triumph another growth spurt for the Minnesota colt.
Three-year-old colt Mr. Jagermeister is a favorite of owner Valorie Lund and a heavy favorite in Saturday’s Minnesota Classic Championship at Canter

Above and beyond: Mr. Jagermeister heavy favorite in Festival of Champions feature

Mr. Jagermeister is being hailed as one of the best Minnesota-bred thoroughbreds in years. The bay has won five of seven starts at Canterbury, including three blowout victories in state-bred stakes.
There were thousands of empty seats at the 2017 season opener, and Gophers football fans will see more of those Thursday.

Gophers athletic department alarmed by plunging ticket sales

University of Minnesota leaders are launching new strategies to entice fans amid a multimillion-dollar drop in vital sports like men's basketball, football and men's hockey.
St. Thomas linebacker Dylan Andrew (12), the Tommies’ leading tackler last year as a senior, is one example of how well the team matches players to

Powerful Tommies thirst to dominate even more in MIAC football

St. Thomas, which has won 28 consecutive MIAC games and three straight conference titles, is tied with St. John's for the longest string in league history.
Gophers outside hitter Alexis Hart spikes the ball over Florida State middle blocker Deja Williams

Deep Gophers volleyball roster shines in season-opening victory

The Gophers got a match-high 14 kills from sophomore Stephanie Samedy against Florida State at Target Center, the most potent weapon in a balanced attack.
The Gophers volleyball team, ranked No. 4, opens the season this weekend hosting matches in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Wisconsin, North Carolina and F

Gophers volleyball opens national title quest tonight at Target Center

National-power Minnesota opens the season against tough opponents this weekend at Target Center, where the volleyball Final Four will be held in December.
Minnesota Wild GM Paul Fenton

Wild GM Fenton: Three key injured players should be ready for season

Ryan Suter, Zach Parise and Luke Kunin are all recovering from different injuries. New GM Paul Fenton wouldn't reveal specifics but said each is progressing.
Under coach Hugh McCutcheon, the Gophers volleyball team enters the season as the nation’s No. 4 team. The Final Four this year is at Target Center.

Volleyball's 'Coach K': U's McCutcheon has a winning formula

Hugh McCutcheon, 48, already has coached the American men to an Olympic gold medal, the U.S. women to silver and the Gophers to two Final Fours.
NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan, center, watched as deputy commissioner Hayley Moore spoke when the Whitecaps joined the league in May.

Wild, Whitecaps announce alliance

The NHL team will assist the NWHL team with marketing, promotions and practice rink hosting.
Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said of the ever-changing WNBA standings: “We’re not going to ride that rollercoaster.”

Lynx ignoring jammed-up standings as they open rugged schedule stretch

The Lynx have one of the WNBA's toughest remaining schedules, reducing the margin of error for a team that has struggled to find its footing.
Chicago Sky guard Allie Quigley signed autographs for fans as she arrived at Target Center.

Chicago Sky sharpshooter Quigley's perseverance pays off

Former castoff Allie Quigley honored her late father with on-target shooting in Saturday's WNBA All-Star Game and the three-point contest
Team Parker forward Maya Moore posed for a photo with WNBA league president Lisa Michelle Borders

WNBA president wants to see players paid more

WNBA president Lisa Borders said she wants to see the league's players paid more, adding that both the fans and the league are responsible for making that happen.
National Women’s Hockey League founder and commissioner Dani Rylan, left, spoke as Gov. Mark Dayton looked on as the Whitecaps franchise joined the

St. Paul-based Whitecaps announce 16-game hockey schedule

The newest NWHL team also signed American standout Kendall Coyne Schofield.
Tamika Catchings, a former star of the Indiana Fever, poses for a portrait inside Tea’s Me Cafe in Indianapolis in 2017.

After playing careers end, WNBA stars must get about their business

The average career in the WNBA is only 3½ years, and 2018 salaries range from about $41,000 to $115,500. Having a plan for life after basketball is a message spread by the league's veterans.
Chad Kerley saved his best tricks — including a few new ones – for his second run in the X Games’ BMX Street Final on Friday.

Kerley finally returns to top of X Games BMX Street podium

Chad Kerley conquered pressure, dethroned BMX Street champ.
Ronda (Curtin) Engelhardt starred for the Gophers and coach Breck School to the 1A hockey title in February.

Former U women's hockey star will share Whitecaps coaching duties

Ronda (Curtin) Engelhardt, the former head coach at Breck School, will coach the NWHL team along with Jack Brodt. Robb Stauber, head coach of the gold-medal winning U.S. women's team, said he "decided not to take the job."
Gophers AD Mark Coyle

AD Coyle offers glowing report on Gophers athletics progress

Gophers AD Mark Coyle on Wednesday briefed the U of M Board of Regents about athletic and academic achievements. "It's nice when you have good news to tell," he said.
North St. Paul and St. Paul Johnson played a high school hockey game att he TRIA Rink in St. Paul in January. The Minnesota Whitecaps will play NWHL h

Whitecaps to play home games at Wild's practice rink

The NWHL's newest team has a new home. The TRIA Rink in St. Paul can hold 1,200 fans.
Gov. Mark Dayton posed for a photo with, from left, Whitecaps captain Winny Brodt Brown, league founder and commissioner Dani Rylan, and deputy commis

May 16: Pro women's hockey league expands with addition of Minnesota team

The Minnesota Whitecaps, formed in 2004, are joining the National Women's Hockey League, bringing the highest level of pro women's hockey to the state for the first time.
Physical therapist Kim Noha, top, worked with Paul Nolan at Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Golden Valley. Nolan, one of the most popular jo

Former Canterbury Park jockey on difficult road to recovery

Fourteen months after a terrifying accident at the end of a race, Paul Nolan is navigating rehab and steep health care costs.
Former Gophers and 2018 Olympic gold medalists Lee Stecklein and Hannah Brandt will sign with the Minnesota Whitecaps of the NWHL.

Olympians Brandt, Stecklein to play for Whitecaps

Hannah Brandt and Lee Stecklein, 2018 Olympic gold medalists, whose signings will be announced Wednesday, share a long-running association with the NWHL's newest franchise.
On Monday, the National Women's Hockey League will announce that former Gophers goalie Amanda Leveille is the first player to sign with the Minnesota

Former Gophers goalie Leveille to sign with Minnesota Whitecaps

Landing the league's premier goalie marks an auspicious beginning to the free-agent signing period for Whitecaps, who are joining the National Women's Hockey League.
You might recognize this colt’s sire’s name: American Pharoah. The colt was foaled in early May at Wood-Mere Farm, in Webster, Minn.

American Pharoah Jr.? Colt born near Twin Cities is a stunner

A Twin Cities couple paid a big price to breed their mare to 2015 Triple Crown-winner American Pharoah. The first reaction to the newborn colt last month on the farm: "Oh, my goodness."
Hollis Cavner, the longtime tournament director for the 3M Championship on the Champions Tour held in Blaine, said Monday it “could be a few weeks�

Decision delayed: Minnesota hasn't yet heard if it can host PGA event

With the status of the 2019 Houston Open still undecided, Minnesota will have to wait a little longer to find out whether a PGA Tour event will be coming to the state next summer.
Lemoyne “Mooney” Svendsen, racing at Running Aces, was photographed from the starter car, giving the photo a unique angle.

Horses, family and 3,421 wins: The story of one of the state's best racers

The champion of Running Aces Harness Park will be back for his 10th season, starting Saturday.
Gophers starting pitcher Amber Fiser (13) celebrated with catcher Kendyl Lindaman during a game last month against Wisconsin.

U softball survives rocky start to enter Big Ten tournament on a roll

Minnesota was wildly inconsistent over the first two months of this season, going 12-13 before a surge that ended with the Gophers finishing second in the Big Ten.
Trainers and horses just recently were able to get on their usual spring training tracks at Canterbury Park in Shakopee.

Canterbury Park digs out from April blizzard to prepare for season's start

A few days before Canterbury Park was scheduled to open for training, superintendent Ken Brown spent 15 hours removing snow from the track. It's all gone now, and live racing returns Friday.
Maggie Nichols dominated NCAA gymnastics after helping take down Dr. Larry Nassar.

Nichols' revelation about Olympic doctor's abuse set her free to win

The way the Sooners sophomore from Little Canada won her NCAA title last weekend put an exclamation point on an extraordinary season.
Gophers gymnast Shane Wiskus

Gophers men's gymnastics figured it out at NCAA meet

The second-ranked Gophers entered the Big Ten meet with visions of winning a team title. They finished an unhappy fifth, with only two weeks to get their minds right before the NCAAs.
Minnesota Wild Eric Staal (12). ] CARLOS GONZALEZ ï cgonzalez@startribune.com ñ April 17, 2018, St. Paul, MN, Xcel Energy Center, NHL, Stanley Cup P

Staal focused on winning, not justice after cross-check suspension

Eric Staal says he's more worried about helping to keep the Wild alive in the playoffs than Josh Morrissey's nasty hit.
Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck made a save in the second period. It was one of 30 shots stopped by the Vezina Trophy finalist in his first postseas

Jets goalie Hellebuyck puts bad games behind him

Connor Hellebuyck bounced back from Sunday's stinker with shutout win over the Wild in Game 4 and has a chance at the league's Vezina Trophy
At 6-5 and 260 pounds, Roseau’s own Dustin Byfuglien is an imposing presence for the Jets.

Byfuglien provides bruising plays but takes few penalties

The size and judgment of Jets defensemen Dustin Byfuglien keep Wild players alert.
Jessie Diggins poses for a selfie with Kris Hansen

Olympic champion Diggins comes home to Stillwater for parade

Back home as a gold medalist, Jessie Diggins rolled down Main Street in the back of a white pickup, the Olympic medalist reveled in Saturday's snowflakes as if they were nature's ticker tape.
Wild center Eric Staal finished the regular season ranked fifth in the NHL in goals and 14th in shooting percentage.

Wild's Staal has goal record; now he wants to lead a deep playoff run

The center ended last spring's brief postseason run in the hospital, where he was taken after a frightening headfirst crash into the boards during a Game 5 loss to St. Louis.
Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon practiced for the first time Monday since he suffered a partial right hamstring tear March 13.

Wild's Spurgeon practices for first time in nearly a month

The poise Spurgeon could offer the defensemen during the playoff series against the Jets would be a major lift to the Wild if he is able to suit up for Game 1 Wednesday at Winnipeg.
Bulldogs player from Saskatchewan grieving after Humboldt team tragedy

Bulldogs player from Saskatchewan grieving after Humboldt team tragedy

UMD's Blake Young played for the Battleford North Stars of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, of which Humboldt is a member
Top: Bulldogs forwards Karson Kuhlman (20) and Jade Miller celebrated Kuhlman’s pretty first-period goal in Saturday’s NCAA championship game. A

Kuhlman doing it all in his UMD finale

The Frozen Four's most outstanding player leaves it all on the ice for his last game
Gophers gymnasts Ivy Lu, left, and Lexy Ramler hope to lead their team to a top-two finish in an NCAA regional on Saturday at Maturi Pavilion.

U gymnasts Lu, Ramler on everyone's radar at NCAA regional

Language intrigue notwithstanding, Ivy Lu and Lexy Ramler are winners.
Sandelin

What pressure? UMD plays 10th one-goal NCAA tournament game in a row

Thursday's victory moved the Bulldogs' record to 7-3 in those nail-biters. To get to the Frozen Four, they beat Minnesota State Mankato 3-2 in overtime and defeated Air Force 2-1 in the West Regional.
Shane Wiskus is taking the Big Ten and college gymnastics by storm as a freshman in a sport dominated by upperclassmen.

Gophers' Wiskus a 'game-changer' for men's gymnastics entering Big Ten championship

A lot of people can do the things Shane Wiskus does, but few can make it look so effortless

Jordan Greenway prepares for jump from college hockey to Wild

Wild expects Jordan Greenway to be huge (6-6) boost down stretch.
An NCAA championship gave a gang of Texas supporters reason to get excited Saturday night at the national championship meet.
Texas takes first in the

Texas wins NCAA swimming championship

The Longhorns surged past California and Indiana in the closest finish in 16 years, scoring 449 points to beat the Bears (437.5) and the Hoosiers (422).
Better than before: North Carolina State swimmers broke a record in the 400 freestyle relay, the one they set Friday.

Gophers finish 15th in NCAA men's swim meet

A strong final day lifted the Gophers to 67 points. Three individuals — Conner McHugh, Bowe Becker and Nick Yang — advanced to the championship or consolation finals.
Florida’s Caeleb Dressel celebrated Friday after he successfully defended his NCAA title in the 100-yard butterfly, breaking his own record in the p

Indiana revives history in NCAA swimming push

Indiana, 50 years after era of swimming dominance, is poised to win title again.

Purdue's Steele Johnson claims fifth NCAA diving title

He came back from a foot injury and a three-month break to win on the 3-meter board.
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