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Rachel Blount

Reporter/Columnist | Sports
phone: 612-673-4389
Rachel Blount is a sports and general assignment reporter, with a particular emphasis on Olympic sports.
Recent content from Rachel Blount
Go fund them? Athletes raise their own green to go for Olympic gold

Go fund them? Athletes raise their own green to go for Olympic gold

Many athletes without major sponsors must cobble together the money to pay for expenses, and financial stress can distract from the focus required to become an Olympian.
With Olympic gynastics spot secured, Gabby Douglas must work

With Olympic gynastics spot secured, Gabby Douglas must work

The 2012 gold medalist wants to justify the faith placed in her over others such as Little Canada's Maggie Nichols.
Little Canada's Maggie Nichols finishes 6th, left off U.S. gymnastics team

Little Canada's Maggie Nichols finishes 6th, left off U.S. gymnastics team

Simone Biles leads the five-person U.S. team. Little Canada's Maggie Nichols, despite finishing sixth in the all-around standings, did not make the team even as an alternate.
Olympic gymnastics trials notes: Retton calls Biles 'best gymnast I've ever seen in my lifetime'

Olympic gymnastics trials notes: Retton calls Biles 'best gymnast I've ever seen in my lifetime'

Like everyone else in the sport, Retton is captivated by Biles' ability to make the most difficult skills in gymnastics look effortless.
Nichols hoping to make gymnastics cut, join friends in Rio

Nichols hoping to make gymnastics cut, join friends in Rio

Even the stars who are virtual locks to make the U.S. gymnastics squad are nervous about team selections. The final events are Sunday evening.
Olympic trials notes: Douglas confident she'll bounce back

Olympic trials notes: Douglas confident she'll bounce back

Even when her training isn't going well, Gabby Douglas always seems to find her best form when it counts.
Plenty of nerves on Night 1 of Olympic gymnastics trials

Plenty of nerves on Night 1 of Olympic gymnastics trials

Little Canada's Maggie Nichols, showing her post-injury grit, ended the first night in 8th place. But not even the top participants were flawless.
Hernandez, 16, taking Olympic gymnastics trials pressure in stride

Hernandez, 16, taking Olympic gymnastics trials pressure in stride

Sometimes, inexperience can be a good thing.
Canterbury Park farriers have tall task: 'No foot, no horse'

Canterbury Park farriers have tall task: 'No foot, no horse'

Farriers have the arduous task of keeping horses comfortable on their feet and primed to race.
Ex-Gophers take lover's leap at Olympic pole vaulting trials

Ex-Gophers take lover's leap at Olympic pole vaulting trials

Passion for pole-vaulting, at great sacrifice, drives two Olympic hopefuls who competed for the University of Minnesota.
Olympic notes: Missy Franklin falls short of backstroke berth but keeps battling

Olympic notes: Missy Franklin falls short of backstroke berth but keeps battling

The defending Olympic gold medalist in the women's 100-meter backstroke graciously praised the victors and smiled after her seventh-place finish
'I'm a little stunned.' Ex-Gophers swimmer Plummer going to Rio

'I'm a little stunned.' Ex-Gophers swimmer Plummer going to Rio

The former Gopher swam the 100-meter backstroke in 52.28 seconds in Tuesday's finals at the U.S. Olympic trials.
Pulled muscle slows Lochte at Olympic swimming trials

Pulled muscle slows Lochte at Olympic swimming trials

Ryan Lochte started the trials at CenturyLink Center by pulling a groin muscle in his first race.
Eden Prairie's Bootsma is ready for Rio and beyond

Eden Prairie's Bootsma is ready for Rio and beyond

Rachel Bootsma is fired up about the Olympic trials while looking forward to what comes afterward.
New direction, new results for Olympic swimming hopeful Plummer

New direction, new results for Olympic swimming hopeful Plummer

The former Gophers swimmer is producing the best results of his career at age 30 as he pursues a spot in Rio.
Minn. gymnast has no time to lose in Olympic quest

Minn. gymnast has no time to lose in Olympic quest

The gymnast from Little Canada is just returning to competition.
Lynx hang on to defeat Indiana after storming out to huge lead

Lynx hang on to defeat Indiana after storming out to huge lead

The Lynx moved to 5-0 with a 74-71 victory over the Fever, a game that Minnesota led by as many as 24 yet only scored five points in the fourth quarter.
Canterbury reports successful opener after changes in wagering

Canterbury reports successful opener after changes in wagering

In April, Canterbury announced it was lowering its takeout—the amount of money it keeps from each wager to pay for purses and track expenses—to the lowest level of any track in the country.
With improved competition, high purses, Canterbury hitting a new stride

With improved competition, high purses, Canterbury hitting a new stride

Improved competition, higher purses mark fresh progress at Canterbury Park
Canterbury Park gambling taking less from bettors will bring in more

Canterbury Park gambling taking less from bettors will bring in more

Canterbury Park has lowered the share it keeps on bets at the track, and eager horseplayers are already excited what's to come during the 69-day meet that opens Friday night.
Jewelry first, then a gem of an opener for Lynx

Jewelry first, then a gem of an opener for Lynx

The defending WNBA champs routed Phoenix after enjoying ring ceremony.

Lynx-Phoenix game preview

Lynx players will get their championship rings and the banner will be raised before the season tips off with rival Phoenix.
Lynx forward Brunson ready to start after recent arrival

Lynx forward Brunson ready to start after recent arrival

Despite her jet lag, the veteran, just back from Europe, will start in the season opener.
Ben Blankenship mixing business and pleasure in Thursday's TC 1 Mile

Ben Blankenship mixing business and pleasure in Thursday's TC 1 Mile

Stillwater native Ben Blankenship is happy to be running near home, but has big goals in mind for Thursday night's race.
Jumble of concerns (and some optimism) as Rio games approach

Jumble of concerns (and some optimism) as Rio games approach

The first Summer Games in South America are facing concerns about the Zika virus, filthy water in boating venues, a severe economic recession and nationwide political unrest.

Four Lynx provide U.S. team with an edge, coach Geno Auriemma says

Head coach Geno Auriemma said four Lynx players on the team are "incredibly unselfish."
Four Lynx make U.S. Olympic team roster, website reports

Four Lynx make U.S. Olympic team roster, website reports

The core of the Lynx's championship team is expected to be in Rio.
Torchetti hoping for chance to continue what he started

Torchetti hoping for chance to continue what he started

Coach's focus shifts to a possible future with team he called "a good group."
Koivu on Game 4's challenge: 'We've got to keep building this thing'

Koivu on Game 4's challenge: 'We've got to keep building this thing'

Mikko Koivu's urgent Game 3 effort gave Wild teammates a needed emotional lift, something they'll have to repeat and then some Wednesday night against the Stars at the X.
Sharps' scoring, experience valuable to Stars

Sharps' scoring, experience valuable to Stars

His young Dallas teammates benefit from 132 playoff games of wisdom, along with a proven scoring knack.
Love lost but not forgotten: Minnesota and the North Stars

Love lost but not forgotten: Minnesota and the North Stars

Though they will be cheering for the Wild in an upscale St. Paul arena, some fans will be channeling memories of the North Stars and those raucous nights at the Met Center that made them fall in love with the NHL.
Don't look for Gophers star Banham to end up with the Lynx

Don't look for Gophers star Banham to end up with the Lynx

The Gophers guard is projected as a high first-round pick in Thursday's WNBA draft, and the Lynx won't make their first selection until early in the second round.
Andy Bisek makes U.S. Greco-Roman team at 75 kilograms

Andy Bisek makes U.S. Greco-Roman team at 75 kilograms

Bounced early at 2012 trials, the Chaska native fulfills dream by making Greco-Roman team for Rio.
Olympic Trials: Apple Valley's Hall focuses on experience, not finish

Olympic Trials: Apple Valley's Hall focuses on experience, not finish

"I wasn't at my best, by any means,'' he said. "But I'm learning. That's the biggest part.''
Minnesota club wrestler Rau one step closer to Rio

Minnesota club wrestler Rau one step closer to Rio

Joe Rau won a provisional spot on the U.S. team for the Rio Olympics.
Olympic trials are about redemption, hope for Minnesota wrestlers

Olympic trials are about redemption, hope for Minnesota wrestlers

Andy Bisek and Jordan Holm aim to advance; high schooler Mark Hall looks to pull an upset.
Taken down, Olympic wrestling is up off the mat

Taken down, Olympic wrestling is up off the mat

Rule changes led to a revival of a sport that briefly was cut from the Olympics.
Ace pitcher Dalton Sawyer leads a promising Gophers baseball team

Ace pitcher Dalton Sawyer leads a promising Gophers baseball team

The Waconia native, who moved last season from the bullpen to the starting rotation, is 3-2 with a team-high 38 strikeouts and an earned-run average of 3.90.
Gophers' Banham named first-team All-America

Gophers' Banham named first-team All-America

In her final season, she became the Gophers' career leading scorer, was chosen as the Big Ten player of the year and tied an NCAA record with a 60-point game at Northwestern.
Quick-strike Denver surges past Ferris State, into Frozen Four

Quick-strike Denver surges past Ferris State, into Frozen Four

Elk River's Blake Hillman nets game-winner, is chosen regional's MVP.

Wild prospect Greenway impressive in quick appearance at NCAA regional

Wild fans didn't get a very long look at prospect Jordan Greenway in the NCAA West Regional.

Denver tops Boston U, reaches regional final

The Pioneers, seeded second, scored twice in the first period and cruised.
Ethan Prow, other seniors carried St. Cloud State to fourth NCAA trip

Ethan Prow, other seniors carried St. Cloud State to fourth NCAA trip

St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko noted that in the changing landscape of college hockey, many players no longer stick around for four years — which made him all the more grateful for Ethan Prow and his classmates.
College hockey referee who tripped on ice before tourney game dies

College hockey referee who tripped on ice before tourney game dies

Butch Mousseaux was injured at the WCHA Final Five during warmups before the Ferris State-Michigan Tech game. It was reported that he fell, hitting his head on the ice.
Minnesota Duluth saves its hockey season by relying more on defense

Minnesota Duluth saves its hockey season by relying more on defense

When scoring became a problem, the Bulldogs focused on defense.
St. Cloud, UND top seeds in hockey tournament; Duluth wins a spot

St. Cloud, UND top seeds in hockey tournament; Duluth wins a spot

St. Cloud State landed the No. 2 overall seed and will play in St. Paul. Minnesota Duluth was sent east.
Big Ten title game loss to Michigan is end of the road for Gophers hockey

Big Ten title game loss to Michigan is end of the road for Gophers hockey

Needing a win to earn the Big Ten's automatic berth into the NCAA tournament, the Gophers lost 5-3 at Xcel Energy Center.
Huge third period gets Gophers into Big Ten hockey title game

Huge third period gets Gophers into Big Ten hockey title game

Trailing 1-0 to start the third, the Gophers roared back to defeat the Buckeyes 4-2 and earn a date with Michigan for the Big Ten title and automatic spot in the NCAA field.
Gophers' goalie Schierhorn: savvy veteran behind a freshman mask

Gophers' goalie Schierhorn: savvy veteran behind a freshman mask

Eric Schierhorn was the Big Ten's top goalie as a 20-year-old freshman for the Gophers.
Gophers focus on 'opportunity' ahead in WNIT

Gophers focus on 'opportunity' ahead in WNIT

Though disappointed by falling short of the main NCAA field, the Gophers open WNIT play Wednesday against Wisconsin-Milwaukee at home.
Banham, Gophers get at least one more game at the Barn

Banham, Gophers get at least one more game at the Barn

Rachel Banham will get another chance to play in front of a home crowd, as the Gophers open the Women's National Invitation Tournament on Wednesday night.
Waseca celebrates a miracle shot and a basketball game that wouldn't end

Waseca celebrates a miracle shot and a basketball game that wouldn't end

Waceca's four-overtime thriller of a victory Thursday night has gained international attention.
Gophers women have a tall task for way into NCAA tournament

Gophers women have a tall task for way into NCAA tournament

Should the Gophers defeat Northwestern today, they will face No. 4 seed Indiana in Friday's quarterfinals. That gives them the chance to make a strong impression
Gophers star Banham named Big Ten Player of the Year

Gophers star Banham named Big Ten Player of the Year

Rachel Banham established Big Ten and program records for career points and broke the conference's 31-year-old single-season record for most points in Big Ten play.
Big Ten hockey is a buzzkill for fans in Minnesota

Big Ten hockey is a buzzkill for fans in Minnesota

Plenty of Gophers hockey faithful aren't buying what the new Big Ten hockey league is selling.
Gophers learn from errors; Fasching's OT blast beats Michigan

Gophers learn from errors; Fasching's OT blast beats Michigan

A day after a third-period meltdown, the Gophers rode a wave of persistence, energy and grit - and a slapshot from Hudson Fasching - to beat the Wolverines.
Player says Gophers 'just gave up' in third period of loss to Michigan

Player says Gophers 'just gave up' in third period of loss to Michigan

Michigan torched the Gophers for four goals in a span of 5 minutes, 18 seconds of the third period to take control of the series opener at Mariucci Arena.
Wagner's last-second shot gives Gophers upset win over No. 5 Ohio State

Wagner's last-second shot gives Gophers upset win over No. 5 Ohio State

With Rachel Banham on the bench after fouling out on senior night, sophomore Carlie Wagner became the hero in overtime against the Buckeyes.
Lucia expects to discuss contract extension in April

Lucia expects to discuss contract extension in April

The time will come for a talk with university officials, but for now, the 17-year Gophers hockey coach is focused on the series with Michigan.
Minnesota hockey fans bask in old-time glory

Minnesota hockey fans bask in old-time glory

The bitter North Stars/Blackhawks rivalry turned into a competitive but fun reunion for players and fans Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium.
Banham's three-point buzzer-beater lifts Gophers over Iowa

Banham's three-point buzzer-beater lifts Gophers over Iowa

Over the past nine days, Rachel Banham has scored 127 points and carried the Gophers to three critical victories that have kept their NCAA tournament hopes afloat.
Scoring creates buzz, but Banham and Gophers are stressing defense

Scoring creates buzz, but Banham and Gophers are stressing defense

During a week when everyone wanted to talk about her 60-point performance against Northwestern, Rachel Banham nudged the conversation in a different direction.
Banham, hot-shooting Gophers crush Nebraska

Banham, hot-shooting Gophers crush Nebraska

Rachel Banham's follow-up to her 60-point performance was for 32 in an impressive rout of Nebraska as the Gophers broke the 100-point mark again.
Banham shooting for Gophers' spot in NCAA tournament field

Banham shooting for Gophers' spot in NCAA tournament field

As much as Rachel Banham enjoyed tying the NCAA single-game scoring mark, she reiterated this week that she didn't return for a fifth season to pile up records.
Scoring 60 points still seems surreal to Gophers guard Rachel Banham

Scoring 60 points still seems surreal to Gophers guard Rachel Banham

Caught up in a fierce game, Rachel Banham didn't realize she was about to tie a record that had stood for nearly 30 years.
Gophers hockey draws hope from last season's strong finish

Gophers hockey draws hope from last season's strong finish

After a poor North Star Cup, The Gophers won Big Ten regular-season and tourney titles in 2015.
Reserves play big role as Gophers women race past Rutgers

Reserves play big role as Gophers women race past Rutgers

As a senior, Shayne Mullaney didn't envision coming off the bench after starting 51 games in a row as a sophomore and junior. But her new role has made her a vital part of Minnesota's success.
Gophers stake out spot at bottom among state's hockey teams

Gophers stake out spot at bottom among state's hockey teams

Sunday's 3-2 loss to Mankato left the Gophers at 1-7 this season against other Minnesota teams."I couldn't feel more disappointed after this weekend, or more frustrated," said forward Justin Kloos.
Gophers in-state slide continues with loss to Bemidji State

Gophers in-state slide continues with loss to Bemidji State

Last week, the Gophers spoke at length about their desire to end a much-discussed 1-10 streak against in-state opponents. Now they're after losing a third-period lead.
Gophers hockey hopes to put woes against in-state rivals behind

Gophers hockey hopes to put woes against in-state rivals behind

Surging Gophers will play two of them this weekend.
U's Lucia stresses safety after opponent suspended for reckless hit

U's Lucia stresses safety after opponent suspended for reckless hit

Gophers forward Tommy Novak got hit in the head in the Badgers series.
Gophers women wake up, rally past Illinois behind Banham

Gophers women wake up, rally past Illinois behind Banham

The Gophers trailed last-place Illinoios by as many as 18 points before getting their game together with Rachel Banham's three-pointers sparking the comeback.
Finally. Rippon earns U.S. men's figure skating title despite fall

Finally. Rippon earns U.S. men's figure skating title despite fall

Rippon's creative flair has made him a popular skater, and his performance Sunday to a Beatles medley won the day's highest marks for artistry, which allowed him to overcome a shortcoming in his program.
Johnson's home-crowd skate earns him his best spot yet at nationals

Johnson's home-crowd skate earns him his best spot yet at nationals

The Minnetonka native earned his highest placement ever at the U.S. championships, finishing sixth after Sunday's free skate at Xcel Energy Center.
Home ice could help as U.S. women seek to end 9-year shutout

Home ice could help as U.S. women seek to end 9-year shutout

The top three going to worlds in Boston seek to be the first to medal for the U.S. since 2006.
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