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Jim Paulsen

Reporter | Sports
Phone: 612-673-7737

Jim Paulsen is a high school sports reporter for the Star Tribune. 

Recent content from Jim Paulsen
Wayzata’s Tanay Panguluri was a doubles champion and a team champion this spring, and now he's the Star Tribune's Metro Player of the Year in boys t

Wizened leader amid youth is Metro Player of the Year in boys tennis

Tanay Panguluri served as a senior captain on a Wayzata state champion loaded with youngsters, and he also was half of the winning doubles pair.
East Ridge pitcher Jacob Reigert (4) hurls to finish out the Class 4A state baseball semifinal against Forest Lake at CHS Field in St. Paul on Friday.

Metro ace holds undefeated top seed in check in 4A state baseball semifinal

Despite the nerves, Mounds View ace Tyler Guerin was dominant vs. undefeated Wayzata.
Shakopee’s Owen Strege watches his shot after he spiked the ball while Rogers’ Zach Welle defends Thursday night. Shakopee won the Minnesota Boys

No. 1 seed punctuates end of boys volleyball club status with a title

Shakopee needed five sets over Rogers to claim the final club championship. Boys volleyball becomes an official MSHSL sport next spring.
Kale Flemming (16) of Shakopee goes for a block against Burnsville during a boys volleyball match in mid-May.

Boys volleyball teams open last state tournament as a club sport

Wednesday marked the start of the last non-sanctioned state tournament before MSHSL sanctioning in 2025.
Rogers' softball players celebrate their 3-0 win over New Prague for the Class 4A title.

Eighth-grader dominates big-class state softball final

Rogers pitcher AnnaBelle Waldoch pitched a shutout, settling matters in Class 4A. Mankato East won 3A with a six-run seventh, and top seed Randolph took 2A.
Class 4A's top seed and defending champ exits winner's bracket

Class 4A's top seed and defending champ exits winner's bracket

New Prague sunk Rosemount in the Class 4A semifinals on a day when high wind affected most games at Caswell Park in North Mankato.
Thomas Prondzinski, left, and Ethan Turunen, Wayzata's second doubles team, react to scoring against Rochester Mayo during the Class 2A team final.

Boys tennis team champions make their superiority clear

Wayzata clinched 2A early against Rochester Mayo, and St. Paul Academy won its third 1A title in a row by rolling over Breck.
The boys and girls hockey state tournaments will be seeded fully when the 2025 tournaments arrive.

MSHSL tackles controversial method of seeding state tournaments

All eight teams will receive a seed in the state hockey and basketball brackets starting in 2025.
A variety of views are available at the softball state championships at Caswell Park in North Mankato.

Lifted by a legend and her eighth-grade daughter, softball team arrives

Rogers reached the state tournament boosted by the pitching of AnnaBelle Waldoch and the teachings of former Gophers standout Angie (Recknor) Waldoch.
Mahtomedi, Wayzata, Blake and Rochester Mayo reached the semifinals of the Class 2A boys tennis state tournament.

Semifinal pairings are set in boys tennis state tournament

Mahtomedi rolled through Eagan, Wayzata and Mayo swept and Blake squeaked past Eden Prairie. St. Paul Academy and Mound Westonka swept in 1A.
Stillwater's Maya Schroeder hit .532 this season.

All-Metro softball: A list of 23 stars, including a future U slugger

One of the first-teamers, Cameron Chard of Belle Plaine, hit 10 home runs this season and is committed to the Gophers. And because this is softball, 10 of the picks are pitchers.
Randolph's Carter Raymond faced the biggest test of her Metro Player of the Year season near the end.

Meet the softball Metro Player of the Year, a one-loss wonder

Randolph pitcher Carter Raymond won 22 games in a row, and when that first loss finally happened, she quickly balanced matters.
After making a name for himself, tennis standout wants a title

After making a name for himself, tennis standout wants a title

Sam Rathmanner sprung an upset last season but comes into the state tournament this time seeded high in large-class singles.
Krista Flemming, left, and Jenny Kilkelly agitated more than anybody to make boys volleyball a sanctioned high school sport.

Meet the women behind Minnesota high school boys volleyball

Jenny Kilkelly and Krista Flemming formed a league and started pushing the MSHSL to sanction boys volleyball in 2017. Now it's official, and their club days are winding down.
Sophomore Carter Raymond stands out for Randolph as a pitcher and a hitter.

Softball state rankings mix lots of action, little movement

Champlin Park made a move in Class 4A, two No. 1 teams held on amid slumps, and Randolph just kept winning.
Junior Reese Reimler is a big contributor to Champlin Park's 10-game winning streak.

Three softball teams make it their moment in the state rankings

Champlin Park, winner of 10 in a row, landed in Class 4A's top 10. Farmington in 4A and Red Lake Falls in 1A are new No. 1s.
Views toward home plate show differences between Caswell Park (left, and that's Forest Lake's Cierra Moore in 2023) and Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.

Softball coaches cite gender equity in push to move state finals to U

A committee has requested a move from Caswell Park in North Mankato to Jane Sage Cowles Stadium, pointing out that no other team sport has title games outside the Twin Cities.
St. Paul Academy freshman Zahir Hassan is ranked third in Class 1A this week, down from No. 1.

High school boys tennis teams bear down on the postseason

A new No. 1 player, Garrett Webb of Mounds Park Academy, leads the Class 1A individual rankings in the final week of the regular season.
Carter Raymond, shown during last season's Class 2A championship game, is Randolph's pitcher and is batting .447 with four doubles, three triples and

Change at the top looms in high school softball rankings

Farmington's victory over Rosemount will weigh heavily. Meanwhile, Randolph stands strong at 14-0 in Class 2A.
Rochester Mayo’s Tej Bhagra is ranked first in Class 2A, and his team is ranked second.

Fall or spring, it's Rochester Mayo's year in prep tennis

The Spartans have the top-ranked boy and a high team ranking now, after producing individual and team champs during the girls season.
Edina's Mason West is a sought-after recruit as a football quarterback and a hockey forward.

Edina sophomore two-sport standout on recruiting: 'Gotten a little busy'

Mason West quarterbacked the Hornets to the Class 6A football final and starred on the school's state-title winning hockey team. The 6-6 standout also wants you to know about how he sees himself.
The Football Film Federation is offering high schoolers free entry to a training session in which they'll use the latest video technology to learn the

Focusing on bringing football film into frame

High schoolers will learn how to properly record coaching film at a free training session hosted by the Football Film Federation on Sunday.
When Maple Grove players head to the field in the fall, they'll be led by a new coach.

'I always wanted this job.' Football coach hits peak with promotion.

After being an assistant coach for 19 years, Adam Spurrell is getting the chance to lead one of the metro area's traditional football powers at Maple Grove.
Adam Spurrell, the new head football coach at Maple Grove, has been an assistant for the Crimson for 19 years.

West metro football power finds new head coach on current staff

Maple Grove made Adam Spurrell, a member of its staff for 19 years, the Crimson's third head coach in the school's nearly 30-year history.
Clockwise from top left: Carly Kimmes of Randolph, Madelyn Anthony of North St. Paul and Lily Treml of Shakopee.

Who are our 25 metro softball stars (and one bonus pick, too)?

The Gophers have commitments from two of the standouts, and most of the others have already made their college choices, too.
Hannah Tong (left) and Avery Muellner are two big reasons Forest Lake is No. 1 in the the Metro Top 10.

Pitchers make the difference atop the softball Metro Top 10

In a sport in which one can be plenty, No. 1 Forest Lake has two starters who stand out.
Boys volleyball will begin play as a fully sanctioned MSHSL sport in March 2025.

First sanctioned boys volleyball season is set for Spring 2025

Teams begin play as a fully sanctioned MSHSL sport on March 17, 2025, with the state tournament scheduled for June 9-13.
Pole vaulting is next for St. Michael-Albertville's Jackie Bergeron, the Metro Gymnast of the Year.

Gold's glimmer, over and over: Meet the Metro Gymnast of the Year

St. Michael-Albertville's Jackie Bergeron wanted a state championship, and winning on any apparatus would do. She nearly won on all of them.
Mounds View's Quin Morgan (top) holds an advantage against Prior Lake's Brock Zurn during the Class 3A state championships.

The Metro Wrestler of the Year: 50 wins. No losses. Will that do?

Mounds View 215-pounder Quin Morgan, son of Gophers national champion Marty Morgan, won a Class 3A individual title amid the Mustangs' best season in history.
Barber Akeem Akway watches as Hopkins basketball standout Anthony Smith Jr. scores mid-haircut at Akway's Sports Barbershop in Eagan.

High school sports and NIL: Bigger things are ahead for younger stars

Name, image and likeness deals are already expanding beyond college sports. Some top metro boys basketball players are aligned with a barbershop. The top girls hockey player touts a fitness center. Another high school standout represents a chain of chicken restaurants.
Minnetonka guard Andy Stefonowicz (11) and forward Kayden Wells (15) celebrate a moment during the Skippers' state championship victory Saturday night

Transfers make major impact at boys basketball tourney — and people noticed

All four state champions — two public schools and two privates —benefited from players who transferred. That and more from the weekend.
Minnetonka guard Greyson Uelmen keeps a tight grip on the Class 4A trophy, the same way the Skippers gripped their lead over Wayzata.

Minnetonka starts strong and stays stern, wins Class 4A title

The Skippers took a 14-point lead in the first half, then pushed back when the Trojans threatened down the stretch.
Totino-Grace coach Nick Carroll sends a message to his team Saturday during the Class 3A championship game.

Totino-Grace's 3A dominance leads to the opt-up question

Totino-Grace played a schedule almost entirely from 4A. Also Saturday, Cherry completed a rise from 0-22 to a state title, and Breck's Miles Newton channeled his dad.
Totino-Grace’s Isaiah Johnson-Arigu drives on DeLaSalle’s Justin Johnson (23) and De'von Irvin (11) in the second half of the Eagles' 74-67 victor

Half of Championship Saturday is set for the boys basketball tournament

Defending champion Wayzata and Minnetonka will battle for the Class 4A championship, and Totino-Grace and Mankato East advanced to the Class 3A title game. The Class 1A semifinals are also set. Tap here for stories and in-game updates.
Totino-Grace’s Isaiah Johnson-Arigu (right) blocks the shot of DeLaSalle’s Jaden Morgan in the first half of the Class 3A semifinals Thursday at W

Day 2 at state: Rival DeLaSalle reveals Totino-Grace's true emotions

Eagles star Isaiah Johnson-Arigu conducted business as usual in a victory, while future Gophers guard Isaac Asuma and Cherry cruised in their Class 1A quarterfinal. Big man Alex Lester kept the Nevis engine running despite being gassed.
The action goes on near the rim as Cretin-Derham Hall guard Jason Johnson drives for a layup challenged by Farmington’s Tyler Beckwith.

It's all right here! Wednesday's boys basketball tournament news, notes.

Eagan pulled off the biggest surprise of the quarterfinals, dropping Class 4A second seed Park Center. Tap here for game results and more from the first day of play.
Farmington cheerleaders wore tournament-themed bows in their hair during Wednesday's game.

We call this fun: State boys basketball opens with a 12-game day

A Wayzata sophomore spiced an early 4A quarterfinal with his passing. The 3A teams also got going before lunch, and 2A schools will take over the night.
Minnetonka coach Brian Cosgriff worked the sideline Saturday night during the state championship game against Hopkins, the program he coached for 21 s

Hopkins? Minnetonka? We know, Coach. Change can be difficult.

A superstar's gentle reminder got Brian Cosgriff back on track about which team he's coaching these days. A look back at state reveals certainty on other matters.
Minnetonka senior guard Tori McKinney screams in joy while holding the Class 4A championship trophy Saturday after the Skippers beat Hopkins 64-56 for

Minnetonka holds off Hopkins' frantic comeback to win 4A title

A tidy Tonka victory seemed to be shaping up until it pivoted to a stress-inducing exercise in uncertainty that left the outcome in doubt until the final minute.
Mountain Iron-Buhl students cheer from the stands ahead of their team's Class 1A championship game..

Girls basketball reaches the peak: Among the best, who's better?

Moments of March: It's a high-powered day at state. The four championship games Saturday all involve the top two seeds, and three teams will play for consecutive titles.
Underwood band director TJ Pelanek leads fans in a chant before a Class 1A girls basketball state tournament semifinals Friday.

Girls basketball finals schedule is mostly set and fully loaded

Moments of March: The top two seeds in Class 4A, 3A and 1A all qualified for championship games, and Providence Academy got 2A halfway there.
Hopkins’ Tatum Woodson (right) battles Maple Grove’s Ava Cossette for the ball during the first half of a Class 4A girls basketball state semifina

Rivals to battle it out for Class 4A title in girls basketball; 3A championship also set

The finals are solidified in the top two classes while the top four seeds in Class 1A advanced to the semifinals. Tap here for coverage on all of Thursday's games.
Fans attending Day 2 of the Minnesota girls basketball state tournament will see which teams advance from the Class 1A quarterfinals and the Class 4A

Iron Range family starred for one basketball team; next generation stars for another

Moments of March: The Lamppa family was the foundation of a small school that no longer exists. This year, the Lamppas were key to another school's state tournament run.
Minneapolis Roosevelt coach Tyesha Wright points the way Wednesday during her team's Class 3A quarterfinal.

Big day for a first-time tournament team -- despite the final score

Moments of March: Roosevelt fans showed up in numbers for the Teddies' first state tournament game. Plus this from a coach with a unique angle: 'Caitlin [Clark] is good, but I still think Paige [Bueckers] is better.'
Benilde-St. Margaret’s Kate Kapsner goes up to the net defended by Roosevelt’s Olivia Wren, left, and Jaida Walker, right, during the first half o

Girls basketball state quarterfinals: Wednesday's news and notes

The day began with top seeds Hopkins and Benilde-St. Margaret's rolling, and it wound down with Providence Academy's Maddyn Greenway scoring 49 points. Tap here for stories, tournament details and more from Minneapolis.
Liv McGill, the girls basketball Metro Player of the Year, led Hopkins back to the state tournament.

Introducing the 'matured' girls basketball Metro Player of the Year

Hopkins' Liv McGill cast aside that "really bad attitude" — her words — but she's still L.A. Liv. When it's showtime, she shows the way.
Jackie Bergeron of St. Michael-Albertville, already the Class 2A all-around champion, is the first Miss Minnesota Gymnastics.

STMA's Bergeron is honored as the first Miss Minnesota Gymnastics

The Class 2A all-around champion, Jackie Bergeron won the award created for the 50th season of high school girls competition in the state.
Chanhassen got plenty of participation with its whiteout strategy for Friday's Class 2A semifinal.

State Tourney Insiders: Sights and sounds from the hockey semifinals

Edina and Grand Rapids revived a rivalry late in the day, giving credence to the notion that Friday is always the hottest spot in state tournament week.
Hopkins and guard Liv McGill (23) are back at the state tournament. Seedings will be revealed Saturday.

Qualifiers for girls basketball state tournament come with a tale or two

Hopkins is back again, as are all of the top section seeds in Class 4A. Coaches Wendy Kohler and Mike Dreier carry special marks to state, and Jim Lien's there for the first time in his 45 years of coaching.
The puck took flight in front of Mahtomedi forward Tommy Lewin, left, during the final game of Wednesday's Class 1A quarterfinals.

Minnesota boys hockey state tournament: Class 1A quarterfinals roundup

There were three one-sided games and a thriller in the nightcap of Class 1A. Tap here for all of our coverage from the X.
Bobby Sansone, flanked by other Orono supporters, celebrates a first-period goal against Mahtomedi on Wednesday. That was before matters deteriorated

Behind the scenes at the boys hockey state tournament

Sights and sounds from the Xcel Energy Center include Warroad honoring Henry Boucha and a player tip on how you can use pickles to keep the energy up in overtime.
Matt Lombardi, shown during the 2022 Class 6A semifinals, went 102-37 in 14 years at Maple Grove.

Maple Grove football coach leaving, takes job at another metro school

Matt Lombardi went 102-37 leading the Crimson and his team won a state 6A title. He said he's leaving Maple Grove because "a lot of little things that added up."
It's common to see wrestlers and their supporters share moments at the high school wrestling state championships.

A reporter pins down five gripping memories from state wrestling

Jim Paulsen saw more than competition when he spent most of three days at an event he recommends all sports fans see someday.
Wayzata’s Luke Koenen finishes his victory over New Prague’s Lawson Eller in Class 3A's 121-pound class.

Champ packs up one more wrestling title, heads to the Ivy League

Eden Prairie heavyweight Will Sather will play football and wrestle at Princeton, and he'll need to study, too. "I'm going to be really busy," he said.
Blood drips from the nose of Mound Westonka's Jack Nelson’s during his match against Becker’s Kaden Nicolas.

One wrestler becomes a four-time champ, another is stopped at three

Becker's Kaden Nicolas defeated Mound Westonka's Jack Nelson, but Jackson County Central's Nolan Ambrose knocked off No. 1 Gavin Johnson of Kenyon-Wanamingo.
Jackson County Central's Nolan Ambrose watches an official as he tries to pin Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa's Tanner Viessman in the second round.

Wrestlers seeking fourth state titles arrive at semifinals unsullied

Jackson County Central's Nolan Ambrose and Mound Westonka's Jack Nelson both indicated a high comfort level at the championship meet.
Northfield wrestler Caley Graber is declared the winner over Mounds View wrestler Owen LaRose in a 107-pound Class 3A match.

History made, remade: Northfield girl wins twice at boys wrestling state meet

Caley Graber became the first girl to win a match in the boys bracket, and then she won again. She'll wrestle in Saturday's semifinals.
The Xcel Energy Center was set up Thursday for the wrestling state championships. Next week it will be back to hockey.

Totino-Grace wrestler breaks state record for pins and runs it up

Senior Cy Kruse surged past the mark that Stillwater's Ryder Rogotzke set last season.
Simley coach Will Short, his team behind him, accepted his medal after the program's sixth state championship in a row.

Simley lands its sixth consecutive wrestling state championship

The Class 2A title was the 16th overall for Simley. Chatfield took the Class 1A crown.
St. Michael-Albertville's Jarrett Wadsen got a bear hug from Knights assistant coach Joe Grygelko after Wadsen pinned Mounds View's Colton Loween at 1

St. Michael-Albertville wrestlers keep their grip at state this time

The Knights rolled over Mounds View for the Class 3A team championship, a year after a lead vanished in the final.
Mounds View's Swenson brothers run three deep, clockwise from top: Brett, Ethan and Brady.

Grappling for goals: Meet the athletes, teams seeking state titles

The wrestling championship meet is always a family affair, especially at Mounds View this season. You'll find girls wrestling girls and some taking on boys. And you'll learn the numbers behind the dreams.
Westbrook-Walnut Grove's Devin Carter hollered his satisfaction after a victory in the 2023 state meet.

How to follow the wrestling state meet, from the stands or the couch

It's one of those events sports fans should attend at least once, to rock in the "Cradle of Chaos." But we'll help you keep up from home, too.
Jackie Bergeron of St. Michael-Albertville held a handstand on the uneven bars on her way to the Class 2A all-around title.

All around, St. Michael-Albertville's Bergeron is a Class 2A champion

The senior won every event but the uneven bars at the state championships.
North Branch's Dakota Esget competed on the floor exercise Saturday on her way to a state championship.

North Branch girl reigns at Class 1A gymnastics state meet

Junior Dakota Esget won the all-around title and repeated as No. 1 on the uneven bars.
Autumn Schmidt competed on the balance beam Friday, when she helped Lakeville South win a state championship.

Long a contender, Lakeville South breaks through for gymnastics title

The Cougars have competed well in the section for a decade, and once they won there they didn't stop.
Emma Hennessey of Becker competed Friday during the Class 1A gymnastics state meet.

Class 1A gymnastics state meet produces a surprise champion

Becker, fifth in the final rankings, won the title, the first for Hall of Fame coach Jen Harmoning.
Totino-Grace wrestler Cy Kruse is chasing both individual and team goals: a state record for pins and helping the Eagles to a state title.

Totino-Grace wrestler Kruse aims to turn losses into gains

The state record for pins and a team state championship are goals for Cy Kruse, and he has already learned his lessons.
Anna Lentz, left, and Kana Try worked out on the balance beam during practice.

Cretin-Derham Hall found a coach — and gymnastics success — in a hurry

After just one win in the two previous years, the program is headed to state with a staff and team pieced together as the season's start was bearing down.
Anna Gleason was a champion as a high school gymnast at Roseville; now she's part of a movement at Breck as a coach.

Gymnastics state tournament: What you need to know

A Roseville connection revived Breck, Lakeville South found its way back to state, plus team qualifiers and final state rankings.

Mounds View wrestlers get past Stillwater

The Mustangs broke a seven-year losing streak in the section finals to the Ponies, making the state tournament for the first time since 2007.
Santiago Lala hefted Apple Valley's e-sports trophy, flanked by his teammates

Video gaming calls national attention to Twin Cities high school

Apple Valley, winner of four Minnesota championships in a row, is honored as one of the nation's most successful programs.
Mound Westonka's Jack Nelson attempted to take down Grand Rapids wrestler Alex Lehman during the 2023 state championships, where he won his third stat

Wrestler headed to Gophers, but first he wants that 4th state title

Jack Nelson of Mound Westonka had reasons to choose basketball (Mom's suggestion) and hockey (Dad's background). He decided on a different path.
Brad Anderson, shown coaching Wayzata in 2016, is taking over the football program at Benilde-St. Margaret's.

Benilde-St. Margaret's finds a proven winner to take over football program

Brad Anderson, coach of three state champion teams at Wayzata, is replacing Sean McMenomy.
Colton Loween of Mounds View gained an advantage over Lincoln Gentry of Edina during a mid-January meet. Loween is 40-4 at 160 pounds this season.

Redemption is on wrestling minds as teams grapple for state berths

Mounds View and St. Michael-Albertville have memories of last season to excise. Also presented: the state rankings and final honor roll.
Rankings, final honor roll set scene as gymnasts compete for state spots

Rankings, final honor roll set scene as gymnasts compete for state spots

There's a new No. 1 in Class 2A, and you'll find more than 150 of the best individual scores in the metro.