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
Suni Lee of St. Paul was on track to have a breakthrough Olympic Games this summer in Tokyo.

'A little bump in the road': Chasing medals must wait for Minnesota's Olympic hopefuls

A new date for the Tokyo Games hasn't been announced, and with the coronavirus still spreading, it's uncertain how qualifying will be affected or when athletes can resume training and competing.
Andrew Offerman, Canterbury Park’s vice president of racing operations, made his way around the track on Friday. Live racing is supposed to begin on

Off-track fretting: Horse racing industry is hanging on by a nose

Canterbury Park expects to press on this season, but are worried about horse owners who are financially strapped and might not be able to afford their animals' keep.
People gathered to take a look at Olympic flame on display north of Tokyo as calls grew for the games to be postponed.

IOC now considering postponing Olympics as nations, athletes speak out

The IOC said its executive board "will step up its scenario-planning" in response to the coronavirus, which has shut down qualifying events and disrupted training.
The Olympic flame from Greece arrived in Japan on Friday amid questions about whether the Tokyo Games will go on as scheduled this summer.

USA swimming and track leaders urge that Olympics be postponed

With the coronavirus shutting down sports worldwide, USA Swimming wants the Olympics to be postponed a year.
Oklahoma's Maggie Nichols competed in the floor exercise during the 2018 NCAA championships in St. Louis.

Maggie Nichols looks back on her college gymnastics career and smiles

The Oklahoma star from Little Canada finished with 22 perfect 10s.
Jessie Diggins (center in red), the Olympic gold medalist from Afton, skied with local high schoolers at Theodore Wirth Park Tuesday morning. She was

World Cup race canceled, gold medalist Diggins skis with teens at Wirth Park

As many as 20,000 fans were expected at Theodore Wirth Park on Tuesday for the now-canceled World Cup cross-country ski races featuring Jessie Diggins. "We got so many people excited about skiing," she said.
Several local Olympic hopefuls, including Suni Lee of St Paul (left) and Grace McCallum of Isanti (right, next to all-around winner Simone Biles at th

Coronavirus disrupts athletes' path to the Olympics

With disrupted schedules and Games no sure thing, Olympians can only train.
Server Julie Hvidsten, rear, hugged casino executive host Azure Alder as they prepared to close Canterbury Park on Monday.

Canterbury Park closes down simulcasting and casino

Canterbury President Randy Sampson hopes the 65-day season won't be delayed, but other horse racing facilities around the world were canceling cards or barring spectators.
Slater Crosby, left, and Kelly Donahue, recently examined the course at Wirth Park for the World Cup cross-country ski race that was called off on Thu

World Cup cross-country ski races scheduled for Minneapolis called off

Theodore Wirth Park event was expected to draw 20,000 fans.
Regan Smith after she broke the world record in the 200-meter backstroke at the world championships last July.

Lakeville swimmer Regan Smith plots her Olympic course

The Lakeville teen is picking her path while finishing high school.
Desiree Linden, winner of the 2018 Boston Marathon, is one of the favorites to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team.

U.S. Olympic berths in the marathon are on the line Saturday

About 700 will compete for one of six U.S. spots in 2020 Olympic marathon.
Interim head coach Dean Evason wants to see the Wild play at a quicker tempo.

While their fathers watched, Evason tells Wild to pick up the pace

The start of the Wild's annual fathers' trip wasn't the only reason behind the high-energy workout before the team left for a road trip that starts tonight in Vancouver.
University of Minnesota gymnast Shane Wiskus.

Minnesota's Olympic hopefuls wrestle with best way to chase dream

Gymnast Shane Wiskus, wrestler Gable Steveson and two more University of Minnesota athletes are juggling college meets, coursework and Olympic qualifying. Others have chosen a different path.
Wild left winger Kevin Fiala has seven points in his past four games.

Wild's Fiala starting to fulfill potential with hot streak

With seven points in his past four games, Fiala has given the Wild the production it hoped for when it acquired him from Nashville last February.
St. Thomas could be playing Division I sports as soon as 2021.

St. Thomas' move to Division I looking 'very optimistic' after key NCAA meeting

Summit League Commissioner Tom Douple said "very positive progress'' was made at the NCAA convention regarding St. Thomas's bid to reclassify from Division III to Division I.
This week, at the NCAA convention, the University of St. Thomas expects to gain more clarity on how — or even whether — NCAA rules will be changed

Switch to Division I would mean the end of life as St. Thomas knows it

This week, at the NCAA convention, the University of St. Thomas is expected to gain more clarity on how — or even whether — NCAA rules will be changed to allow the school's direct move from D-III to D-I.
St. Thomas football fans brought a sense of humor to the Tommies’ game against St. John’s this past October.

How big of a leap for St. Thomas athletics? Answers start coming very soon

The NCAA will discuss rule changes next week that could pave an easier promotion path for schools such as St. Thomas.
Wild goaltender Alex Stalock stopped Tampa Bay right wing Nikita Kucherov.

With solid foundation, Stalock looks to continue strong play in Wild's net

In his first start since Jan. 9, Alex Stalock stopped 20 of 22 shots to beat Tampa Bay on Thursday night.
Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau talked with players along the boards during the team's outdoor practice on Jan. 1

Slumping Wild 'needed a break' to recharge mentally

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau seemed to be at wit's end following Tuesday's performance, which featured costly defensive breakdowns, too many penalties and a lineup-card mistake. Wednesday, the team had the day off.
Zach Parise and the Wild face three surging opponents on the schedule.

Wild begins rugged stretch while mired in slump

This week's gantlet begins Tuesday at Pittsburgh, then home to face Tampa Bay and Central Division rival Dallas.
Matt Dumba and the Wild practiced outdoors on Jan. 2 at the ROC in St. Louis Park. Dumba has donated $11,200 to help Australians battling the fires in

Wild's Dumba saddened by fire devastation in Australia

In an effort to help fire-ravaged Australia financially, Matt Dumba, who vacationed there last April, donated $100 for every point scored by the Timberwolves on Tuesday.
From left, the Gophers' Taylor Morgan, Kylie Miller, Stephanie Samedy, Rachel Kilkelly and Adanna Rollins greeted each other after losing to Stanford

Gophers volleyball season exceeded expectations

After their Final Four loss to Stanford on Thursday, coach Hugh McCutcheon told his team how proud he was.
Stanford’s Kathryn Plummer drove a spike past the Gophers' Regan Pittman (21) for a point Thursday night.

Defending champion Stanford sweeps Gophers in NCAA volleyball semifinal

Kathryn Plummer dominated for the Cardinal, which will play for its ninth national championship.
Wisconsin's Dana Rettke embraced Baylor's Yossiana Pressley after Thursday's semifinal.

Badgers upset Baylor in volleyball behind defense, timely hitting

The Badgers lost a set for the first time in this tournament but bounced back to win three in a row over the NCAA tournament's top seed.
Adanna Rollins and her Gophers teammates celebrated a block vs. Louisville in the championship match last Saturday of the Austin (Texas) Region.

Stirring success: Gophers used right mix to reach volleyball's Final Four

A roster trimmed by offseason transfers and injury forced the Gophers to be resilient this season. Having passed so many tests, they feel well-prepared to pursue their first NCAA title.
Second-team All-Big Ten selection Taylor Morgan, a 6-foot middle blocker, led the Gophers with 14 blocks last weekend in victories over Fairfield and

Morgan has been driving force in Gophers' run to volleyball Sweet 16

Taylor Morgan wasn't ready to see her U volleyball career end, so she did something about it. And now Minnesota needs victories, tonight and Saturday, to reach the Final Four.
Husky Stadium at St. Cloud State University.

St. Cloud State and Minnesota Crookston drop football programs

Both schools cited budget concerns, with St. Cloud State responding to a Title IX ruling. Crookston has a 2-64 record over its last six seasons. Both were in the Division II Northern Sun Conference.
From left, Gophers outside hitter Alexis Hart (19), libero CC McGraw (7) and middle blocker Regan Pittman (21) celebrated a third set kill by Hart aga

Up against match point, Gophers volleyball knew 'it's not over yet'

It took the belief of every Gophers player to pull out a 3-2 victory over Creighton at Maturi Pavilion, and reach next weekend's Sweet 16 in Austin, Texas.
Gophers opposite Stephanie Samedy scored a point against Fairfield during the first set.

Gophers volleyball sweeps Fairfield to reach NCAA second round

The Gophers will play 15th-ranked Creighton, which swept Iowa State in Friday's first match, in Saturday's second round at Maturi Pavilion.
Gophers outside hitter Stephanie Samedy.

Playing less, Gophers opposite hitter Samedy learned more about her role

Despite spending time on the sidelines this season Stephanie Samedy, a three-time all-Big Ten first team player, still led the Gophers in kills and was among the team leaders in other key statistics.
Gophers volleyball players (front, from left) Alexis Hart, Taylor Morgan, Stephanie Samedy and Adanna Rollins reacted to the news Sunday of being name

Gophers volleyball team gets No. 7 seed in NCAA tournament

Gophers coach Hugh McCutcheon said the No. 7 seed "is about right" for a team that endured constant changes to lineups and individual roles.
Ann Bancroft leads her partner Liv Arnesen of Norway, as they test their 250-pound sled in Antarctica on Monday Nov. 13, 2000.

5 top Minnesota athletes who inspire us to embrace the state's coldest season

These tough women learned to strive and thrive in the cold: "There's just an exuberance about winter."
St. Thomas football coach Glenn Caruso spoke to reporters in August, the Tommies football team's first news conference after it was announced that the

Summit League aids St. Thomas in school's quest to move into Division I

The commissioner of the Summit League said it would be an advocate for the University of St. Thomas as the school tries to become the first to move directly from Division III into Division I.
Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk, hurting after two players slid into him Tuesday night, was back on the job Friday.

Dubnyk, recovered from Tuesday collision, practices with Wild

It's uncertain whether Devan Dubnyk will be cleared to play Saturday against Los Angeles.
Mike Hebert worked with his players during practice in 2009.

'Mentor, friend, teacher.' Players mourn coach who made U volleyball big

Mike Hebert led the U to three Final Four appearances and made the NCAA tournament 14 times in 15 seasons before retiring in 2010. "He wasn't just a coach," a former player said.
With three goals and five points, the Wild's Brad Hunt is tied with fellow defenseman Ryan Suter as the team’s leading scorer, and he is tied with J

Diminutive defenseman Hunt leads Wild in scoring

For a scoring-starved team, though, the compact defenseman with the lethal shot has been indispensable.
Noah and Kyle Borgeson will be on opposite sidelines when St. Thomas and St. John's play at Allianz Field on Saturday.

Brotherly love? Not when these Tommies and Johnnies siblings clash

The rivalry between St. Thomas and St. John's often plays out like a brawl between brothers. It's not often, though, that actual brothers are on opposite sidelines. Meet the Borgesons.
Regan Pittman, a 6-5 junior, leads the No. 7 Gophers with 59 blocks this season.

Bullied as a kid, U volleyball star Pittman finds herself helping others

Volleyball didn't come into Regan Pittman's life until eighth grade. It provided a "safe space," she said, for an awkward girl who was picked on by bullies and felt she didn't fit in.
Gerald Mayhew (26) of the Wild battled Colorado’s Dan Renouf during a preseason game Sept. 22 in Denver.

'Iowa's best player' makes his way up I-35 for Wild's road trip

Former Ferris State standout Gerald Mayhew is expected to make his NHL debut on the Wild's upcoming Canadian road trip, which begins Monday afternoon.
Whitecaps forward Meghan Lorence, right, and Riveters defenseman Colleen Murphy collided during Saturday's game.

Whitecaps begin NWHL title defense, with boycotting stars absent

The Whitecaps began their second season in the NWHL without Lee Stecklein, Hannah Brandt and Kendall Coyne Schofield, the three U.S. Olympians who gave them star power last year.
No number of Devan Dubnyk saves, such as this one against Winnipeg, has gotten the Wild a victory this season.

Winless Wild continues to focus on positives going into home opener

A day before the Wild's home opener against Pittsburgh, coach Bruce Boudreau continued to focus on the good things his team has done, declining to exercise the raging, fuming option after three road losses.
Gold medal winner Simone Biles of the U.S., left, and her team mate Sunisa Lee pose after the women's all-around final at the Gymnastics World Champio

St. Paul's Lee falls to eighth as Biles rolls to more gymnastics gold

Sunisa Lee's mastery on the uneven bars helped vault the St. Paul gymnast to international prominence this year. Thursday, her bars routine tripped her up at the world championships.
Wild players listened as head coach Bruce Boudreau spoke during a practice on Sept 13.

Losing sleep: Boudreau dwells on shuffling lines after Wild's slow start

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said the first place his mind goes when he wakes up in the middle of the night is to line combinations. His latest concoctions were on display during Wednesday's practice

Gophers junior Shane Wiskus helps U.S. men to fourth place finish at world championships

The University of Minnesota junior hit all six routines over two days.
Dominic Ondoro finished in first place in the men's category for the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in a time of 2:12:23. Julia Kohnen

Twin Cities Marathon has fourth-time winner for men, first-time for women

For Dominic Ondoro, of Kenya, it was his fourth victory in five years. Julia Kohnen was making her Twin Cities debut.

A week after Berlin Marathon, Hall takes third consecutive TC 10 Mile title

Seven days after a brilliant performance in Berlin, when she ran the fastest marathon by a U.S. woman this year, Sara Hall covered the distance from Minneapolis to St. Paul in 53 minutes, 11 seconds.
Minnesota runners Docherty, Lindwurm boosted by many at Twin Cities Marathon

Minnesota runners Docherty, Lindwurm boosted by many at Twin Cities Marathon

Vocal support from friends, family and strangers rallied hurting Danny Docherty and grateful Dakotah Lindwurm to top-three finishes.

MSU Mankato routs UMD in battle of NSIC football unbeatens

Natt Gunn set two MSU Mankato career records as his team went to 5-0.

Trial runs give Team USA Minnesota distance team an inside advantage

As members of the Team USA Minnesota professional distance-running group, they have run hundreds of miles over the courses for the Twin Cities Marathon and TC 10 Mile.
Wild players listened as head coach Bruce Boudreau spoke during a practice on Sept 13.

Boudreau sets Wild's season-opening lines — for at least 10 minutes

The Wild coach will start Thursday's season opener at Nashville with the lines he assembled this week, but there's no telling how long they will last.
The 6-5, 211-pound Carson Soucy put together an impressive training camp performance that was significantly better than the defenseman's underwhelming

Redemption: Ex-UMD defenseman Soucy survives Wild's final cutdown

Coach Bruce Boudreau said Carson Soucy impressed him with a training camp performance that was significantly better than his "really terrible camp" in 2018.
Gophers senior Taylor Morgan tried eluding blockers Regan Pittman (21) and Ellie Husemann (16) in a preseason scrimmage.

False alarm: Gophers volleyball cruising after two early losses

Seventh-ranked Minnesota has dropped only one set — to No. 1 Stanford, on the road — during a five-match winning streak. Big Ten play begins this weekend.
Grace Zumwinkle, above celebrating a goal in the 2019 WCHA Final Faceoff title game against Wisconsin, led the Gophers with 25 goals last season. Seve

No. 2 Gophers women's hockey opens with hopes for another title

Before Friday's series opener against Colgate, the Gophers will raise a banner, this one commemorating last season's WCHA regular-season championship.
Sunisa Lee (left), Simone Biles (center) and Grace McCallum (right), shown here at last month’s U.S. championships in Kansas City, Mo., were all sel

Minnesotans Lee, McCallum join superstar Biles on U.S. gymnastics team

Sunisa Lee and Grace McCallum were named Monday to the six-woman team that will represent the United States at next month's world championships
Sunisa Lee of St. Paul was runner-up at nationals — a feat her father was unable to witness after he was seriously hurt in an accident.

Father's injury weighs on her, but South St. Paul gymnast Sunisa Lee stays on course for Olympics

Sunisa Lee's focus is on her Olympic dream, and her dad's recovery from a spinal injury that has left him paralyzed.
Mikko Koivu’s 2018-19 season was cut short because of a knee injury.

Koivu will play in first game since knee surgery on Saturday

Mikko Koivu is keeping his expectations low for his first game in 7½ months, hoping just to feel comfortable enough to continue moving forward.
Leandro Goncalves celebrated a victory aboard Mr. Jagermeister during Festival of Champions races at Canterbury Park on September 1

Milestone year at Canterbury Park in Shakopee is one for the books

Canterbury Park president Randy Sampson is already looking ahead after Year 25. "We're doing as well as we've ever done."
Chaska native Pat Smith won a gold medal at last month’s Pan American Games in Peru.

Former U wrestler Smith peaking as 2020 Olympic Trials approach

Pat Smith moved up a weight class and begins competition Monday at the world championships in Kazakhstan.
Kylie Miller, a transfer from UCLA, was named Big Ten setter of the week Monday.

UCLA transfer Miller filling Gophers volleyball setting void

With Samantha Seliger-Swenson gone, Minnesota has made a quick adjustment at the key position.
Hugh McCutcheon directed his team during a match last season

Gophers volleyball rights the ship with sweep over Florida

After losing two straight, the Gophers came home and beat the No. 7 Gators..
A large crowd of fans came to watch the Gophers intersquad scrimmage inside Maturi Pavilion on Aug. 24

U volleyball team hits bump on the road; home opener Saturday

The Gophers had not lost back-to-back matches this early in the season since 2015, when they started 0-2. That team went on to reach the Final Four.
Gophers gymnast Shane Wiskus won the vault competition at the U.S. championships in August.

Firm grasp: U.S. championships a game-changer for U gymnast Wiskus

Following a viral moment last month, Gophers gymnast Shane Wiskus is thinking more ambitiously about the next steps in his career. He is competing this weekend at a U.S. selection camp in Colorado Springs.
Jockey Leandor Goncalves road Mr. Jagermeister to victory in the $100,000 Minnesota Sprint Championship at Canterbury Park on Sunday.

Back home, Mr. Jagermeister wins Minnesota Sprint Championship

His lone race at Canterbury Park this year makes him 7-for-9 on the track.
Mister Banjoman won the Minnesota Derby in early August and stands second in earnings at Canterbury Park this summer. Aug. 10

Mr. Banjoman helps his owner acquire a taste for the homegrown at Canterbury Park

Mister Banjoman shows reluctant buyer Minnesota-bred strength.
Setter Kylie Miller joined the Gophers after playing volleyball for three seasons at UCLA.

U volleyball has high hopes again, entering Friday's opener

The No. 3-ranked Gophers need to replace their star setter, but their top five hitters return from a team that advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 last year.
Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold, left, introduced new Wild General Manager Bill Guerin

Guerin's take on Wild: 'A lot of work to do, but a lot of potential'

Following Thursday's introductory news conference at Xcel Energy Center, Wild coaches, players and executives lauded Bill Guerin, 48, for his broad range of experience and reputation as a unifying force.
The Gophers volleyball team practiced Monday inside the updated and newly air conditioned Maturi Pavilion.

Gophers volleyball gets cool treat: An air-conditioned home

The addition of air conditioning to the Pavilion — part of a $5.1 million package of improvements — has cooled off a building that used to feel like a blast furnace in summer and early fall.
Kevin Peraza saved a few high-difficulty bicycle stunts for the final day of competition Sunday, in Dave Mirra’s BMX Park Best Trick at the Summer X

Competitors revel in setting, perks of Minneapolis' staging of X Games

In its 25th edition — and third consecutive year here — the event continues to evolve with new contests, sites and formats.
Aori Nishimura of Japan repeated as the winner in Women’s Skateboard Street in the X Games on Sunday.

Japan impresses at X Games in preparation for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Japanese athletes won nine medals, including three Sunday during the final day of competition at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Thrills but also spills: Dawid Godziek crashed on the last ramp during the the Real Cost BMX Dirt competition Saturday at the X Games at U.S. Bank

'It feels like everything just exploded': Crashes part of the deal at X Games

Resilience is a big part of the X Games, where the spills are as breathtaking — and nearly as plentiful — as the thrills.

Little brother does much more than just tag along at X Games

When Jagger Eaton was younger, he looked up to his big brother Jett, skateboarding alongside him every day. Now that Jagger's an X Games…
Maggie Ewen (shown competing for Arizona State in the 2017 NCAA championships) won a bronze medal in the women’s shot put Sunday at Drake Stadium to

Ewen, two former U runners make U.S. team for world championships

Hassan Mead and Ben Blankenship join former St. Francis star Maggie Ewen, who won a bronze medal at the U.S. track and field championships, on the American team.
The United States women's 4x100m medley relay team (from left, Lakeville's Regan Smith, Lilly King, Kelsi Dahlia and Simone Manuel) posed with their g

More gold for Lakeville's Regan Smith plus another world record

Regan Smith's first leg in the 400-meter medley relay gave herself a world record and helped the U.S. team set a record in the event, too.

Ewen finishes fourth in nation in hammer throw

The St. Francis native posted a personal best in the hammer at U.S. meet.
Ben Blankenship, at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio

Former Gophers runner Blankenship reaches final in U.S. 1,500-meter run

Stillwater native Ben Blankenship will race Sunday in Des Moines for a spot in the world championships.