Recent content from Rachel Blount
Among the changes this season will be the return of Saturday racing, with first post at 5 p.m.
Yaroslav Owens-Pochinka won the GymACT national title on still rings, while Kellen Ryan was sixth in the all-around. Both earned All-America honors.
Longtime coach Mike Burns now runs the program as a club, and it's heading into a new national meet Saturday.
Zandon's owner, Jeff Drown of St. Cloud, has the horse pointed toward the Travers Stakes. Derby winner Rich Strike won't race in the Preakness, either.
Barry and Joni Butzow of Eden Prairie had made the annual pilgrimage to Kentucky Derby for 20 years. But this time was different: They finally had a horse in the race. This is the up-close story of their Derby Week
The 148th running of the Kentucky Derby went off Saturday on a cool day at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Rich Strike, an 81-1 long shot who was an alternate until Friday morning, pulled off a monumental upset over the field of 20.
Four undercard wins may have stoked his confidence with third-place colt Zandon, but no one saw Rich Strike's closing kick coming.
Race day could be emotional for St. Cloud's Jeff Drown, owner of Zandon, and Eden Prairie's Joni and Barry Butzow, owner of Zozos.
Kentucky Derby week is here, and two Minnesota-owned horses will be in the running. Here's a primer on everything you need to know.
A new federal law will take go into effect in July with the goal of reducing cheating, such as the episode during last year's Kentucky Derby involving a horse who died after a workout months later.
Friends of Barry and Joni Butzow of Eden Prairie, whose colt Zozos will run in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, have spent time visiting horse farms in the Lexington area.
Pete Mattson, a thoroughbred owner and breeder from Prior Lake, now owns a small share of Mo Donegal — a deal made through a connection from his college years in St. Paul.
Zandon's post position, No. 10, has sent off nine winners — second most in the race's history. His owners, who are from St. Cloud, were thrilled with the draw.
Looking for a local angle to boost your interest in this year's race? Look to the end of the alphabet. Zandon and Zozos have Minnesota connections and are being taken seriously by race fans.
Dryden McKay led Minnesota State to a second-place finish in the NCAA men's hockey tournament earlier this month, including a semifinal victory over the Gophers.
Though Saturday's team final featured two medalists from the Tokyo Summer Games — Auburn's Suni Lee of St. Paul and Utah's Grace McCallum, of Isanti — the meet was decided by upperclassmen well-schooled in NCAA level demands.
Led by the Olympic gold medalist from St. Paul, Lee's Auburn team advanced to the finals; the Gophers did not but had the best finish in team history.
To get to the NCAA championships, Minnesotans just need to drive south on I-35 to Texas. Not everyone is taking such a direct route to the meet, which starts today.
Jeff Drown-owned Zandon won the Blue Grass Stakes, one of three major Derby prep races held on Saturday.
The two-time NCAA heavyweight champion with the Gophers began his professional entertainment career.
Destanni Henderson, South Carolina's 5-7 point guard, stepped up to the biggest stage in college basketball and made her last NCAA game the best of her career.
The former UConn stars have their own show from Target Center during the that has the feel of watching from a friend's house.
Aliyah Boston and a balanced attack put the Gamecocks in Sunday's championship game in Minneapolis.
The NCAA transfer portal became a hot subject Thursday in Minnesota and several of the Final Four coaches weighed in with their thoughts.
And many of the events are free leading up to Sunday's championship game at Target Center.
Women's Final Four notes: Geno Auriemma said, two weeks ago, he wouldn't have believed it. Louisville coach has Minnesota ties.
There were Minnesota players who led the way to upsets, kept tournament favorites on course or saw their championship bids end earlier than expected during the first two rounds of play.
Wrestling his last college match on Saturday night, Gable Steveson completed his undefeated season. He brought the crowd to its feet with his signature backflip, then left his shoes on the mat.
Gymnast Lexy Ramler, diver Sarah Bacon, swimmer Max McHugh and distance runner Bethany Hasz have each had extraordinary Gophers careers.
The five Minnesotans in Beijing won four medals, including three for cross-country skier Sydney Peterson of Lake Elmo.
Sammy Walker's tally at 17 minutes, 21 seconds of the third gave the Gophers a 3-2 victory over Penn State, their ninth consecutive win and their fourth appearance in the Big Ten title game.
Jessie Diggins, the cross-country skier from Afton, finished second in the women's overall standings, 180 points behind overall champion Natalia Nepryaeva of Russia.
Another Minnesotan helped wheelchair curling team remain in contention at Paralympics
Snowboarder Mike Schultz of St. Cloud and cross-country skier Sydney Peterson of Lake Elmo became the first Minnesotans to win medals at the Beijing Paralympics.
Preparation is no deterrent for the defending Paralympic champion. He has the best tools of the trade, some of which he designed and are used by other athletes.
Oyuna Uranchimeg thought her life was over in 2000, when she was in a car accident while visiting Minnesota. "I basically died that day. And then, I came back."
Afton's Jessie Diggins, who capped the Beijing Games with a silver medal, says she is recharged and ready for the World Cup circuit. First up: Finland.
As the athletes took part in the Closing Ceremony, they were just grateful the Winter Games made it over the finish line.
On the final day of the Olympics, Jessie Diggins of Afton seized her last shot to make more history, despite being sick with food poisoning just hours before the race in the mountains outside Beijing.
The contingent with Minnesota connections on Team USA was the largest since Turin in 2006 and included nine gold medalists from four years ago.
Athletes cheering for athletes will be one of the joyful memories from an Olympics otherwise tied down tightly by COVID-19 restrictions.
The 19-year-old finished 12th in her first mass start race at the senior international level.
John Shuster, 39, won't be bringing home a medal from the Olympics this time. But he still has the fire for curling and is looking at a sixth Olympic appearance at the 2026 games in Italy.
Four years after they experienced the unabashed joy of dethroning Canada as Olympic champions, the Americans stood glumly on the ice in Beijing to accept silver medals.
Curling is often called chess on ice. It was more like a math problem for USA curling skipper John Shuster and his teammates in their Olympic semifinal loss to Great Britain.
Four years after the crowning moment of her cross-country skiing career, Jessie Diggins of Afton said knowing she did her best in the classic team sprint relay was good enough.
Former St. Olaf runner and skier Jake Brown, who went to Minnehaha Academy, posted the best individual results of the four-man U.S. team at the Beijing Olympics.
More than 100 former college players made rosters for these Olympics, including 48 from the WCHA, half of whom are playing for China and teams from Europe.
Jessie Diggins' teammate in the team sprint event is expected to be Rosie Brennan, not Kikkan Randall, and the skiing technique is classic, not her preferred freestyle.
Former wrestler Paul Schommer answers his calling to the Nordic sport at St. Scholastica under coach Chad Salmela.
Jonathan Soto Moreno arrived at Richfield High School not knowing a thing about cross-country skiing. Friday, he arrived at the finish line of an Olympics race.
A 10-5 loss to Great Britain dropped the U.S. women's curling team to 3-1 in round-round play.
The young American team faces Germany on Sunday with a chance to win Group A and earn a bye and high seeding in the quarterfinals.
Ben Meyers of the Gophers scored USA's second goal, helping the team to a second win at the Winter Olympics.
Though she wasn't among the favorites, Jessie Diggins of Afton proved she's in razor-sharp form at the halfway point of her schedule. She called it her 'day to go out there and enjoy racing at the Olympics.'
They're doing everything from sweeping floors to delivering food to shaking cocktails to reduce human contact because of COVID. Olympic writer Rachel Blount writes — and has photos and video of them on the job.
The Peterson rink, representing the U.S. in women's curling in Beijing, opened with a 9-3 victory over Russia, and the journey has only brought them closer together.
The U.S. champions needed an extra end in their debut at the Beijing Games.
We'll help you talk smart to your friends as the U.S. men's and women's teams look to medal.
Jessie Diggins has a habit of making history, and Tuesday's bronze medal just added to the Afton native's list of breakthrough performances.
While Minnesota biathlete Leif Nordgren is in China to compete in the Beijing Olympics, his wife, Caitlin, gave birth to the couple's first child in Vermont.
Chris Plys has dealt with letdowns before. In fact, before he joined John Shuster's 2018 gold-medal team, they were a fairly frequent occurrence.
Getting to Beijing was tough enough. Getting around once we arrived hasn't been any easier. Going to watch Jessie Diggins ski was quite a trip.
On a course few cross-country skiers have ever seen, Jessie Diggins of Afton has her work cut out for her as she tries to bring home more gold for the United States.
American athletes have been warned, and they certainly will be watched. Many have been put in an uncomfortable position.
Jessie Diggins rallied during the final kilometers of the women's skiathlon but came up short of the medal stand. She has potentially five more races in the coming days.
Jessie Diggins of Afton finished fifth in the 15-kilometer skiathlon four years ago. Can she make it to the medal stand? And what exactly is skiathlon?
The Olympic cauldron was lit by an athlete of Uyghur Muslim heritage, a group the country is accused of oppressing. Vladimir Putin was there; U.S. officials were not.
This is no Olympics party. Beijing is enforcing rules set to keep COVID-19 away from the Winter Olympics, making for a hermetically sealed experience.
Curlers John Shuster and John Landsteiner, skier Jessie Diggins and six women's hockey players aim to return from the Beijing Olympics with a 2022 medal to match 2018's.
Every 24 hours, anyone inside the Olympic bubble in Beijing is tested for COVID-19. Try to skip it, and the high-tech scarlet letter will find you.
Curling skip John Shuster will bring the flag into the Beijing stadium four years after Jessie Diggins — an Afton native who won 2018 Olympic gold in cross-country skiing — carried it in the Closing Ceremony in South Korea.
In the first event of the Beijing Olympics, Chris Plys and Alaskan Vicky Persinger delivered a victory to kick off the round-robin portion of the tournament.
In her first diary post from the Winter Games, Rachel Blount writes that reporters can find unrestricted internet access, but the realities of censorship are just as easy to see.
Leif Nordgren of Marine on St. Croix is very experienced in racing, and he'll be racing home after competing in China to meet his new son or daughter.