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Rachel Blount

Reporter/Columnist | Sports
Phone: 612-673-4389

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
Boston College forward Cutter Gauthier (19) celebrates his goal in the second period. The University of Michigan faced Boston College in an NCAA Froze

Top-seed BC breezes into Frozen Four championship with 4-0 victory over Michigan

The Eagles earned a showdown with Denver on Saturday at Xcel Energy Center for the title.
Monday's 5-1 vote by the Minnesota Racing Commission would allow 500 historical horse racing terminals at Canterbury Park and Running Aces.

Commission approves historical horse racing games at tracks over tribes' objections

Historical horse racing is a machine-based game that allows users to wager on past horse races. It has been used in other states to generate money for live racing purses.
PWHL Minnesota's Lee Stecklein and Taylor Heise celebrate Stecklein's second-period goal against Montreal on Sunday at Xcel Energy Center.

PWHL Minnesota beats Montreal 3-2 in shootout before lengthy break

The team came back from a 2-0 deficit to win before taking a nearly monthlong break for the world championships.
Jessie Diggins, middle, celebrates with the World Cup cross-country skiing trophy on March 17 in Falun, Sweden.

Jessie Diggins says she really needs a break from skiing right now

After revealing last fall that she had a relapse of an eating disorder, Diggins roared to the best season of her career. Now, it's time for the Afton native to dial things down.
Afton native Jessie Diggins celebrates after winning the 20-kilometer mass start freestyle in Falun, Sweden, on Sunday, becoming the first American to

Diggins makes history, clinches second overall World Cup title

Afton's Jessie Diggins prevailed Sunday in a 20-kilometer mass start freestyle in Falun, Sweden, and became the first American to win two World Cup cross-country skiing crowns.
Clarkson's Dominique Petrie (29) celebrates her winning goal in the fourth overtime against the Gophers women's hockey team to end the NCAA quarterfin

U women's hockey ousted by Clarkson in 4 OTs in NCAA quarterfinals

Dominique Petrie scored the tying goal at 18:09 of the third to send the game to overtime. She got the winner, too, a power-play goal at 5:44 of the fourth OT.
Gophers junior Abbey Murphy (18) leads the nation with 33 goals, including seven game-winners.

Gophers women at Clarkson: Winner to the Frozen Four

The Gophers are 1-8 against Ohio State Wisconsin, but they're 26-1-2 against everyone else, including 9-0-2 against other ranked teams.
The Gophers' Audrey Wethington (4) has seen her team learn from its losses this season.

Gophers women's hockey reaches NCAA quarterfinal with a new formula

The Gophers have emphasized playing better in close, low-scoring games, a strategy that might help at Clarkson for a trip to the Frozen Four.
Afton native Jesse Diggins (shown in April of 2023) got to race in her home state in the Loppet Cup cross-country skiing event at Theodore Wirth Park

Diggins clinging to World Cup overall lead entering closing weekend

Afton native Jessie Diggins is ahead of Linn Svahn by 102 points after leading by more than 300 points in early February, and the season's final races will be held on Svahn's home snow in Falun, Sweden.
Kendall Coyne Schofield of Minnesota celebrates after scoring a goal in the first period.

PWHL Minnesota piles up points at home by shutting out Boston

Kendall Coyne Schofield, Michela Cava, Grace Zumwinkle and Taylor Heise provided the scoring, while goaltender Nicole Hensley earned her first shutout of the season with 20 saves.
Minnesota forward Grace Zumwinkle, right, is well-known as a scorer, but she can pass, too.

PWHL Minnesota gets a rematch against Boston at home

Rachel Blount's breakdown: After failing to score against Aerin Frankel last time, Minnesota will have to find a way. And the sooner, the better, since Boston is 5-0 when scoring first.
Gophers standout Abbey Murphy tried to skate away from Wisconsin defenseman Laney Potter when the teams met in December.

Gophers women's hockey will play at Clarkson to open NCAA tournament

The Gophers received the No. 5 overall seed and will advance to the Frozen Four with a victory
Wisconsin's Casey O'Brien celebrates after scoring against Ohio State during the third period of a game last month.

Wisconsin beats Ohio State at Ridder Arena for WCHA Final Faceoff title

The second-ranked Badgers got off to a hot start and built a big lead against the top-ranked Buckeyes.
Gophers goalie Skylar Vetter squared off with Wisconsin's Lacey Eden when the teams met on Dec. 9 at Ridder Arena. They'll meet again on Friday.

Gophers face steep climb in WCHA Final Faceoff

The third-seeded Gophers need to get past rival Wisconsin in the semifinals for a chance at a WCHA Final Faceoff championship.
The expectations are high for University of Minnesota women's volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon and his talented, young team that went deep into the NC

Hugh McCutcheon will be inducted into the USA Volleyball Hall of Fame

The former Gophers volleyball coach guided the United States to two Olympic medals.
PWHL Minnesota forward Taylor Heise beats Ottawa goaltender Sandra Abstreiter for the winning goal in the shootout of Minnesota's 4-3 victory at Xcel

Shootout practice pays off in PWHL Minnesota's win over Ottawa

Denisa Krizova, Grace Zumwinkle and Taylor Heise scored shootout goals, and goaltender Maddie Rooney allowed only one to give Minnesota the victory.
PWHL Minnesota defender Sophie Jaques (16) has been a key acquisition, coming in the league's first trade in mid-February.

PWHL Minnesota opens key four-game homestand vs. Ottawa

Rachel Blount's breakdown: This is the first of four consecutive home games for Minnesota, and the first three are against teams in the bottom half of the standings.
Gophers star Abbey Murphy (18) leads all Division I players with 31 goals.

Gophers open WCHA playoffs Friday vs. MSU Mankato

Minnesota State Mankato has never beaten the Gophers in a postseason game, but the Mavericks kept it tight in all four matchups this season.
Annabel Clay, 9, Ella Dreier, 9, and Savannah Desautel, 9, of Chaska posed for a photo during warmups.

Clark lights up Williams Arena right from the start

Hawkeyes star Caitlin Clark had fans in a frenzy before Wednesday's game vs. the Gophers. Then came the spellbinding first quarter.
In front of an ever-growing mass of supporters, Caitlin Clark walks out for warmups Wednesday at Williams Arena to face the Gophers. As she's done all

Clark and coach bask in breaking women's basketball's 'real record'

Iowa women's basketball coach Lisa Bluder and Caitlin Clark did not want her record-setting performance to pass without paying tribute to the full history of the women's game.
Toronto goalie Kristen Campbell (50) celebrates with the team as Toronto wins 4-3 in OT.

PWHL Minnesota falls to Toronto for third consecutive loss

Defender Sophie Jaques scored her second goal with 21.1 seconds left in regulation to tie the score, but Sarah Nurse delivered the game-winner for Toronto with 1:12 remaining in overtime.
PWHL Minnesota's Grace Zumwinkle (right) delivered a hat trick in the home opening victory against Montreal on Jan. 6.

Red-hot Toronto set to face PWHL Minnesota at Mariucci

PWHL Minnesota is in a goal-scoring slump and faces a Toronto team that comes in riding a five-game winning streak.
Suni Lee performed on the uneven bars at the USA Gymnastics Winter Cup competition in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday.

Despite falls, Lee happy to be at Winter Cup after battling kidney issues

The reigning Olympic all-around champion fell on her events as she sought a spot at the upcoming World Cup, where a new skill would be named after her if she completes it.
Minnesota native Jessie Diggins celebrated her third-place finish at the women's 10-kilometer race Sunday at Theodore Wirth Park.

Diggins' dream-come-true weekend ends with third-place finish in 10K

The roar that followed Jessie Diggins around the Wirth Park course was the loudest she has ever heard, part of a day made even sweeter when an American pulled a stunning upset in the men's race.
Minnesota native Jessie Diggins crossed the finish line in fourth place Saturday, but falling just short of the podium couldn't ruin a day she'd dream

'Wall of noise' celebrates Diggins in World Cup race on home snow

Afton native Jessie Diggins finished fourth in Saturday's World Cup freestyle sprint at Theodore Wirth Park, a cross-country skiing event she lobbied for years to bring to her home state.
Athletes warmed up on the course before the start of the Loppet Cup at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis on Friday.

Fresh snow 'a gift' for organizers of Minneapolis World Cup cross-country skiing event

The 5 inches of snow that fell on Theodore Wirth Park put a smile on countless faces, including the World Cup skiers who arrived Friday to test the courses for this weekend's races.
Crew and volunteers prepped the course before the start of the COOP FIS Cross Country World Cup at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis on Friday.

Everything you should know about Wirth Park's World Cup skiing courses

For the first time in more than 20 years, World Cup cross-country ski races are being held in the United States. Here's what competitors and spectators can expect to see in Minneapolis this weekend.
Afton skier Jesse Diggins was at Wirth Park last April to promote this weekend's World Cup cross-county races, which she helped bring to Minneapolis.

'The only thing I wanted': Jessie Diggins turns Olympic gold into a hometown race

This weekend, cross-country star Jessie Diggins will finally ski in a World Cup event at home after lobbying for years to bring the top professional circuit back to Minnesota. This is the story of how that happened.
Truckloads of snow, transported from the Highland Ski Jump in Bloomington, were brought to Theodore Wirth Park in preparation for hosting World Cup cr

When world-class cross-country skiing meets climate change

Organizers of next weekend's World Cup cross-country races at Theodore Wirth Park hoped to welcome Jessie Diggins home with a classic Minnesota winter. Instead, they've gotten record warmth and precious little snow.
Jessie Diggins celebrated her victory in the women's 15km Mass Start freestyle World Cup race in Canmore, Alberta, on Friday.

Diggins wins 'exciting' final event before Minneapolis World Cup race

The Olympic gold medalist won for the fifth time this season, tying the United States record.
Gophers forward Ella Huber (26) battled in front of Ohio State's net when the teams met Jan. 13 at Ridder Arena.

No. 5 Gophers women's hockey set to face No. 10 St. Cloud State

Rachel Blount's breakdown: To beat the the Huskies, the Gophers will need to solve St. Cloud State's goalie tandem of Jojo Chobak and Sanni Ahola.
Dakotah Lindwurm was the first woman to cross the finish line in Grandma's Marathon in 2021. Now, she's bound for the Olympics.

Minnesota native Lindwurm makes U.S. Olympic team in marathon

The runner from St. Francis, representing Minnesota Distance Elite, finished third Saturday in Orlando to claim a place at this summer's Paris Games.
Minnesota goaltender Nicole Hensley leads the PWHL in wins (four) and is second in goals-against average (1.58) and save percentage (.948).

PWHL Minnesota looks to stay sharp in Toronto

Minnesota, which has earned points in all four of its road games, has a great opportunity to close the first part of its schedule with a win.
A nNrdic skier makes their way around a loop made of artificial snow Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023 at Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis, Minn.. ] AARON LAVI

World Cup cross-country ski races at Wirth Park get 'green light'

The international ski federation approved the conditions of the snow at Theodore Wirth Park for the Loppet Cup races Feb. 17-18, which are expected to feature Minnesotan star Jessie Diggins.
Dakotah Lindwurm of St. Francis was the first woman to cross the finish line in Grandma's Marathon in 2021.

U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials: Broadcast information, top runners, Minnesotans to watch

The competition is Saturday in Orlando, with men and women vying for spots in the 2024 Paris Games.
Winner Jessie Diggins left the podium after the women's mass start 20km free race at Goms, Switzerland, on Sunday.

Diggins picks up another World Cup win ahead of Wirth Park event

The 20k mass start victory in Switzerland is Afton native Jessie Diggins' fourth win in an individual event this season.
Minnesota's Grace Zumwinkle, right, and Montreal defender Kati Tabin, shown in the Jan. 6 game, will square off again Wednesday.

PWHL Minnesota vs. Montreal is clash of top two

Montreal will be looking for a little revenge Wednesday night at Xcel Energy Center.
Minnesota’s Kelly Pannek celebrated a goal with teammate Grace Zumwinkle on Sunday at Xcel Energy Center.

Is the PWHL here to stay? What we've learned from the early returns.

The first two weeks have showcased a thrilling brand of hockey: speedy, physical and action-packed. And there are other indications of major-league status, including one outside the arena.
New York player Emma Woods (67) , right celebrates the winning goal in OT at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., on Sunday, Jan. 14, 2024. PWHL

PWHL Minnesota takes first loss of season, falling 3-2 in overtime to New York

Emma Woods scored with 59 seconds left in overtime as New York overcame a 2-0 deficit at Xcel Energy Center.

With two hot goalies, Minnesota's PWHL team has options vs. New York

Rachel Blount's analysis: Alex Carpenter leads a stacked New York team, but Minnesota will look to keep riding fans' enthusiasm at Xcel Energy Center.

Heise scores twice, Minnesota tops Toronto to stay perfect in PWHL

Former Gophers star and league top draft pick Taylor Heise responded well to advice from coach Ken Klee before the game.

Taylor Heise scores twice as Minnesota beats Toronto 3-1 and improves to 3-0 in PWHL

Former Gophers star and league top draft pick Taylor Heise responded well to advice from coach Ken Klee before the game.

Olympic feeling for matchup between PWHL Minnesota and Toronto

Rachel Blount's analysis: Minnesota has six players from the 2022 U.S. Olympic team, facing Toronto's six Canadian Olympians who beat them for the gold medal.
United States's Jessie Diggins poses with the trophy after winning the cross-country ski, women's Tour de Ski overall standings, in Val di Fiemme, Ita

Afton's Jessie Diggins wins second Tour de Ski title

In 2021 Diggins became the first American to win a Tour de Ski. Three years later she's repeated the feat.
Minnesota's Grace Zumwinkle scored the first home goal in team history Saturday during a victory over Montreal at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul

Hockey math: One hat trick, one shutout victory make 13,316 PWHL fans happy

Minnesota's new pro hockey franchise opened its doors for the first time Saturday and sent a record crowd home from Xcel Energy Center part of history.
PWHL Minnesota defenseman Lee Stecklein joked with goaltender Maddie Rooney during a recent practice at Tria Rink in St. Paul.

Minnesota PWHL players ready to bring their dream home in front of record crowd

Saturday's home opener at the Xcel Center is expected to be the largest to ever see a women's hockey game in Minnesota, and the league's first in an NHL arena
Montreal’s PWHL team features superstar Marie-Philip Poulin (29), who signed a fan’s sign before a game against Ottawa this week. Montreal plays M

Minnesota vs. Montreal PWHL game preview: A new era dawns

Rachel Blount's analysis: Both teams won their season openers, but Minnesota is looking to improve in facing a loaded Montreal roster; a record home crowd will offer a boost.
Jessie Diggins of USA in action during the women's 20km classic pursuit race of the fifth stage of the Tour de Ski, in Davos, Switzerland, Thursday, J

Diggins secures another podium finish, sets sights on Tour de Ski title

Jessie Diggins scored a third-place finish in Thursday's 20-kilometer classic pursuit in Davos, Switzerland, solidifying her lead in the overall standings of the Tour de Ski.
Minnesota PWHL’s Sophia Kunin (11), at top left, celebrated with teammates Brittyn Fleming (18) and Liz Schepers (21) on Wednesday night, Kunin scor

After fierce finish, PWHL Minnesota holds off Boston for debut 3-2 win

Minnesota and goalie Nicole Hensley edged Boston in their PWHL season opener in Lowell, Mass., starting off a new era in women's pro hockey with a victory.
Silver medal finisher Jessie Diggins celebrates during a venue ceremony after the women's 30km mass start free cross-country skiing competition at the

Diggins wins 20k freestyle, holds overall lead in Tour de Ski

The Afton skier overcame a tumble in warmups to win by 46.5 seconds in Italy and extend her overall lead in the seven-stage Tour de Ski
Bravest and best: Jessie Diggins is Star Tribune Sportsperson of Year

Bravest and best: Jessie Diggins is Star Tribune Sportsperson of Year

The Afton native continues to make history as America's best-ever cross-country skier. And her victories on snow are only part of her remarkable 2023.

Jessie Diggins wins for second time this World Cup season

The Olympic gold medalist from Afton recorded her 50th top-three finish on the World Cup circuit.
Minnesota guard Mara Braun (10) shoots over Kentucky guard Emma King (34) during an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023, in Lexington

Gophers women shoot, defend well in second half to win at Kentucky

Mara Braun led the way with 25 points, making five of seven three-pointers, as Minnesota won its only road game of the nonconference schedule.

Gophers men's hockey can't climb out of early hole in loss to Penn State

The Nittany Lions roared to a three-goal lead and came away with the 6-3 victory, answering every time the Gophers rallied.
The puck bounced off Gophers freshman Jimmy Clark’s helmet during the Nov. 3 victory against Minnesota Duluth in Minneapolis.

Gophers freshman seizes opening created by Cooley's exit

When Logan Cooley left the Gophers for the NHL, coach Bob Motzko called Edina native Jimmy Clark, who was headed back to Green Bay in the USHL.
Gophers forward Abbey Murphy (18) leads the nation with 1.15 goals per game — 15 goals in 13 games.

U women's hockey vs. Bemidji State: Two teams going opposite directions

Rachel Blount's analysis: The Gophers are riding a hot streak, and Bemidji State is reeling. Anything less than a sweep would be a shock.
Bryce Brodzinski (22) celebrated with teammates after they defeated Michigan State on Sunday at 3M Arena at Mariucci.

Gophers men's hockey vs. Penn State: Another ranked test for Minnesota

Rachel Blount's analysis: If the Gophers can exploit a suspect Penn State defense, they should pick up points again.
Minnesota’s Taylor Heise, right, and tennis legend Billie Jean King posed after Heise was selected first overall in the inaugural Professional Women

Coming soon to the X: Minnesota's new pro women's hockey team

The PWHL announced Tuesday that the Minnesota franchise will begin play Jan. 3 at Boston, with the home opener Jan. 6 at Xcel Energy Center.
Gophers forward Rhett Pitlick (77) scored on Notre Dame goaltender Ryan Bischel (30) in the first period at 3M Arena at Mariucci on Friday. Pitlick sc

Gophers men's hockey scores three in a row to beat Notre Dame 4-1

Rhett Pitlick got the first and last goals against the Irish, and Ryan Chesley scored the game-winner at 8 minutes, 27 seconds of the second period.
Natalie Darwitz, the GM for Minnesota’s PWHL team, has a roster to fill and scores of other details to sort out with the league expected to start pl

In a whirlwind, Darwitz shapes Minnesota's unnamed PWHL team

With games set to start around Jan. 1, PWHL officials acknowledge they could have waited another year. But board member Stan Kasten said they wanted to start quickly for the players' sake.
Minnesota forward Jimmy Clark (23) launches for the puck at the game against Wisconsin in 3M Arena at Mariucci on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023 in Minneapolis

Gophers men's hockey vs. Notre Dame series preview: Info and analysis

Rachel Blount's analysis: The Gophers have lost only once in their past ten games against the Fighting Irish.
Minnesota head coach Brad Frost talked with his players as they headed into overtime after the third period. ] ANTHONY SOUFFLE • anthony.souffle@sta

U women's hockey vs. Minnesota Duluth series preview

Rachel Blount's analysis: Both teams have only lost to second-ranked Ohio State.
One of Canterbury Park’s most successful and respected owners, Bob Lothenbach, passed away Tuesday.

Canterbury Hall of Fame owner Lothenbach dies unexpectedly at 64

Bob Lothenbach was a five-time leading owner at Canterbury Park and earned national respect for the quality and success of his thoroughbreds.
Bugler Lynn Deichert waited for his cue on opening night at Canterbury Park on May 27.

Canterbury proposal would keep 54-day race season with 10% purse raise

Canterbury Park officials are seeking the right formula to satisfy horsemen and increase wagering after daily purses declined 21% last summer.
Gophers sophomore Brody Lamb has already surpassed his scoring production from last season.

Meet Gophers sophomore keeping Dodge County on the hockey map

Brody Lamb, who hails from Byron, Minn., had a memorable state tournament for Dodge County in 2021 and has made big strides this season with the Gophers.
Michigan’s Seamus Casey, seen Nov. 4 in Madison, Wis., scored on Gophers goaltender Justen Close to help his team win the shootout.

Gophers men's hockey ties Michigan 2-2, finishes weekend without defeat

Brody Lamb and Jimmy Snuggerud each scored after the Gophers had fallen behind, and the Wolverines got the shootout point.
Gophers forward Rhett Pitlick was named the Big Ten’s second star of the week after a four-point showing against Minnesota Duluth.

Gophers men's hockey vs. Michigan series preview: info and analysis

Rachel Blount's analysis: Michigan is a high-powered offensive team but vulnerable if opponents can keep the score low.
The Gophers’ Connor Kurth (10) battled for the puck in Minnesota’s home loss to Wisconsin on Oct. 27. The Badgers swept the Gophers that weekend.

Three problem areas for U men's hockey a quarter into the season

The Gophers need more offense, especially on the power play, and coach Bob Motzko wants fewer penalties.
Former UMD hockey player Adam Johnson's jersey hangs in memoriam for the player who died during a game the previous weekend. It hangs before the Minne

Gophers, UMD hold moment of silence for former Bulldogs player Adam Johnson

Adam Johnson, who died at age 29 while playing in England last Saturday, played two seasons for the Bulldogs from 2015 to '17, helping them reach the 2017 Frozen Four.

U men's hockey rebounds with series-opening victory over Minnesota Duluth

After being swept last weekend by Wisconsin, the Gophers on Friday found their scoring touch and knocked off the Bulldogs 5-1.

Gophers men's hockey rebounds with series-opening victory over Minnesota Duluth

After being swept last weekend by Wisconsin, the Gophers on Friday found their scoring touch and knocked off the Bulldogs 5-1.
Minnesota forward Abbey Murphy (18) controls the puck against St. Thomas in the first period Friday, Oct. 13, 2023, at Xcel Energy Arena in St. Paul,

Gophers women's hockey vs. MSU Mankato preview: A bounce-back chance

Rachel Blount's analysis: The Mavericks are winless in six WHCA games and were shut out in three of them.
A moment of silence in a dark arena for Adam Johnson before the game. The Minnesota Wild hosted the New Jersey Devils at the Xcel Energy Center on Thu

Ex-UMD star's death fuels debate over why neck guards aren't required

Protective neck guards are rarely worn in pro and college hockey, rejected by players who find them uncomfortable or restrictive. They aren't required in youth hockey either. Will that change?
Minnesota Duluth goalie Zach Stejskal (35) warms up before an NCAA hockey game against Cornell on Friday, Oct. 27, 2023 in Ithaca, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adri

Gophers men's hockey vs. UMD series preview: Roster back to full health

Rachel Blount's analysis: Home-and-home features two programs looking to get back on track after getting swept.

Badgers score late to sweep top-ranked Gophers men's hockey

The Gophers lost their third consecutive game, falling to the No. 14 Badgers when Simon Tassy scored his second goal of the game with 2 minutes, 32 seconds remaining.