The two gold medals the Butte High sophomore brought home only begin to tell of her impressive performance on Saturday.
Russo won the 50-yard freestyle and the 100 butterfly, and neither race was close. She also set MHSA state records in both events.
Russo finished the 50 free in 22.76 seconds, beating the second-place competitor by more than two seconds. The 22.76 mark is an All-American time.
In the 100 butterfly, Russo finished in 54.15, beating second place by nearly 5 seconds. The mark broke the state record of 55.69 that Russo set on Friday in the preliminary round.
Junior Zach Johnson posted a pair of All-State performances in individual competition. Johnson placed third in the 100 freestyle and fourth in the 50 free.
All-State honors go to athletes who finish in the top six at state.
In relay races, the team of Riley Walsh, Trevor Komm, Matt Ingersoll and Johnson posted a pair of All-State performances. The team placed second in the 200 freestyle relay and fourth in the 400 freestyle relay.
Nicole Hyatt, Elsie Dickerson, Russo and Anna Trudnowski placed fourth in the girls’ 200 freestyle relay.
All three relay teams set school records along the way to earning All-State honors.
The 12 swimmers who made the finals in each event scored points for their schools.
Komm placed ninth in the 50 free, while fellow senior Walsh took 11th in the 200 and 50 freestyle races. Senior Matt Ingersoll took 11th in the 100 freestyle, and Dickerson, also a senior, placed 12th in the 500 freestyle.
Missoula Hellgate swam to team titles. Butte High’s boys placed seventh, while the Bulldog girls took eighth.
In all, 20 Butte High swimmers competed at state, and 12 were seniors.
“This was a great swim season,” Butte High coach Lynn Shrader said. “Most of these I have been coaching for 11 years or so. I have literally watched them grow up and mature into great young men and ladies. I even had one swimmer since he was 5.
“All my swimmers swam well, even those who didn’t make a final,” Shrader said. “Almost every single swimmer had a best time, or swam right at their best times.”