Catherine Russo is finalist for Little Sullivan Award

Catherine Russo is finalist for Little Sullivan Award
Butte High senior Catherine Russo, center, is all smiles before signing to swim at The Ohio State University Nov. 13. She is seated between her sister Isabel and her brother Philip. (Butte Sports file photo)

Butte High senior Catherine Russo is a finalist for the Montana Little Sullivan Award.

She will look to become just the fourth Butte athlete to receive the prestigious award when the Montana AAU hosts the Little Sullivan Award Banquet May 9 at Fairmont Hot Springs.

Past Butte winners are Kathy (Bender) Means in 1969, Erin Popovich in 2005 and Bryon Wilson in 2010.

Bender, a swimmer and diver, was inducted into the Butte Sports Hall of Fame in 2019, the same year Popovich, a swimmer, joined the U.S. Paralympic Hall of Fame.

Wilson won the award shortly after winning the bronze medal in freestyle skiing at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Russo, a future Ohio State swimmer, became a four-time state champion in the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly Saturday at the state meet in Great Falls. She tied her own state record with a time of 22.76 in the 50 free.

Russo also swam a leg of Butte High’s state champion 200-yard freestyle relay along with Anna Trudnowski, Kallie Hossack and Dankia Murphy.

Last summer, Russo qualified for the U.S. Olympic Swim Team Trials, which are June 21-28 in Omaha, Nebraska.

Other female finalists are McKenzie Johnston of Helena, Paige Harris of Plentywood and Teigan Avery of Kalispell.

The men’s nominees include Dillon’s Jason Ferris, an All-American linebacker from Montana Western. Ferris was named the Frontier Conference Defensive Player of the Year after leading the league with 11.9 tackles per game.

Other male finalists are Gresh Jones of Sidney, Tres Trinkle of Missoula and Dane Warp of Havre.

Female finalists
Catherine Russo, Butte High, swimming
McKenzie Johnston, Helena Capital, Montana, basketball
Paige Harris, Plentywood, North Dakota State, track and field
Teigan Avery, Kalispell Glacier, Montana, golf

Male finalists
Gresh Jones, Sidney, Dickinson State, wrestling
Jason Ferris, Dillon, Montana Western, football
Tres Tinkle, Missoula Hellgate, Oregon State, basketball
Dane Warp, Havre, Carroll College, basketball



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