Catherine Russo state

Butte High freshman Catherine Russo takes a breath after winning a qualifying heat at the state swim meet in Great Falls this weekend.

LINDSAY ROSSMILLER, Billings Gazette

Butte High freshman Catherine Russo's dominant first high school season concluded with a pair of convincing titles, leading the Bulldog girls to a fifth-place finish at the State Swim Meet in Great Falls on Saturday.

Russo just missed out on her personal best time set in qualifying for the 50-yard freestyle finals, finishing in 23.69 seconds to outpace Billings Senior's Hannah Stevens by a full 1.59 seconds.

Russo also dropped more than a second off her qualifying time in the 100 butterfly, finishing in 56.98 seconds to outpace Missoula Hellgate's Gabby Smart by 1.98 seconds.

In addition, Russo led a pair of Butte High relay teams to top-six finishes for All-State honors, giving the Bulldogs 75 points in the meet.

Hellgate swept both team titles as the Knights' girls put up 404 points, and the boys finished with 299. The Butte High boys were 10th with 24 points.

"Our swims this weekend were great," Butte head coach Lynn Shrader said. "Everyone had personal best times, and the relays all cut time either on Friday or Saturday. It was a great way to end the season."

The Bulldogs girls' 400 free relay team finished fifth in 4:01.58, with Russo joined by Elsie Dickerson, Cynthia Trudgeon and Nicole Hyatt -- all of who will return as seniors next season. Hellgate won the race in 3:33.44.

Butte High's 200 medley relay team finished sixth in 2:03.03, with Russo, Dickerson, Hyatt and Sidney Christie doing the work. Hellgate also won that race in 1:45.70.

The Bulldogs' 200 free relay team of Devin Amtmann, Kennedi Ferriter, Christie and Dickerson was 11th to add to the team totals.

Dickerson chipped in with a 12th-place finish in the girls' 500 freestyle.

On the boys' side, Butte High sophomore Zach Johnson led the way with a ninth-place finish in the 50 freestyle (23.79), and an 11th-place showing in the 100 freestyle (51.98).

Johnson also led an eighth-place showing for the Bulldogs' 400 freestyle relay (3:35.14), swimming with Trevor Komm, Matt Ingersoll and Riley Walsh.

Butte High was ninth in the 200 freestyle relay (1:39.12), with Garrick Sison joining Komm, Walsh and Ingersoll.

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