(Editor's note: Montana AAU release)
FAIRMONT HOT SPRINGS — University of Montana softball pitcher Tristin Achenbach and Iowa State wrestler Jarrett Degen were named the 2021 Montana AAU Little Sullivan Award winners on Saturday evening.
Achenbach, a Great Falls CMR graduate, was unable to attend Saturday’s banquet after completing her Senior Day with the University of Montana softball program. Montana’s all-time leader in wins (32) leads UM into the Big Sky Conference tournament next weekend.
Achenbach is a two-time Montana softball Gatorade player of the year, winning three Montana High School Association state championships — two at the co-op between Conrad and Choteau, and one more her senior season at C.M. Russell. According to the MHSA record books, she owns 16 prep records, including career no-hitters, strikeouts and consecutive wins.
At UM, Achenbach has earned 32 wins, the latest on Friday, and entered Saturday’s contest No. 2 in career strikeouts (367).
Degen was a four-time Class A state wrestling champion at Belgrade High School, winning in four different weight classes. Three of his four title wins came via pinfall, while all but two of his state tournament victories ended in pin. He finished his Panther career with a 184-8 record.
After originally committing to Virginia Tech, Degen has enjoyed an all-American career at Iowa State, earning first-team all-American honors in 2020. He was also an all-American in 2019 following a seventh-place finish.
The Little Sullivan Award was created by the late David and Ella Rivenes of Miles City. David served as national AAU President and held numerous positions within the Montana AAU and Miles City sports communities. The Rivenes family created the Little Sullivan Award to honor outstanding male and female athletes in the Treasure State that display qualities of athletic excellence, leadership, character, sportsmanship and ideals of amateurism.