BUTTE — The Butte High swim team is plunging into an uncertain season.
With no in-person meets lined up -- as of now, all competition on the Bulldogs' schedule is remote -- and a location for the state meet on March 5-6 still not decided, Butte doesn't know when or if it'll ever see an opposing team this season.
"This season is definitely different," said senior Anna Trudnowski. "I'm thankful that we get a season at all. I really miss swimming. I'm grateful that we have a chance to practice."
At last season's state swim meet in February, Trudnowski claimed a pair of top 10 individual finishes. She took seventh place in the 50 free (25.89 seconds) and fifth in the 100 free (26.10).
Trudnowski was also a member of the Butte relay team that took first place in the 200-yard freestyle relay, helping the Bulldog girls to a third-place team finish.
For Butte High head swim coach Lynn Schrader, preparing for this upcoming season has posed challenges she's never experienced before. She's had multiple players forced to self-quarantine, return to play, then have to go back into isolation. She also has a smaller squad -- 22 swimmers -- than usual.
"In my whole coaching (career) I have not seen anything like this," Schrader said. "We're trying to be flexible."
On the boys side, the Bulldogs also return junior Thad Holdsworth, who as a sophomore earned a ninth-place finish the 100-yard free (52.91).
"I'm really excited," Holdsworth said. "I think this year is going to be a good year. With all the COVID restrictions I think I'm still getting really good training. I just hope I can place a little bit better this year."
The Bulldogs will have to contend after graduating once-in-a-generation talent Catherine Russo, now a member of the Ohio State swim team. Russo, who is set to compete at the Olympic Swim Trials in 2021, capped off her high school career as four-time double champion, defending her titles in both the 50 free and the 100 fly.