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Montana AAU announces finalists for 2021 Little Sullivan awards

2021 Montana AAU Little Sullivan Award finalists
Posted at 11:24 AM, Apr 14, 2021

The Montana Amateur Athletic Union announced the finalists for its 2021 Little Sullivan awards on Wednesday.

The male finalists are Jarrett Degen, Luke Weber, Troy Andersen and Tyger Frye, and the female finalists are Alexa Coyle, Glory Konecny, Jeanann Lemelin and Tristin Achenbach. The award winners will be announced at the Montana AAU Little Sullivan Awards Banquet on May 8 at Fairmont Hot Springs, which is returning to an in-person ceremony after last year's in-person event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Former Butte High swimming sensation Catherine Russo and former Dickinson State all-American wrestler Gresh Jones won the 2020 Montana AAU Little Sullivan awards.

Degen is a Belgrade native who is now wrestling at Iowa State. He was a four-time high school state champion for the Panthers and has qualified for the NCAA Wrestling Championships four times, earning All-American honors in 2019 and 2020.

Weber, a four-time state wrestling champion from Forsyth, is coming off a career wrestling season at North Dakota State. Weber won the Big 12 Conference championship to qualify for the NCAA Wrestling Championships.

Andersen was a multi-sport standout at Beaverhead County High School in Dillon before becoming an All-American football player at Montana State. He has played quarterback, running back and linebacker for the Bobcats and owns multiple single-game and single-season records at MSU.

Frye, a former Billings Senior standout, has had an excellent football career at Dickinson State. He holds numerous program records for the Blue Hawks, including most receptions in a single game, single season and career.

Coyle, from Bozeman, is a standout soccer player at the University of Montana. She has led the Grizzlies in goals in each of the past four seasons and has received multiple all-conference awards.

Konecny, a Billings West graduate, is an All-American wrestler at Southern Oregon. She placed fifth at the 2019 NAIA national tournament and seventh at the 2021 tournament. The 2020 NAIA tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lemelin, who won nine letters in basketball, volleyball and softball at Billings Senior, starred on the basketball court at MSU Billings. She set the program's single-game record with 10 made 3-pointers and was an honorable mention all-conference selection as a senior.

Achenbach, a Choteau native who graduated from Great Falls CMR, has enjoyed a strong softball career at Montana. She has been named the Big Sky Conference pitcher of the week multiple times and set the UM and Big Sky single-game record with 16 strikeouts.

The Little Sullivan Award was created by the late David and Ella Rivenes of Miles City. David Rivenes served as the 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, according to the Montana Amateur Athletic Union.

All current card-holding adult Montana AAU members, plus Montana media representatives, are eligible to vote for the winners.