An historic first occurred Saturday night at the Montana Amateur Athletic Union Little Sullivan Awards and Banquet at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana in Billings.
For the first time in the history of the Montana Little Sullivan award, dating to 1955, dual winners were announced in the male division as Billings’ Trent Sprenkle and Caleb Schreibeis shared the honor.
The female winner was Rachel Semansky of Highwood.
There have never been dual winners for the female award.
The other male finalists were Michael Asay (track/cross country) of Manhattan and Sam Gratton (football) of Billings.
The other female finalists were Emily Carroll (volleyball) of Billings, Sarah Graves (running) of Ballantine and Heather Haug (track/cross country) of Livingston.
Sprenkle, a three-time State AA champion wrestler for Billings Senior, was a three-time NCAA Division I Championship Tournament qualifier for North Dakota State. He earned All-America honors this season with a fifth-place finish at 125 pounds.
Schreibeis, who graduated from Billings West where he was an all-state football player, was a team captain for the MSU Bobcats football team. This past year during his senior season, the Sports Network named him the Buck Buchanan Award winner as the top defensive player in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision.
Semansky is one of only two players in Montana State women's basketball history to record over 1,300 points and 800 rebounds. She was a three-time all-conference player for the Lady Cats.
The Montana District Little Sullivan Award is modeled after the National AAU Sullivan Award. Qualities looked for in nominations include athletic accomplishments, leadership, character, sportsmanship and ideals of amateurism. Finalists also must be from Montana.
Last year’s Little Sullivan winners were Patrick Casey and Joslyn Tinkle.
Also awarded Saturday were the AAU divisional Outstanding Wrestler awards. The winners were: Kylan Berkram, Cut Bank, Northern; Joe Murdock, Hardin, Southeast; Jacen Petersen, St. Ignatius-Charlo, Western; Luke Paine, Billings Senior, Southwest and Tyler Forcella, Glendive, Eastern.
The Montana AAU also honored the Northern Montana Wrestling Club in Great Falls as its Outstanding Contributor. John Letasky of The Billings Gazette received the Montana AAU Outstanding Service award.
Gail Brown, of the Renegades Wrestling Club in Billings, won the National AAU Award for Outstanding Pairer.