Russell honored by alma mater, Auburn University

The Russell family stands on the sidelines at an Auburn University football game last weekend. Pictured from left to right are Tim Russell, Brynn Russell, Larkin Russell and Cassidy Russell.

The Russell family stands on the sidelines at an Auburn University football game last weekend. Pictured from left to right are Tim Russell, Brynn Russell, Larkin Russell and Cassidy Russell.
Courtesy

 Cassidy (Maxwell) Russell made history repeatedly while swimming at Auburn University.
Russell finished her career 26-0 in dual meets, becoming the first swimmer in Auburn history to finish her career undefeated in dual competition, alongside her teammate, Maggie Bowen.
Over the weekend of Oct. 1, Russell and the rest of the 2002 Auburn University women’s swim and dive team were honored for winning the NCAA Championships.
It marked the first women’s championship in school history.
“I loved every minute I was there. Only two of us made it all four years,” said Russell, who lives in Carson City. “It’s been 20 years and they did an honoring for the first national championship in women sports.”


Path to a championship
Russell, who was the national record holder in the 100-meter freestyle coming out of high school, grew up in Florida before being recruited by Auburn.
“My husband (Tim) and I actually swam together at Auburn,” said Russell. “He is from Carson City … and we moved out here when we graduated. We’ve been out here since 2003.”
Russell is a teacher in the Carson City School District where she serves as an early childhood and special education pre-K specialist.
Beside her perfect record in dual meets in college, Russell dominated in the freestyle and focused on sprint races.
After winning the national title, Russell’s coach at the time – David Marsh – said Russell saved her best meet of the season for last.
As an individual, Russell was able to capture the titles for the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle races.
Russell said the celebration of winning the national title is still a clear and vivid memory for her.
“Probably that national championship. We got third in SEC’s that year so we were the underdogs going into the meet,” said Russell. “I don’t think a lot of other teams expected us to be at the top, especially, winning by 100 points.”
Russell has two daughters – Brynn and Larkin – who both swim on the Senator swim team and they both accompanied their parents on the sideline while Cassidy was honored, along with the rest of her team.
“Just to watch my girls get to see a team that united together, and was able to work together for a title, was super special as a mom,” said Russell.
After being honored at halftime of the Auburn-LSU football game, Russell and the other swimmers were invited to talk to the current swim and dive team.
“I just always believed in hard work,” said Russell. “I think that’s a big thing in sports. There’s things I use day-to-day still that I learned through sports. I probably would’ve ended up in a completely different route in life if I didn’t have swimming. I am forever grateful to the sport, the coaches and swimmers I got to come in contact with during my time at Auburn.”

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment