Honors & Awards
As one of two seniors on the Nebraska roster, Sunny Russell served as a leader both on and off the range. Russell appeared in two smallbore events and five air rifle events throughout the season. Her season-best air rifle score of 589 came in the fall against Ohio State, while her season-best smallbore score of 574 wasn’t until late in the season at the NCAA Qualifiers. Russell averaged a 563.07 in smallbore and a 584.07 in air rifle.
Russell was a star in the classroom, and once again as a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and an academic All-Big Ten selection for the third straight year. She was named to the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll in the fall and spring semesters of 2013.
Russell was also very involved in the community and was recognized for her great efforts. She was one of four Nebraska student-athletes across all sports to earn a prestigious Heart & Soul Award in 2014, for her commitment to community endeavors. The President of Nebraska's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in 2014, she also was named to the first-ever Tom Osborne Citizenship Team. Russell was named to the Franco’s List for outstanding character, leadership and integrity by the Student Affairs Office, the Character Council and the Center for Civic Engagement at the University of Nebraska.
Russell continued as one of Nebraska’s top shooters in 2012-13. She made 14 appearances in both smallbore and air rifle as a junior, helping the Huskers to a seventh-place team finish at the NCAA Championships. For the season, she averaged 569.80 in smallbore and 580 in air rifle.
A strong performer in the classroom, Russell was named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and captured academic All-Big Ten honors for the second straight season. She was named to the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll in the fall and spring semesters of 2012-13.
Russell, a leader in the classroom, also achieved success on the rifle range during her sophomore season by appearing in nine smallbore and nine air rifle events. Russell’s season was highlighted by her career-best air rifle score of 591 at the Roger Withrow Invitational. She ended up with a 577.89 average in air rifle, which was the fourth-best on the team. Russell produced a 563 average in smallbore.
Russell continued her success in the classroom, as she earned Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and academic All-Big Ten awards. In addition, Russell was named to the Nebraska Scholar Athlete Honor Roll both semesters.
Russell put in a solid freshman season with Nebraska, appearing in all 14 competitions as a smallbore competitor and eight in air rifle. Russell’s best performance came in only her second competition of the year, when she posted a meet-high score of 582 in smallbore. The mark ties her for the NU record for best smallbore score by a freshman and was also the highest smallbore score of the season on the team. Russell completed the season with an average of 563.36 in smallbore and 574.12 in air rifle.
Russell also shined in the classroom. She was a CRCA All-Academic Selection and earned spots on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll in the fall and spring semesters, earning a perfect 4.0 GPA in the spring.
Russell finished fourth out of 131 competitors at the 2009 Texas 4-H Indoor 3-Position Smallbore Rifle Match. She also competed at the 2009 USA Shooting Air Rifle Junior Olympics in Colorado Springs, Colo. She was a National Honor Society member and an academic All-District selection in high school.
Sunny was born Aug. 18, 1992. She is the daughter of Lem and Cindy Russell and has one brother, Rustin, who competed on the rifle team at Memphis.
Sunny graduated in May 2014 with a degree in child, youth and family studies. She earned Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and academic All-Big Ten awards in 2012, 2013 and 2014. She was a CRCA All-Academic selection in 2011.