Billings Senior runner Dawson LaRance crosses the finish line in an all-class record time of 1:50.22. (RICHIE MELBY/MTN Sports)

CHICAGO – Dawson LaRance’s stellar spring continued Thursday, as The Gatorade Company named the Billings Senior runner the Montana Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

LaRance, a 6-foot, 150-pound senior, won two individual state titles at last month’s Class AA state track and field meet in Butte, helping lead the Broncs to a second-place team finish. LaRance broke the Montana all-class record in the 800-meter run with a time of 1 minute, 50.22 seconds and won the 1,600-meter run with a time of 4:15.51. He also ran the anchor leg on Senior’s championship-winning 1,600-meter relay team.

“Dawson LaRance is one of the hardest-working athletes I have ever met,” said Senior coach Brandon Quesenberry. “He is extremely dedicated on improving himself and those around him. He leads by example everything from the way he warms up, cools down, works with coaches and the way he competes. He is a great student, athlete, and young man anyone could meet.”

Larance, who will run collegiately at the University of Minnesota, also had a sensational spring on the national circuit. He won the 800 at the Simplot Games in Idaho with a time of 1:54.73, and placed third at the Arcadia Invitational in California with a mark of 1:51.59. He added to his impressive resume with a win at the prestigious Brooks PR Invitational in Washington earlier this month, overtaking three runners in the final 100 meters and crossing the finish line in 1:50.98.

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LaRance is the fourth winner of the award from Senior High, joining Travis Haynes (1994), Matt Drinkwalter (1997) and two-time winner Scotty Owens (2010 and 2011). Jake Perrin of Kalispell Flathead won the award last year.

Annie Hill of Kalispell Glacier won the girls award.