BILLINGS – A three-time former Olympian and world record triple jumper Willie Banks kicked off the Big Sky State Games Friday evening by lighting the torch at the opening ceremonies. Earlier in the day, Banks and three other former Olympians hosted a World Record Track and Field Camp for some of the state’s brightest young athletes.
Christina Aragon, formerly of Billings Senior High School and now running for Stanford, claimed her third Montana Mile victory with a time of 4 minutes, 56.8 seconds. Aragon’s kick over the final lap proved too much for defending champion and this year’s runner-up Tiahna Vladic to keep pace with.
On the men’s side it was more from Billings Senior’s alumni. Coming around the turn entering the last lap, Dawson LaRance turned on the jets propelling himself to the lead. LaRance would hold off the pack en route to his first Montana Mile win, crossing the line in 4:17.22. LaRance will continue his running career next fall at the University of Minnesota.
The Big Sky State Games continue throughout the weekend in Billings.