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Returning champs Christina Aragon, Dawson LaRance face loaded Montana Mile field

Posted at 7:02 PM, Jul 16, 2018
Stanford sophomore Christina Aragon, a former Billings Senior star, runs in the second heat of the women’s 1,500-meter run preliminaries at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore. (GARY BREEDLOVE/For MontanaSports.com)

(Big Sky State Games media release)

BILLINGS – The 2018 Montana Mile will mark its 27th running for men and the 17th for women at the Big Sky State Games Opening Ceremonies.

The race is by invitation only and is one of the BSSG’s most anticipated events featuring some of the state’s fastest high school, college, and post collegiate milers. It’s scheduled between 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Friday, July 20 at Daylis Stadium in Billings.

Defending champions Dawson LaRance and Christina Aragon will be back to defend their titles, as well as 2016 Montana Mile Champions Ty Mogan and Tiahna Vladic.

The Women’s Montana Mile record is 4:53.9 set in 2011 by Lois Ricardi Keller. Patrick Casey set the Men’s record in 2010 in 4:07.9.

Men’s Field

George Beddow
George Beddow is a current Rocky Mountain student-athlete majoring in biology/exercise science. Participating in his first Montana Mile, George holds a mile PR of 4:18. He has lived in Montana his entire life and attended Billings Central Catholic High School where he was a two-time team captain and a three-time All-Conference honoree in track.

Riley Collins
Bozeman High School graduate and current Montana State University – Bozeman student-athlete, Riley Collins is slated to run his fourth Montana Mile. Collins earned All-State honors three times in Cross Country and Track during high school. He was part of the Bozeman distance team that won the Nike Cross Country National Championship in 2016. Collins’ PR for the mile is a 4:09.

Ivan Colmenero
An upcoming senior at Montana State University – Billings, Ivan Colmenero is running the Montana Mile for the second time. He was an All-State runner for Manhattan High School and part of Manhattan’s State Champion team under the successful coach John Sillitti. He has personal bests of 4:30 in the mile.

Jorey Egeland
Jorey Egeland, a 2014 Billings Senior High graduate, finished up his last year as one of MSU-Billings best distance runners in school history. Jorey holds the University’s indoor and outdoor 5k records, as well as their 3k steeplechase record. He has earned GNAC All-Conference honors seven times during his college career, winning conference races in the 3k steeplechase and 5k this past outdoor season. His listed mile PR is 4:20.

Duncan Hamilton
Participating in his first Montana Mile, Duncan Hamilton just completed his high school career at Bozeman High School. A Montana State Bobcat commit, Duncan was part of the past four Class “AA” State Cross Country Championship teams, the 2016 Nike Cross Country Nationals Champion team, and earned the 2017 Gatorade Cross Country Montana Runner of the Year Award. He also made All-American status after placing 11th at the 2017 Nike Cross Nationals XC race in Portland, Oregon. He holds school records in the 1600 and 5k at Bozeman High which are both personal bests for Duncan. Duncan’s personal record is 4:13.55 in the 1600-meter.

Drake Henson
Drake Henson, a California-native, will be making his Montana Mile debut. He owns his high school’s 800m record at 1:55. Completing his freshman year as a Yellow Jacket at MSU-Billings, Drake owns a personal best in the mile of 4:26. Drake is majoring in criminal justice.

Mark Hovland
Mark Hovland will be running in his second Montana Mile. Mark is a Billings West graduate where he was a team captain his senior year. During his high school career he earned multiple All-State Awards. A Yellow Jacket at MSU-Billings, he holds a 1:55 personal best in the 800 and a 4:27 in the mile.

Dawson LaRance
Dawson LaRance, a Senior High graduate and current student-athlete at the University of Minnesota returns to defend his title. During his stellar high school career, he earned All-State Cross Country honors twice and ten times in Track. In 2017 LaRance was the State Champion in the 800m, 1600m, and the 4x400m Relay. He also set the All-Class record in the 800m and as a member of their 4x400m Relay team. One of Dawson’s top running accomplishments is winning the prestigious Brooks PR 800m run, where his personal record in that event is 1:49.6. His mile best is 4:15.37.

Dillon May
Dillon May, from the University of Montana, will be making his Montana Mile debut this weekend. Dillon is a Washington-native where he placed 11th at the 2015 WIAA 4A Track Championships in the 800m run. He holds two All-Conference Academic Awards and won the Montana Intercollegiate Athletics Associate Student-Athlete Volunteer Award this past fall. Dillon has run 1:56 in the 800, 9:23 in the 3k steeplechase, and a 15:11 5K. His mile best is 4:22.

Noah Majerus
A Fergus County High School graduate, Noah Majerus will be participating in his first Montana Mile. Noah holds his school’s 1600-meter record of 4:28.25, which is a time he ran after placing 2nd at the 2018 Class “A” State Track Meet. He is a three-time state placer in cross country. He also holds a 3200-meter personal best of 9:57.3. Noah is committed to run for Carroll College next fall.

Leonard McComas
A Manhattan High School-native and Bozeman High transfer, Leonard McComas is set to run in his first ever Montana Mile. In 2015, representing Manhattan, he finished 2nd place at the Class “B” Cross Country Championships. As a Bozeman Hawk Leonard placed 6th in 2016 and 3rd in 2017 at the Class “AA” Cross Country Championships. Leonard holds personal best of 4:22.52 in the 1600-meter.

Cesar Mireles
Last year’s Montana Mile runner-up, Cesar Mireles, is a Rocky Mountain College graduate and current K-12 Health Enhancement and coach in Richey, Montana. This will be Cesar’s third time participating in the Montana Mile with a personal best last year of 4:19. He set the Indoor Mile record at Rocky Mountain College with his PR of 4:08. Mireles received the MVR Cross Country and Track Awards at Rocky. He also has a 2:33 marathon time.

Ty Mogan
The 2016 Montana Mile Champion, Ty Mogan, just completed his junior year at Montana State University-Bozeman where he is a team captain and will be the top returner for the Bobcats. Mogan will be running the Montana Mile for the fourth time. His mile PR is an impressive 4:08. He was a highly decorated Class “A” runner at Laurel High School where he was a three-time state champion and was two-time 2nd place finisher and 3rd place finisher at the State A Cross Country Championships. This past outdoor season Ty earned his first All-Conference label after placing 2nd in the 3k steeplechase at the Big Sky Championships.

Isaac Petsch
Rocky Mountain College Senior, Isaac Petsch is slated to race his 5th Montana Mile. Last year he finished 3rd in 4:19.55. The former West High Bear was a three-time All-State runner in track, placing 2nd in the boys 1600m at the 2015 class “AA” State Meet. He holds the West High record in the 1600m and in the 1500mat Rocky Mountain College. The NAIA four-time All American raced to a 2nd place finish in the 1500m at the 2017 Outdoor NAIA Track Nationals, 4th place at the NAIA Indoor Track Nationals in the 4x800m relay, he also earned All American honors in Cross Country. Isaac’s mile best is blistering 4:09.

Anthony Schmalz
Anthony Schmalz, a Hamilton High School graduate and a fifth-year senior at Montana State University, is participating in his second Montana Mile. Anthony holds Hamilton High’s school records in the 1600-meter and 3200-meter. He captured an individual high school title in cross country in 2013 and team titles in cross country in 2013 and 2014. Anthony had a break-through in the steeplechase this past outdoor running a time of 9:13 which was more than a 15 second personal best from the previous year.

Isaac Schmidt
Another future Bobcat, Isaac Schmidt, is participating in his very first Montana Mile. The Missoula Hellgate grad has an impressive high school resume. He holds Hellgate’s 1600-meter record of 4:15.05; Isaac also owns seven All-State honors between track and cross country and was the team captain. This past spring Isaac placed 2nd and 3rdat the 2018 State Track Meet in the 1600-meter and 3200-meter respectively.

Women’s Field

Christina Aragon
Middle distance sensation Christina Aragon is a five-time American for Stanford. The Billings Senior graduate owns the Montana State All Class record in the 800m, 1600m and 3200m and was the 2015 and 2016 Montana Gatorade Track Athlete of the Year. Aragon was a 2017 Olympic Trials Qualifier in the 1500m and Bronze Medalist in the 1500m at the 2016 IAAF World Junior Championships. The defending Montana Mile champion and three-time winner has a 4:37 mile PR.

Ellen Brooks
A former Missoula Sentinel star, Ellen Brooks, is set up to run in her first Montana Mile. The Montana State Bobcat has a mile personal best of 5:00. In high school she was the team captain in cross country, received the team’s Most Valuable Runner Award and was a 5-time All-State runner at the AA-level. Coming back from injury, Ellen Brooks is finally finding her stride and is looking forward to get back on the track.

Maddie Edwards
Maddie Edwards is participating in her first Montana Mile she’s making her debut with her twin sister, Makenna Edwards. Maddie will be a senior at Big Sky High School in Missoula. She holds school records in the 800-meter and 1600-meter and recently placed 3rd and 4th in the very deep Class “AA” fields of the 800-meter and 1600-meter. She also finished 7th place in the nationally recognized Simplot Games in Pocatello, Idaho. Maddie’s best mile time is 5:06.53.

McKenna Edwards
McKenna Edwards, Maddie’s twin, of Big Sky High School in Missoula is participating in her first Montana Mile. McKenna has received nine All-Conference Selection Awards. She also holds Big Sky High School’s freshman records in the 1600-meter and 3200-meter and is a finals qualifier in the 1600-meter at the 2018 Simplot Games. McKenna’s 1600-meter PR is 5:19

Mindy Kaufman
A Wyoming-native, and University of Montana – Western Bulldog, Mindy Kaufman is participating in her first Montana Mile. She participated in the NAIA Nationals breaking UM – Western’s 1500 and 5k records at 5:01 and 18:35. In college Mindy has earned multiple leadership and character awards in high school and college. Mindy’s mile PR is 5:21.

Kelsi Lasota
Kelsi Lasota, a Colorado native, is entering her 5th year at Montana State University. This Bobcat is the team captain and was the women’s top runner. Kelsi holds a 5:01 mile personal record. This past outdoor season she received All-Conference honors after placing 1st in the 5k at the Big Sky Conference Championships. Kelsi also qualified to race in the 10k in the first round of the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, California.

Hannah Madsen
A recent graduate from Manhattan High School, Hannah Madsen, is participating in her first Montana Mile. Madsen, who was team captain, is a 4-time All-State runner in cross country and a three-time All-State runner in track where she holds personal bests of 5:25 in the 1600-meter. Hannah also was part of the Manhattan cross country championship teams in 2014, 2015, and 2017. Hannah has committed to be a student-athlete at Western Washington University.

Libby Nedens
Only an incoming sophomore at Hardin High School, Libby Nedens is making her Montana Mile debut. Born and raised in Hardin, Libby was part of the 2017 Class “A” Cross Country Championship team. Libby earned All-State honors and received Hardin’s Most Valuable Runner for both cross country and track. This Hardin Bulldog holds a 1600-meter personal record of 5:25.

Camila Noe
A University of Portland commit, Camila Noe recently graduated from Bozeman High School and will be making her Montana Mile debut. She was named the 2017 Montana Cross Country Gatorade Athlete of the Year and the 2018 Track Gatorade Athlete of the Year. Camila is the Class “AA” cross country and 3200-meter state champion. In the 1600-meter Camila holds a 4:53 personal best.

Mackenzie O’Dore
Mackenzie O’Dore will be running her third Montana Mile. Last year she placed third. O’Dore was an All-State and Individual State Cross Country Champion in 2008, 2009, and 2010 for Joliet High School. She was equally successful in track winning the 1600m for three years in a row. O’Dore holds the 1500m record at Rocky Mountain College. She has run the 1500m in a 4:39 which was fast enough to hit the “B” qualifying mark for NAIA Nationals. Her PR for the mile is 5:02.

Tiahna Vladic
A standout runner for Billings Senior High, Tiahna Vladic won the Montana Mile in 2016, her debut at the race. She will be a contender for the title this year. Vladic was the 2016 AA State Cross Country Champion and was awarded the Montana Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year that same year. In 2016 she qualified for the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, OR where she placed 23rd among the top runners in the nation. Not yet graduated, Vladic has interest in attending Boise State, Oklahoma, Minnesota or Kansas. Vladic’s PR for the mile is 4:54.