BILLINGS — Montana State's Duncan Hamilton and Rocky Mountain College's Sydney Little Light claimed Montana Mile titles on Friday night at Daylis Stadium to open the Big Sky State Games.
Little Light held off constant pressure from Missoula native Sage Brooks, who now runs at Syracuse. Multiple attempts by Brooks to pass Little Light on the final lap failed, as Little Light won her first Montana Mile with a time of 5 minutes, 0.43 seconds.
"I just want to dedicate this race to my mom. She went into the hospital last night with pancreatitis. She’s been in there all day and just got surgery at 2. I drove here from the hospital and I’ve kind of been out of all day, but she wanted me to race so I did it for her," Little Light said. "I'm so grateful that (Brooks) came with me and kept it honest in the last lap. I just love that neither of us gave each other an inch until the final curve."
Hamilton made it a repeat performance and did so in record-breaking fashion once again. Hamilton trailed teammate Levi Taylor as they crossed the finish line entering the final lap, but Hamilton turned it on down the backstretch to pull away and win in 4:04.83.
"I love this race. It’s so fun to come to Billings, race in front of a home crowd. The sun setting is just gorgeous right now. Hearing everybody cheering. Super fun race. I knew Levi was going to be right with me. He took the lead with a lap to go. That was actually helpful to keep the pace fast," Hamilton said.