The Big Sky State Games are officially underway. 

After the torch was lit by 1980 U.S. Olympian and former Billings West standout, Mary Osborne Andrews, all eyes turned on the Montana Mile. 

In the women's race it was a strong field of runners highlighted by Montana Tech's Becca Richtman, former Billings Senior and current Boise State runner Tiahna Vladic, and Rocky Mountain College's Sydney Little Light. 

At the halfway point, Ricthman, Vladic and Little Light separated themselves from the rest of the pack making it a three-woman race. For many of the athletes it was the first time running in front of a crowd. 

Coming around the final bell lap, Montana Tech's Becca Richtman, fresh off an NAIA 3K Steeplechase National Championship, crossed the finish line in first at 5:01.6. Vladic finished in second with Little Light coming in third. 
Last year it was Montana Tech Head Track Coach Zach Kughn winning the men's Montana Mile. Seems like winning the event is becoming a bit of a tradition for the growing Orediggers program. 
"We didn't have very many kids on our roster last year. This year we had 52 kids on our roster compared to I think 13 last season. It's been great for our program," said Richtman. 
The men's race was dominated early and throughout by a pair of Montana State Bobcats. Levi Taylor and Duncan Hamilton quickly set the pace and ran strong together until the third lap. 
As the bell sounded, Duncan Hamilton, who recently ran in the Men's 3k Steeplechase at the U.S. Track and Field Olympic Trials pulled out in front with historic speed .
The crowd rose to their feet at Hamilton finished the mile in 4:06.23, a new Montana Mile record. The previous record was held by Patrick Casey who finished in 4:07.9 in 2010. 
After the race Hamilton spoke about the crowd at Daylis, "It's such an amazing community in Montana. I'm so happy to be racing here and so lucky to be racing with my teammates."
Taylor took second and MSUB's Ace Ackerman finished third. 

Recommended for you