MISSOULA, Mont. - In 2016, girls AA state track belonged to Billings Senior standout Christina Aragon who won multiple events in record-breaking fashion. Nobody remembers that more clearly than Annie Hill, who had to settle for second place to Aragon in both the 3200 and the 1600.
"She's just an amazing athlete and I was so lucky to have her as a competitor the last couple years," said Hill of racing against Aragon. "She really pushed me to be my best."
But with Aragon now competing in the PAC-12 for Stanford, 2017 state track in Butte was Hill's for the taking. That started on Friday when Hill won the 1600 meters in 4:54.
"You know I was hoping for a little bit faster but every race is different and I'm not disappointed," said Hill. "It's been a while since I've been on top of the podium at state so it really feels good."
The junior out of Glacier kept her foot on the gas pedal Saturday with another win in the 800 meters, finishing in 2:09.27, a full two seconds ahead of second place. Then Hill completed the distance trifecta with a gold medal finish in the 3200 of 10-minutes-46-seconds, over eight seconds ahead of Bozeman's Camila Noe.
"I was trying to run a little bit more of a tactical race and let her do some of the work," said Hill of running with Noe early in the race. "She is a really tough competitor and I'm really glad to have her."
With a runner-up finish in the 400 meters as well, Hill's worst finish across her five events at state was third place in the 4-by-400 meter relay.
"It feels really good," said Hill. "I didn't make it through all of my events last year and it feels really good to feel good and be able to compete to the best of my abilities."
Combining her four individual events, she scored 38 points at the state meet all by herself. That accounted for over half of Glacier's final tally (71.5) as the Wolfpack girls took home second place in the team standings.