I enjoyed your article in the sports pages reporting on Dr. Chuck Aragon's selection to the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame. I'm a bit of a sports junkie, and I'm pretty sure I remember his famous dive across the finish line at the Olympic trials. I have also enjoyed following the accomplishments of his daughters in The Gazette over the years.
Montana has been blessed with a lot of exceptional athletes, but it’s much less often that an entire family stands out for their accomplishments. If the Selvig family of Outlook can be called Montana's first family of basketball, then the Aragon family of Billings is certainly Montana's first family of track and field.
We are fortunate that Dr. Aragon and his wife (also a world class athlete) chose Montana to raise their family. Not only have their daughters left Montana sports fans with great memories, I believe their competitive spirit has had a positive effect on other young runners in our state. Over the past few years Montana has seen a surge of middle- and long-distance runners go on to compete at Division One colleges, and I doubt it’s a coincidence that this started about the same time that the Aragon girls became so prominent running in high school and college.
Congratulations to Dr. Aragon on his selection to the Hall of Fame, and thanks to the Aragon family for the lasting sports memories and the examples they've set for other young Montana runners.