BOZEMAN — Record-setting golfer Ryggs Johnston of Libby and distance-running standout Tiahna Vladic of Billings Senior are the first 406mtsports.com Athletes of the Month for the 2017-18 school year.
Johnston, who is bound for Arizona State next fall on a golf scholarship, capped his career with a fourth consecutive state championship. He won the Class B title as a freshman and sophomore and then took the next two Class A championships after Libby moved up a classification.
Johnston shot a two-day score of 137 on Sept. 28-29 to win by eight strokes in Hamilton and holds the all-class record of 128. He is a two-time U.S. Amateur qualifier and won the Montana State Amateur in July.
In September, Vladic ran four races and won three before adding the Capital City 7 of 7 gold medal with a personal best in early October, but subsequently lowered it again at the Billings City Meet to 17:07.2. On Sept. 29, Vladic won the prestigious Montana West Classic for the third year in a row, covering the 5,000 meters in Missoula in 17:48.
Vladic, who also took first in the Billings Invitational on Aug. 31, won the Class AA title as a sophomore in 2016 en route to Gatorade Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year honors and finished second a year ago. She'll be trying for her second state crown Oct. 20 in Missoula at the University of Montana Golf Course.
Editor's note: This story incorrectly listed Johnston's all class record at 131. Changes have been made to reflect that it is actually 128.