EUGENE, Ore. – Billings’ Christina Aragon saw her Olympic hopes end Friday, placing ninth in her semifinal heat of the women’s 1,500-meter run at the Olympic Trials.
Aragon finished the race in 4:12.71. Jenny Simpson crossed the finish line in first at 4:10.09. Stephanie Brown, the fifth-place finisher and final automatic qualifier in the heat, clocked a time of 4:11.30. Simpson is a two-time Olympian.
There were two semifinal heats Friday, with the top five finishers from each heat qualifying for Sunday’s final. The next two fastest times also qualified. Aragon finished 14th of the 23 runners in the semifinal heats, two places and less than one second out of qualifying for the final.
Aragon was running in the Olympic Trials less than two months after graduating from Billings Senior High School. She ran the third-fastest qualifying time in Thursday’s preliminary heats with a time of 4:14.06.
Aragon was a 12-time Class AA state track and field champion in Montana, setting the all-class records in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs at the state meet in May. A two-time Gatorade girls track and field athlete of the year, Aragon will continue her running career at Stanford University.