SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Christina Aragon and Zach Perrin will continue to write their track and field legacies at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The former Montana high school stars clinched their places at the national meet with their performances at the NCAA West Regional on Saturday.
Aragon, a sophomore at Stanford, won her heat of the women’s 1,500-meter run on Saturday, crossing the finish line in 4 minutes, 12.73 seconds. It was the third-fastest time among all competitors, as Sinclaire Johnson of Oklahoma State and Elise Cranny of Stanford posted faster times in the first heat. The top five finishers from each heat, plus the next two best times, advanced to the Championships, which will be run June 6-9 at Eugene, Ore.
Perrin, a senior at Colorado, finished sixth in the first heat of the men’s 5,000-meter run on Saturday. The former Kalispell Flathead standout qualified for the national meet based on his time of 13:50.83, which ranked ninth of all runners. Perrin’s heat featured the five fastest times of the day, led by Grant Fisher of Stanford finishing in 13:47.22.
Perrin won four state track championships during his high school career at Flathead, winning both the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs twice. He won the 3,200 as a freshman in 2010 and both distances races as a junior in 2012 when he was the Montana’s Gatorade boys track and field athlete of the year. He added another title in the 1,600 as a senior.
Perrin qualified for nationals last year, as well, finishing in 11th place in the 5,000 meters.
Aragon starred at Billings Senior from 2013-16 and owns Montana’s all-class records in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs. She won 11 gold medals — two in the 400, four in the 800, four in the 1,600 and one in the 3,200 — and was twice named Montana’s Gatorade girls track and field athlete of the year.
Aragon finished seventh in the 1,500 at last year’s NCAA Outdoor Championships, earning all-America honors.