DES MOINES, Iowa — Patrick Casey continued his successful summer on Thursday, advancing to the finals of the 1,500-meter run at the USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships.
Casey, the former Laurel running standout, ran Thursday’s 1,500 in 3 minutes, 43.48 seconds, winning the third and final heat of the afternoon. Casey automatically qualified for Saturday’s finals, as the top three runners in each heat, along with the next three fastest times advanced to the final.
Casey, who spent his collegiate seasons at Montana State and then Oklahoma, finished the opening lap in third place, before moving to second at the 700-meter mark. He fell to fifth on the third lap, but clocked a 53.89 in his final 400 to edge Sam Prakel of Oregon by one one-hundredth of a second. Casey’s time was the seventh fastest among the 12 athletes advancing to Saturday’s final.
Thursday’s race was the latest successful outing for Casey, who earned a runner-up finish in the 1,500 at the Seiko Golden Grand Prix in Japan in late May.
During his prep career at Laurel, Casey won Class A titles in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs as a junior, while finishing fourth in the 800. His senior season saw him win all three races. He also earned three top-five finishes at the State A cross country invitational, including championships his junior and senior season.
Montana State grad Cristian Soratos ran the fifth-fastest time in the prelims, a 3:41.12, also advancing to the finals.
Casey and Soratos will compete in the 1,500 final on Saturday at 3:40 p.m. (MST). Former Billings Senior standouts and sisters Danielle and Christina Aragon competed in the women’s 1,500 on Thursday, but neither advanced past the prelims.