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Billings native Christina Aragon runs personal-best 1,500 to qualify for final at U.S. Olympic Trials

Christina Aragon
Posted at 7:21 PM, Jun 28, 2024

EUGENE, Ore. — Christina Aragon will run Sunday for a berth at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The Billings Senior grad ran a personal-best time of 4:05.36 in the semifinals of the women's 1,500-meter run Friday at the U.S. Olympic Team Track and Field Trials at Hayward Field to place seventh in her heat. Aragon, who now runs for Nike/Bowerman Track Club, grabbed the 12th and final qualifying spot for Sunday's final based on her time.

She ran in the second heat, which featured a fast group of six runners at the front of the pack. Aragon sat in eighth place much of the race, but moved into seventh on the third lap and held off Anna Camp-Bennett for the final qualifying spot. Camp-Bennett finished just behind Aragon at 4:05.62.

Emily Mackay, running for New Balance Boston, won the heat with a time of 4:02.46, while Nikki Hiltz, a Lululemon runner in the first heat, will take the fastest qualifying time into the final at 4:01.40.

The final of the women's 1,500 meters is Sunday at 6:09 p.m. Mountain time.

Meanwhile, Billings West graduate Alysa Keller placed 23rd in the semifinals of the women's javelin. Keller, who just completed her freshman year at Brigham Young University, recorded her best mark of 47.72 meters (156 feet, 7 inches) on her first throw. She scratched her second throw and threw 44.48 meters (145-11 feet) on her third and final throw.

Kara Winger, throwing for Tracksmith/NYAC, had the best throw of the semifinals at 63.01 meters (206-08 feet).

Later this summer, Keller will throw in the World Athletics U20 Championships, which are Aug. 27-31 in Lima, Peru.

Also competing Friday were Kieran McKeag, a Minnesota native now living in Yellowstone County, in the men's hammer and Drake Schneider, a Montana State alum from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in the 400-meter hurdles.

McKeag placed 20th in the semifinals of the men's hammer with a best mark of 70.34 meters (230-09 feet). Rudy Winkler had the top throw of 77.08 meters (252-11 feet) in the men's hammer semifinals.

Schneider was 27th in the semifinals of the men's 400 hurdles with a time of 53.77 seconds. Caleb Dean of Texas Tech won Schneider's heat in 48.92 seconds, while Nike runner Rai Benjamin ran the fastest semifinal time of 47.97 in the third and final heat.