EUGENE, Ore. -- Billings native Dani Aragon will run for a berth at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday.
Aragon, a Billings Senior and Notre Dame graduate, placed third in her semifinal heat of the women's 1,500-meter run at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials on Saturday. Aragon surged over the final 400 meters to cross the finish line in 4 minutes, 9.94 seconds.
Elle Purrier St. Pierre won the heat in 4:09.18, and Jenny Simpson was second in 4:09.92.
Aragon, who runs competitively for Empire Elite Track Club, won her preliminary heat on Friday and had the 15th-fastest qualifying time heading into Saturday's semifinals. She ran a well-executed race on Saturday, sitting in the middle of the pack for much of the race. She settled into the fifth position on the third lap, and then moved up to second on the fourth and final lap, pushing Purrier St. Pierre before ultimately finishing in third place in the heat.
The second semifinal set a faster pace, with Nikki Hiltz crossing the line first in 4:05.87.
The top five runners in each semifinal heat, plus the next two fastest runners regardless of heat, advanced to the final, which is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. (MT) Monday. Aragon will have the 10th-fastest qualifying time for the final.
Also on Saturday, Glasgow native Benji Phillips competed in the men's javelin. Just a week removed from earning All-American status at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships for North Dakota State, Phillips placed 17th on Saturday. He marked a best throw of 65.88 meters (216 feet, 2 inches).