LONDON - Webster City native Jenny (Barringer) Simpson ran in the prelims of the 1,500-meter run during the Monday morning session of the Olympic Games and just barely advanced to the semifinals, taking the sixth and final automatic qualifying spot in the second section (4:13.81).
Simpson found herself in the back of the pack and fought her way up from a 10th-place position heading into the bell lap. She started to surge as the lead pack went around the final turn but it wasn't until the final 100 meters when she started to pick off some runners in front of her. In the final meters, Simpson was able to just nip Russia's Yekaterina Martynova for the final qualifying spot. Martynova finished 25th overall (seventh in the heat) and missed advancing to the next round with a time of 4:13.86, .05 seconds behind Simpson.
"If people want to see my miracle kick that was definitely a miracle (today)," Simpson said. "I ran the slowest race to make it in. At this point, what's done is done, I have to move on. It was really physical up front. With about 200 meters to go I realized I needed to do something so I put my head down and didn't look up until 5 meters to the line.
"I think it's the first time in my life I've leaned at the line."
The semis for the 1,500 are on Wednesday at 1:45 p.m. CT. (7:45 p.m. London time).