Iowa-born Houlihan moving onto Olympic final - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa-born Houlihan moving onto Olympic final

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RIO DE JANEIRO (KWWL) -

American middle distance runner Shelby Houlihan will compete for an Olympic medal in the women's track and field 5000 meter race after qualifying during a preliminary race this morning.

The 23-year-old was born in Sioux City, before becoming an NCAA champion at Arizona State University.

Houlihan finished fourth in her heat and 10th overall in the 5000m preliminary round this morning in Rio de Janeiro, clocking in at a time of 15:19.76. She'll take to the track with 17 other qualifiers in Friday's final, including defending world champion Almaz Ayana, of Ethiopia.

Houlihan is one of two American women to qualify for the 5000m final, and will be joined by Abbey D'Agostino, of Massachusetts. Friday's final is scheduled to begin at 7:40 p.m. central time.

Houlihan is the first female track runner from Sioux City to reach the Olympics. She was named the 2011 Drake Relays Girls Track and Field Runner of the Meet during her senior year at Sioux City's East High School.

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