UNH's Purrier Slated to Compete at IIAF World Junior Championships
Story courtesy UNHWildcats.com
DURHAM, N.H. -- Rising sophomore distance runner Elinor Purrier (Montgomery, Vt.) of the University of New Hampshire women's track & field team continues her unprecedented 2013-14 season, competing against the world's most prolific young athletes in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the IIAF World Junior Championships (July 22-27), hosted at the University of Oregon's historic Hayward Field.
Purrier begins competition Thursday, July 24 at 1:05 p.m. in the steeplechase heat. The finalists will compete Saturday, July 26 at 7:55 p.m. The field of competitors consist of high school and college student-athletes under the age of 20 from across the world. All events will be streamed online on either USATF.tv or UniversalSports.com.
On July 7, Purrier claimed first in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships with a time of 10 minutes, 24.46 seconds. As the U.S. Junior steeplechase champion and USATF Junior All-American, she becomes the first runner in UNH history to qualify for the IAAF World Junior Championships.
"We are very proud of Ellie being named to the United States Junior Track & Field team," said head coach Robert Hoppler. "It's exciting that she'll be competing with the best junior athletes in the world. I'm sure she'll represent herself and UNH with excellence."
The first-year standout started her UNH career with a tremendous cross country season. At the New England Championships (Oct. 12), Purrier dashed to a third-place finish on the 5K course in 17:33 to guide the Wildcats to a regional title. The victory built momentum for Purrier and her teammates going into the America East Cross Country Championships on Nov. 2 at Binghamton University.
Purrier was the top finisher for UNH at the conference championships. She completed the 5K course to place sixth overall in a field of 81 runners with a time of 17:55.62, leading the squad to its first America East title since 2003.
Two of her most notable victories came in the America East Indoor Track & Field Championships (Feb. 24-26). Purrier placed first in the mile event and snapped the tape in 4:41.73. She later took part in the team's record-setting win in the distance medley relay as the quartet claimed first in the event with a new program record time of 11:31.55.
Purrier broke another record at the Last Chance Meet at Boston University (March 2), the final opportunity for athletes to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. In the mile event, the freshman clocked in with a program record and qualification time of 4:36.14 to claim third place and rank ninth in the country. Purrier capped off the indoor season with a 15th-place effort in the mile event with a time of 4:48.82 at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships hosted by the University of New Mexico. The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) named Purrier to the All-America Second Team following her performance.
Purrier followed her superb indoor season with more dominance in the spring, but in an unfamiliar event. At the New Balance Boston Twilight Meet on Saturday, May 10, she emerged victorious in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:53.24) to earn an invite at the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships.