DURHAM, N.H.– Elle Purrier St. Pierre, a 2018 graduate of the University of New Hampshire and member of Team U.S.A., made her Olympics debut Aug. 1 in the first round of the females’ 1,500-meter run at Olympic Arena in Tokyo and advanced to the semifinals by placing third in Heat 2 with a time of 4 minutes, 5.34 seconds.
The leading six runners of each of the three heats in the preliminary– plus the subsequent six fastest runners– advanced to the Aug. 4 (6 a.m. Eastern) semifinals. The semis will be relayed on Peacock. You can also enjoy occasions streaming on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app.
Purrier St. Pierre was near the front of the Heat 2 lead pack– ranging from 3rd to 4th location while running the inside lane– and then maneuvered to the front of the group with 400m remaining. She remained in the lead up until the final 40 meters but quickly held onto a third place to advance to the semifinals.
Purrier St. Pierre made the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team by winning the 1,500 m at the track and field US. Olympic Team Trials on Hayward Field on June 21 with a personal-best time of 3 minutes, 58.03 seconds.
The 1,500 m Olympic finals are on Aug. 6 at 8:50 a.m. (Eastern).
In the 2021 fiscal year, Faith Kipyegon of Kenya has the fastest 1,500 m time of 3:51.07. The Olympic field likewise includes Sifan Hassan (Netherlands; 3:53.60), Freweyni Gebrezzibeher (3:56.28), and Diribe Welteji (3:58.93) of Ethiopia, in addition to Laura Muir (3:55.59) of Excellent Britain and Linden Hall (3:59.67) of Australia. All of them have run a sub-4 1,500 m time in 2021.
Purrier St. Pierre is the fifth Wildcat connected to the UNH track & field program to represent the United States at the Olympics. Richmond “Boo” Morcom ’47 contended in the pole vault in the 1948 Olympics, Jeffrey Bannister ’70 represented Group U.S.A. in the decathlon at the 1972 games, and Joanne Dow ’86 competed in the race walk 2008 Olympics. Clare Egan ’11 (MA) went on to contend in the biathlon at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Purrier St. Pierre is an 11-time All-American and 17-time America East champion across UNH’s cross nation, indoor track & field, and outside track & field groups; she was the NCAA national champion in the mile at the 2018 indoor meet.
She mastered the class by completing a double major of Nutrition: Wellness and EcoGastronomy in May 2018. She had a 3.71 cumulative GPA.
Purrier St. Pierre won the America East conference Scholar-Athlete season awards for women’s cross country, indoor track & field, and outside track and field in both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years. Purrier was also named the America East Scholar-Athlete of the Year both years.
Purrier St. Pierre holds six private records and four record relays in the University of NH record book. On the indoor field leaderboard, she is at the top of the list in the 800 meters (2:03.64), 1,000 m (2:46.02), mile (4:26.55), and 3,000 m (8:55.68); she is also part of the record range medley relay group. On the outdoor leaderboard, she is the leading ‘Feline in the 1,500 m (4:10.08) and steeplechase (9:43.65) and the sprint collection, 4x800m, and 4×1,500 m relays; she likewise finished as the UNH record holder in the 800m.
Her name is in more than the school’s record book. At the 2020 Millrose Games, she ran the second-fastest females’ indoor mile in history and broke a 37-year old American record with a time of 4:16.85. In February 2021, she broke the American indoor 2-mile record in 9:10.28.
In the 2017 cross-nation season at UNH, Purrier St. Pierre won her third America East specific title to lead the Wildcats to a fifth successive team title; she went on to duplicate as NCAA Northeast Regional champ, was called Regional Runner of the Year, and put 18th at the NCAA Championships.