DURHAM, N.H. – Freshman distance runner Elinor Purrier (Montgomery, Vt.) of the University of New Hampshire women's track and field team earned qualification for the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships it was announced Tuesday.
Purrier, who has had an incredible season so far for the Wildcats, will compete in the mile event at NCAA's on March 15th and 16th at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, N.M.
The freshman distance runner qualified with a school-record time of 4 minutes and 36.14 seconds, which she posted at the Last Chance Meet on Sunday afternoon at the Boston University Track and Tennis Center. The 4:36.14 time is a good for 11th in the nation.
The NCAA qualification adds to an already extraordinary freshman season for Purrier. The freshman has placed in nine events so far during the indoor season, including six first-place finishes. Purrier snagged a pair of America East Titles two weeks ago at the America East Indoor Track and Field Championships. Purrier took a team title with the distance medley relay squad in a school-record mark of 11:31.55 before claiming an individual title in the mile event with a time of 4:41.73.
"We are excited that Eli has qualified for the NCAA Championships this winter," said coach Rob Hoppler. "She is continuing in the fine tradition of middle-distance and distance racing at the University of New Hampshire and we are looking forward to her having another great performance at the championships."
Purrier's qualification marks the second time in two years that a member of the women's track and field and cross country program has qualified for NCAA's. Last year Keely Maguire competed in the NCAA Cross Country Championships and finished 112th out of 253 runners.
All-American Randy Hall of the men's track and field team was the last UNH athlete to compete in the mile at nationals. He competed in the 1990 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships and earned a 7th place finish in a school-record time of 4:02.73.
The women's track and field team returns to action on March 8th when it competes at the ECAC Championships at the Boston University Track and Tennis Center.