EUGENE, Ore. -- Rising sophomore Elinor Purrier (Montgomery, Vt.) of the University of New Hampshire women's track & field team set a qualifying and personal-best time of 10 minutes, 8.33 seconds in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the IAAF World Junior Championships, hosted at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field on Thursday afternoon.
Purrier placed sixth in the second heat and ninth overall, earning her a spot in a field of 15 runners to compete in the finals. The race will take place Saturday, July 26 at 7:55 p.m. (Eastern Time). Universal Sports will carry blanket coverage of the World Juniors both on-air and online via Universal Sports and UniversalSports.com.
The U.S. Junior steeplechase champion and USATF Junior All-American bested her personal record by 16.33 seconds, set back on July 7 at the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships (10:24.46).
The first-year runner started her unprecedented 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.
Purrier was the top finisher for UNH at the America East Championships on Nov. 2 at Binghamton University. 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 second-ever conference title and first since 2003.
The New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory in New York City set the stage for the America East Indoor Track & Field Championships (Feb. 24-26). Purrier claimed the top spot on the podium in the mile event and crossed the finish line in 4:41.73. She later participated in the record-setting win in the distance medley relay as the quartet earned gold with a program record mark of 11:31.55.
Purrier set another mile record in the Last Chance Meet at Boston University (March 2) with a program record and qualification time of 4:36.14, claiming third place and ranked ninth in the country. Purrier concluded 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 (March 14), hosted at the University of New Mexico's Albuquerque Convention Center. Following her performance, she earned U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) All-America Second Team honors. She was also heralded as the 2013-14 America East Most Outstanding Rookie for the indoor track & field season.
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