Tokyo 2021 Diary: Considering Elle Purrier St. Pierre...

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Elle Purrier took 28th in the steeplechase at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in 10:08.39. In her move from the steeplechase to the 1,500m, (Elle had taken 9th in the 2014 World Junior steeplechase), Elle also ran the 5000m.

Elle Purrier St. Pierre took sixth in the 2018 USA Championships 1,500m, and made the team for Doha 2019 WC in the 5000m, in 14:58.17, taking eleventh.

It was on February 8, 2020, that Elle Purrier St. Pierre really opened everyone's eyes, with her stunning 4:16.85 mile at the Millrose Games. Elle had taken out the venerable record by Mary Slaney, dominating a field that included top American and European athletes.

Purrier_Elle-Q-OlyTrials21w.jpgElle Purrier St. Pierre leading the semi-final, photo by Kevin Morris / Kevmofoto

What many did not realize was that Coach Mark Coogan, himself an Olympian had been helping Elle develop her talent, and building her, day by day, week by week, into one of the finest distance runners that the U.S. has produced.

Many of the media seem taken with her small town, Vermont farm upbringing, where she would milk up to 30 cows in the morning before high school. Elle Purrier St. Pierre has a strong support system in her hometown, and that culture is important.

In the past three years, she has also developed her distance racing skills under the thoughtful tutelage of Mark Coogan, the New Balance Track Club coach. Her wins in Millrose, her wins at two consecutive New Balance Indoor meets, and her amazing spring 2021 season are a testament to the work that she has done.

Elle Purrier St. Pierre broke the American record for two miles on February 13, 2021, with an amazing 9:10.28.

In Spring 2021, she showed that her racing skills were finely developed and her strength and speed put her in competition with the finest 1,500m runners in the world. Elle set a PB of 1:59.99 at the 800m (May 15), while racing from 800m to 2 miles indoors and an early season win at 5000m (Feb. 27, 2021) at 15:08.61 at the Miles of Trials meeting.

Elle Purrier St. Pierre was fine-tuning her racing skills.

On May 9, 2021, Elle opened up at 1,500m with a PB of 3:58.36, also the WL. She was ready to go.

In the heats and semi-finals, Elle did what she had to do at the US Olympic Trials, running 4:11.78, then, 4:09.18 to move into the final.

On June 21, 2021, at the beginning of the 1,500m women's final, Elle Purrier St. Pierre has knocked off the track as athletes positioned themselves at the beginning of the race. Elle changed her racing plan, and took the lead, never to look back, running a new Meet record, a new PB, and a world leader at 1,500m of 3:58.03!

How will she do in Tokyo? Her race experiences at global 1,500ms are light, but her talent, coaching, and speed are excellent. She should be a medal contender in Tokyo! Her coach, Mark Coogan, has prepared her to race

Check out our #Socialing the Distance from Elle Purrier St. Pierre, done just a month ago! In the interview, Elle speaks about her preparations for Eugene and her hopes for Tokyo.

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