COLLEGE STATION, Texas – University of New Hampshire senior Elle Purrier won her first national championship, winning the mile run at the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas on Saturday evening.
The Montgomery native and Richford H.S. alumnus is the first Vermont-born athlete to win an NCAA Division I track and field championship.
Purrier led the indoor mile wire to wire, pulling away in the final lap. The final backstretch saw Colorado’s Dani Jones move up from the pack, as she caught up with Purrier and challenged her in the final turn. The two ran side by side to start the final stretch but Purrier held off Jones and won the event in 4 minutes, 31.76 seconds, just 0.06 seconds ahead of Jones who finished in 4:31.82.
It was the closest margin of victory in the women’s mile since 1991.
Purrier’s dominance in the mile continues. She posted the second-fastest time in NCAA history in the event earlier this year , with a time of 4:26.55, just less than a second off the all-time fastest mile at 4:25.91.
Purrier improved on her time from last year’s indoor mile by 0.12 seconds, when she finished second in 4:31.88, less than a second behind the winner. In 2016, Purrier finished third in 4:38.42.
With the finish, Purrier is also a nine-time All American, her most recent All-America crown coming for her 18th place finish in the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
Purrier also made UNH history by being the first Wildcat to compete in two events at the NCAA level, competing in the 3000m run later Saturday night. Purrier finished 14th in the event with a time of 9:25.93.
Purrier competed in nine final events this season, running the mile, the 3000m and the 800m. Her finish in the 3000 at the NCAA Indoor Championships was the first time she finished behind a collegian in a final this season.