EUGENE, Ore. — Montgomery’s Elle Purrier is headed to the World Championships.
The former Richford H.S. star and now University of New Hampshire sophomore ran away from the rest of the field in the U.S.A. Track & Field Junior Nationals on Sunday, winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase by more than 10 seconds.
The top two finishers in each event advance to the International Association of Athletics Federations World Junior Championships, which will also be held on the University of Oregon track in Eugene, July 22-27.
Purrier will run in the qualifying heats in the world championships on July 24, at about 1:05 p.m. EDT, with the final set for 7:55 p.m. on July 26.
On Sunday in Eugene, Purrier started near the outside of the 15-runner field, but sprinted inside and into the lead at the start and was never passed. Runner-up Hope Schmelzle, of Purdue University, stayed close to Purrier for half of the eight-lap race, but Purrier pulled away and lapped two of the 14 finishers before crossing the line in 10 minutes, 24.46 seconds.
Schmelzle finished in 10:35.19, with Julie Friend of the University of California (Pa.) third in 10:36.55.
Purrier holds 17 Vermont high school cross country and track titles, two New England cross country titles, and was champion of the America East indoor mile in March.