LIGNANO SABBIADORO, Italy — Montgomery’s Elle Purrier opened her European pro career with a come-from-behind race to first place Wednesday, running a personal-best time in the 1500 meters to edge two other American runners.
Purrier, representing New Balance Boston, ran a half-dozen spots off the lead for much of the race in Lignano Sabbiadoro, about 35 miles east of Venice on the northern end of the Adriatic Sea. Purrier stayed close to fellow U.S. runners Alexa Efraimson and Danielle Aragon as the three pulled away, and midway through the final lap the NCAA Division I indoor champion from Richford H.S. kicked into another gear.
Purrier squeezed past Aragon and then got in front of Efraimson, who had nothing left for a counterattack with the finish 50 meters away.
Purrier’s 4:07.79 time was almost a half-second faster than her previous best (4:08.24 in the USA Track & Field Outdoor Nationals on June 21) and faster than the winning 1500 finals time in the 2016 Olympics at Rio de Janeiro.