February 11, 2020
For nearly 30 years, Thetford Academy has played host to two significant cross-country events: the Woods Trail Invitational, which draws over a thousand runners from New England and New York, and the Vermont state championship meet.
A few years ago, I remember watching a high school girl from the tiny Richford High compete in both events for three years, and marveled at how she completely dominate runners from larger, more established programs I thought to myself that she could be pretty good.
I would never have guessed that she’d be THIS good.
Elle Purrier, who grew up on a farm in the town of Montgomery, Vermont, went on to run at the University of New Hampshire, where she won NCAA titles in cross-country and on the track at the mile. And on Saturday at the Millrose Games, Elle broke a 37-year-old American record, winning the indoor mile in a time of 4:16.85, breaking the mark previously held by Mary Decker Slaney. It was the second-fastest indoor mile ever run by a woman.
I thought that was pretty cool.