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Purrier wraps up UNH career with All-American honors in 1,500 meters



UNH Insider
Sunday, June 10, 2018

EUGENE, Ore. – Elinor Purrier, the most accomplished athlete in University of New Hampshire history, went out swinging Saturday in the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships on ESPN2 at Hayward Field.

Purrier took the lead in the 1500-meter run out of the gate, pushed the pace throughout the race and led until the last lap when Jessica Hull of Oregon came on strong to capture the win.

Purrier slipped to seventh in a time of 4 minutes, 11.56 seconds to earn first-team All American honors for the fourth straight time in the Outdoor championships and All-American honors for the 11th time overall in her glorious Wildcat career.

“I followed my race plan,” Purrier said. “I took it out hard and pushed the pace and finished as hard as I could. I guess I didn’t make the gap as big as I should have and so the last 400 was a struggle. She started to push me the last 300 and it was a little bit too early for me I guess, so I went with her and I just didn’t have it in the last 100.”

Purrier closed out her UNH career in the same manner she conducted every day and race, said coach Robert Hoppler.

“She ran her last race like she raced the last five years,” Hoppler said. “Holding nothing back, putting it all on the line, running as hard as she can run that particular day.”

Purrier won the NCAA Championship in March and collected nine of those All American titles on the track, another two in cross country, to go with 17 America East championships.

“I’m incredibly proud of everything she accomplished over the last five years and I’m as proud of her today as I was in Texas in March (when she won the NCAA title,)” Hoppler said.

Purrier made the NCAA finals each of the last four years at the Outdoor Championships and advanced to the finals in seven of her eight years on the track overall, an accomplishment that made her especially proud.

Now, her Wildcat racing days are behind her.

“I’ve been proud to wear the UNH uniform,” Purrier said. “I was crying in my waffle a little bit this morning thinking about it. It’s my last race as a Wildcat. My last race for Hop and UNH and it’s crazy to think how far I’ve come. .. I feel it’s kind of crazy I’m still racing for UNH. But because I don’t really know anything else, it’s weird to think, ‘Wow, that was my last one.’ It hasn’t quite hit me yet, I guess.”

There’s more to come for Purrier, who will turn professional soon and plans to race in the U.S. Nationals later this month in Des Moines, Iowa, and in a couple of races in Europe next month.

“She leaves UNH as the school’s most decorated athlete all-time,” Hoppler said. “Eleven-time All American, National champion, 17-time conference champion. Of course, she’ll be missed. It’s been a privilege to have her on the team every single day. But I think’s it’s important to use someone like Rosie Donegan as an example. Rosie kept improving after UNH and Keely McGuire and Eric Jesseman kept improving as well. I’m sure Elle will keep improving and I’m really excited to see what’s in her future.”