Elle Purrier

Shelby Houlihan wins duel with Elle Purrier at USATF Indoor Champs

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Shelby Houlihan is halfway to a fifth double at a national championships after taking the 3000m at the USATF Indoor Championships in Albuquerque on Friday night.

Houlihan, a Rio Olympic 5000m runner, extended her domestic distance dominance by clocking 8:52.03.

She led after every lap and prevailed by 1.67 seconds over Bowerman Track Club teammate Karissa Schweizer. Elle Purrier, who last Saturday ran the second-fastest indoor mile in history, was fourth in 8:56.56.

Houlihan has won a pair of titles at four separate national championships — twice indoors and twice outdoors. She can do it again if she takes Saturday’s 1500m, with Purrier also in that field.

Houlihan, after placing 11th in the Rio 5000m, lowered the U.S. records at 1500m and the 5000m. The 1500m has proven her better event internationally. She took fourth at the world championships on Oct. 5, breaking Shannon Rowbury‘s American record by 1.3 seconds.

Nationals mark the end of the indoor season, given the world indoor championships were postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak in host China.

USATF Indoors: Results | Entry Lists | Event Schedule | TV Schedule

In other events Friday, meet headliner Christian Coleman shut it down early and still clocked the world’s fastest 60m this year — 6.48 seconds to win his first-round heat. The semifinals and final are Saturday.

“This is my opener, so I just wanted to make sure I feel good,” Coleman, racing his first meet since winning the world 100m title last fall, told Lewis Johnson on NBCSN.

In 2018, Coleman ran the three fastest indoor 60m times in history. His world record of 6.34 seconds still stands. His top competition in the 100m for June’s Olympic trials and the Tokyo Games — Justin Gatlin and Noah Lyles — are not racing indoors this season.

Olympic 5000m silver medalist Paul Chelimo won the men’s 3000m in 8:00.14, distancing Anthony Rotich by 1.77 seconds.

Tori Franklin and Keturah Orji each triple jumped farther than the U.S. indoor record. Franklin prevailed with a 14.64-meter final jump, edging Orji by four centimeters.

Olympic champion Michelle Carter placed seventh in the shot put won by reigning U.S. outdoor champion Chase Ealey.

Erik Kynard, the 2012 Olympic high jump silver medalist, won the indoor title after missing all of last season with a ruptured Achilles. Kynard, who cleared 2.26 meters, could be upgraded to gold from the London Olympics given original winner Ivan Ukhov of Russia was disqualified for doping.

MORE: Full list of U.S. athletes qualified for Tokyo Olympics

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Elle Purrier runs second-fastest indoor mile in history

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NEW YORK — Elle Purrier ran the second-fastest women’s indoor mile in history, breaking a 37-year-old American record with an eight-second personal best at the Millrose Games on Saturday.

Purrier came from third place going into the final lap to win in 4:16.85, taking seven tenths of a second off Mary Slaney‘s national record. Only Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba‘s world record was faster — 4:13.31 from 2016.

She had no idea of the history she made until her trackside TV interview with NBC Sports’ Lewis Johnson.

“I held on for dear life, kicked as hard as I could,” Purrier said after winning the Wanamaker Mile at the Armory in Manhattan’s Washington Heights. “I’m still trying to grasp it. I’m just so surprised.”

Purrier, 24, came into the meet expecting to lower her personal best of 4:24.88 from last year. The 2018 NCAA indoor mile champion for the University of New Hampshire made her first world championships team last year in the 5000m, finishing 11th in Doha.

“I don’t know if I’m a miler or 5000m runner,” she said before Millrose. “At heart I’m a miler but really enjoying the training for the 5k.”

Purrier, who grew up milking cows on her family’s century-old Vermont dairy farm, set one of three American records at Millrose. The others came in the 800m from world champion Donavan Brazier and world bronze medalist Ajee Wilson.

The indoor season wraps up with the USA Track and Field Indoor Championships in Albuquerque next weekend, airing on NBC Sports.

The world indoor championships, traditionally in early March, were postponed due to the coronavirus in host nation China.

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