Fiona O'Keeffe wins in her debut! U.S. Olympic Team Marathon Trials Orlando, Florida February 3, 2024, photo by Kevin Morris

The women’s race was full of great surprises.

The biggest was none other than winner Fiona OKeeffe

Fiona OKeeffe is a graduate of Stanford, with a pretty good pedigree.
She qualified for Orlando with her 1:09.48 half marathon.

Fiona is coached by Alistair and Amy Cragg at PUMA Elite.

Alistair was a fine collegiate athlete at Arkansas with a drawer full of NCAA championships. His professional career went from 5,000m to the marathon. Alistair knows both what to do, and what not to do!

Amy Cragg was a wonderful athlete. I recall interviewing her while she ran for Brooks and competed over 10,000m. I also interviewed Amy when she won the 2016 Rio marathon Trials for Nikè and took bronze in London 2017 . Her 2:21 marathon PB was hard earned. With that experience comes some tremendous lessons.

It is from this culture at PUMA that Fiona OKeeffe began to excel. Alistair and Amy noticed that Fiona excelled at the long runs. They let that develop organically.

In her first marathon, Fiona OKeeffe made no mistakes. Her move to the front with dreamer Dakota Lindwurm around 11 miles, took 13 through 1:11.48 for the halfway, after early miles lead by Keira D’Amato.

Okeeffe took off around 17 miles with a solid 5:16, followed by a 5:22, and she was off!

Emily Sisson followed the move, running into no women’s land, mile Fiona, finding second in 2:22.42.

The battle for third continued until the last miles.

Fiona OKeeffe used those lessons from the coaches Alistair and Amy, running away from the tough field, cementing her win with a 5:09 at mile 24!

Fiona OKeefe’s debut marathon was full of superlatives! Fiona set a champ record of 2:22.10. Fiona is the youngest Olympic trials women’s champion. Fiona did those in her debut, never done before!

Emily Sisson held onto silver, making her second team, her first at the marathon.

Dakota Lindwurm made her Olympic dream, taking third, with a huge PB, and way under Paris standard.

In the end, Fiona OKeeffe kept us on the edge of our seats for 2 hours, 22 minutes and ten seconds.