Big Upset in Women’s 3,000 meters!

Everyone was watching Gudaf Tsegay. Many in Scotland were hoping for Laura Muir, Scotland’s superstar. Steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech lead the race through 1k in 2:48.83. Behind Chepkoeach was Tsegay, Hull, St. Pierre with Muir back in tenth. Laura Muir had to push hard to get back into the first group, as the pace continued tough, as Gudaf Tsegay leads, with Hull, Chepkoech, St. Pierre on Tsegay. 2000m hit in 5:35.78. Tsegay had been a bit annoyed as Hull was close to her heels. St. Pierre kept her head down and Muir tried to get closer, but would not get closer than fifth.

The six fastest women in 2024 are all in this final! Tsegay is trying to push the pace, but does not seem going well. Tsegay puts her arm out, as Hull seems too close to Tsegay, at least for the Ethiopian’s preferences.

Elle St. Pierre takes gold in WIC Glasgow 3,000m in CR 8:20.87! photo by Dan Vernon for World Athletics

Elle St. Pierre’s story is remarkable. Just a year ago today, she was expecting her son, Ivan, who was born a few days later. In four races back, Elle Pierre had run an 8:20 3k, 4:16 mile, then an 8:54 for 3000m altitude.

But who was going to challenge Gudaf Tsegay?

With just two laps to go, Jessica Hull dropped to fourth, Elle St. Pierre went to lane two and moved into a better position with one lap to go. Using a 29.67 last 200 meters, Elle St. Pierre willed herself in front of Gudaf Tsegay, who was more shocked than anything, as the American made history, taking gold for the US for the first time in this 3,000 meters in 8:20.87, with Tsegay in silver in 8:21.13 and Beatrice Chepkoech, in 8:22.68 NR for bronze. Jessica Hull, Australia, took 4th with her 4th NR of the season in 8:24.39. Laura Muir, the Scottish star, Olympic and World Champs medalist, took fifth in a season-best of 8:29.76. Josette Andrews, a teammate of Elle St. Pierre on Team USA, was 11th in 8:41.93, a seasonal best.

Elle St. Pierre takes 3000m title in 8:20.87, taking gold in WIC Glasgow

Elle St Pierre told Lewis Johnson of NBC that she was so happy to win the 3,000m and have her family here. Elle St. Pierre has had an amazing season, moving from silver to gold in the Women’s 3,000 meters and making history!

The superlatives for Elle St. Pierre continue. Her Champs record broke a 35-year-old record for the 3,000m! Her time of 8:20.87 is the third fastest EVER. And of course, Elle St. Purrier set an American record, Championships record and a superb personal best!

Elle St. Pierre took the silver in the 3000m in Belgrade in 2022. On February 3, 2024, in an interview at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, Elle St. Pierre, facing her first race in over a year (she had a son, Ivan, just about eleven months prior), told the media that she was hoping to improve on her medal in Belgrade in Glasgow. That she did! A fantastic indoor season with an AR at the indoor Mile and 3,000 meters, breaking the AR of Alicia Monson.

The 3,000m is the meeting place of milers and 5,000m/10,000 m runners indoors, which shows Elle St. Pierre’s fitness as she builds towards Paris 2024. We can not wait to see Elle St. Pierre compete outdoors. Elle’s gold medal is a huge moment for women’s distance running in the U.S.

Mark Coogan, the coach of Team New Balance Boston, was a 1996 Olympian at the Marathon. In 1995, Mark took the silver at the Pan Am Games Marathon. Marks’ thoughtful approach to training and his encouragement of his athletes, including Elle St. Pierre, have played a huge part in Elle’s development. Mark has coached Team NB Boston since 2014, one of NB’s teams supporting the development of elite athletes (they also have a club in Europe).

Elle St. Pierre is one of the toughest athletes that this writer has ever met. Her 3,000m battle against Jessica Hull at Boston NB Indoor on Feb.4, obviously irked Elle, and one week later, she made sure that she had distance between her and Jessica Hull. In the race at Glasgow, Elle St. Pierre stayed out of trouble and close enough to use her deadly kick, surprising Gudaf Tsegay.

How big is this moment? This win by Elle St. Pierre is huge. Elle and her coach planned for this race, but most thought Gudaf Tsegay was, well unbeatable. No one is unbeatable.

Congrats to Elle, her family, and her coach, Mark Coogan, who has a wonderful working style with his athletes.