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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

World record shattered at the TRACK at New Balance grand opening

Sarah Roberts

A new facility where Suffolk’s track team will practice and compete opened its doors Friday night to host its first meet, along with a new world record in the distance medley relay. 

The TRACK at New Balance is a world class multi-sport facility, showcasing a hydraulically-banked 200-meter bright red track. The facility also includes the New Balance Athletics Sports Research Lab. 

Suffolk University Indoor Track and Field is lucky enough to call the TRACK at New Balance their new home for the winter track and field seasons. They will be doing their track workouts in the facility a few times a week during the frigid months and host a meet. 

Construction first broke ground in April 2019. The state of the art facility is located in Boston Landing across from New Balance Headquarters, a short walk from the Boston Landing commuter rail stop. 

Friday’s Night at the TRACK at New Balance event consisted of six different heats of the mile before the meet finished up with the distance medley relay. The Team USA DMR consists of four legs, each of different distances: 1200-meter, 400-meter, 800-meter and 1600-meter. 

The record-breaking Team USA quartet was made up of Heather MacLean, Kendall Ellis, Roisin Willis and Elle Pierre St. Purrier. 

Their efforts earned them the time of 10:33.85, the new DMR world record. The previous record for the DMR was set two months earlier with a time of 10:39.91. 

Ellis was a last minute addition to the team. Originally, 400-meter hurdle Olympic Champion Sydney McLaughlin was going to be the second leg, but scratched the night before. According to Let’s Run, Ellis hopped on the red-eye flight from Los Angeles to Boston, scratching in another meet to help break the record.

“It’s so amazing that Kendall was able to step up like we’re really excited to have her and she’s an amazing 400 runner and she did exactly what we needed and exactly what was supposed to be done.” MacLean said about Ellis in an interview with Let’s Run

Since McLaughlin opted out of the relay, she was able to spend some time during the mile heats with fans taking pictures with her while giving out autographs. 

MacLean ran a split of 3:14.92 in the 1200-meter. She handed the baton to Ellis, who ran a 400-meter split of 52.04. She was followed by Willis, who ran a split of 2:03.30 in the 800-meter. The meet wrapped up with Pierre St. Purrier dropping a 4:23.55 split in the 1600-meter. 

Willis is a high school senior and the 800-meter indoor record holder in the U.S. with a time of 2:00.06, according to the Stevens Point Journal

Willis announced on her Instagram that she will be continuing her impressive running career at Stanford University. 

There are lights that move along the inner rail on the new track that were set to move at world record pace. As the DMR progressed, the trail of lights was behind Team USA the entire time.

The announcer stated during the last leg that the team was six seconds ahead of the time to beat.

Pierre St. Purrier rounded her final lap around the oval and the crowd began to roar the loudest they had all night. She was well in front of the lights indicating world record pace, looking on atMcLaughlin and one other who were at the finish line holding the banner that Pierre St. Purrier would break, along with the world record.

“It was fun because it was a team effort…like if you run a little bit too slow or a little bit faster than what you’re supposed to like all of it coming together was going to be the final time and that’s like something you don’t get to be a part of as often as a professional,” said Pierre St. Purrier in an interview with Let’s Run.

Follow Sarah on Twitter @saraherobs

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About the Contributor
Sarah Roberts, News Editor | she/her
Sarah is a senior from Taunton, Mass. majoring in print and web journalism. She’s on the cross country and indoor/outdoor track and field teams. When she’s not running along the Charles or doing laps on the track in Eastie, you will probably find her in a coffee shop. Sarah is a coffee connoisseur and enjoys trying new coffee places frequently. In her free time if she isn’t reading, she’s watching some true crime shows or rewatching Gilmore Girls for the hundredth time. After college, she hopes to work in investigative journalism.

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World record shattered at the TRACK at New Balance grand opening