Elle Purrier St. Pierre

Elle Purrier St. Pierre prepares for the start of the first round of the women's 1500m in Tokyo, Japan. Messenger reporter Kate Barcellos attended the watch party at Richford Junior-Senior High School where a friends, family, and community members packed the gym to watch Purrier St. Pierre race. 

RICHFORD — Community members of all ages donned their patriotic colors and gathered in Richford Junior Senior High School gymnasium on the evening of Sunday, Aug. 1, to watch their hero fly across the finish line in the women’s 1500 meter race in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Articles, photographs, trophies and handmade baked goods decorated long tables inside the gym, all of them testaments to dairy farmer Elle Purrier St. Pierre, 26, better known as the “Richford Rocket.”

After a strong start, St. Pierre placed third in the second heat with a time of 4:05:34, which qualified her for the women’s 1500 meter semi-final and bringing glory to Richford and Franklin County.

As St. Pierre crossed the finish line, hundreds in the audience at Richford Junior Senior High School rose from their chairs with their hands in the air and cheered proudly for their champion, hugging one another amidst the thunderous applause.

St. Pierre’s next race is this Wednesday at 6 a.m. EST, the result of which will decide whether St. Pierre will run in the finals this Friday.