Originally posted on ATF Athletes Only on February 5, 2024

by Larry Eder

The women’s race was full of great surprises.

The biggest was none other than winner Fiona O’Keeffe.

Fiona O’Keeffe 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.

Fiona O’Keeffe, U.S. Olympic Team Marathon Trials
Orlando, Florida, photo by Kevin Morris
February 3, 2024

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 in 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 O’Keeffe 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 led by Keira D’Amato.

Dakota Lindwurm and Fiona O’Keeffe leading, U.S. Olympic Team Marathon Trials
Orlando, Florida
February 3, 2024, photo by Kevin Morris

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 O’Keeffe 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!

Fionna O’Keefe, U.S. Olympic Team Marathon Trials
Orlando, Florida
February 3, 2024, photo by Kevin Morris

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 O’Keeffe kept us on the edge of our seats for 2 hours, 22 minutes, and ten seconds.