After a three-year stint in the NCAA, middle-distance runner Simone Plourde of Montreal has turned pro, joining the Nike-sponsored Union Athletics Club in Oregon. Plourde, who has had a breakout season with the University of Utah over the past 12 months, announced she had turned pro on her Instagram Friday.
“I am starting a new chapter,” wrote Plourde. “I couldn’t be more excited to announce that I’ve signed with Nike and will be training under Pete Julian and Union Athletics Club. Chasing the dreams and making them happen, that’s all I can hope for.”
The Canadian rising star owns personal bests of 4:06.86 for 1,500m and 15:21.19 for 5,000m. She won the Pac-12 conference championship in the women’s 1,500m and finished seventh in the 5,000m at the 2023 NCAA Outdoor Championships in June. The 22-year-old ran her personal best over 1,500m at La Classique d’athlétisme de Montréal on June 29, beating the rest of the field by six seconds, setting a Quebec provincial record.
BC runner wins two NCAA conference titles
Plourde will be coached by the prestigious Pete Julianwho currently coaches Australian Olympian and record holder Jessica Hull and 800m Olympic bronze medalist Raevyn Rogers. He has also formerly Craig Engels and 2016 Olympic 1,500m champion Matthew Centrowitz.
She will debut in the blue and white club colors in the women’s 1,500m at the Harry Jerome Classic in Vancouver on Friday night. Her goal is to qualify for the 2023 World Championships in Budapest next month and represent Team Canada. Plourde currently sits on the bubble for qualification because of her world ranking (69th), but told CBC in an interview that she hopes to continue lowering her ranking by the end of the qualification period on July 30.