Senior Ashley Elder winding up. (image credit: SNHU Penmen)

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Junior Ashley Elder (Bristol, Conn.) and sophomore Alanna Murphy (Nashua, N.H.) each captured a pair of individual events Saturday, as the Southern New Hampshire University women’s track and field team opened its 2017-18 season at the Smith Winter Classic.

Elder finished first overall in both the shot put and the weight throw, while Murphy took the top spot in the 60-meter hurdles and triple jump.

Elder headlined a trio of top-10 Penmen finishers in the shot put, as her heave of 12.80 meters (42 feet) outdistanced her next closest competitor by .79 meters (2 feet, 7 inches), set a new personal record and qualified her for the New England Intercollegiate Amateur Athletic Association (NEICAAA) Championships. Sophomore Jalisa Allen (Foxborough, Mass.) registered a new personal best after turning in a toss of 9.92 meters (32 feet, 6.5 inches) to slot in at No. 7 overall, and senior Ashlee Carper (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) checked in just behind her in ninth with a 9.70-meter (31 feet, 10 inches) showing. Freshman Sydney Orsorio (Milford, N.H.) rounded out the list of Southern New Hampshire student-athletes at No. 12 after a 9.55-meter (31 feet, 4 inches) performance.

In the weight throw, Elder smashed her previous personal record after whirling the weight 14.48 meters (47 feet, 6.25 inches). It was nearly a full meter past the second-place finisher, and topped her previous PR by 1.08 meters (3 feet, 6 inches). Elder was the lone competitor to top 14 meters Saturday, and each of her throws would have been tops in the field.

Murphy used a personal best in the 60-meter hurdles to finish atop the leaderboard. She clocked an official time of 9.34 second to cross the line .07 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher and .11 seconds better than her prior PR. Sophomore Natalie Gallagher (Windham, N.H.) was second for Southern New Hampshire in the 60 hurdles after placing eighth in 10.35 second.

In the triple jump, Murphy propelled herself 11.14 meters (36 feet, 6.75 inches) to edge SNHU assistant coach Roshani Glover, who competed unattached, by .08 meters (3.25 inches). Murphy breezed past the collegiate competitors in the event, as the next closest distance was measured at 10.53 meters (34 feet, 6.75 inches).

The Southern New Hampshire relay teams each placed in the top-five Saturday, with the 4×200-meter contingent finishing third and the 4×400-meter group coming in at No. 4. Murphy, Carper, Gallagher and sophomore Megan Eugene (Everett, Mass.) completed the 200-meter relay in 1:51.94, while freshman Megan Decker (Durham, Conn.) replaced Carper in the 400-meter race and joined the remaining three in compiling a time of 4:33.04.

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