Women’s Track Uses Five First-Place Finishes to Slot in Third at Plymouth State Winter Open


When and Where: December 9, 2017 – Plymouth, N.H. (George E. Davis Track)
Result: Southern New Hampshire University – 3rd/8 (114.50)

Buoyed by five first-place finishes, including two by sophomore Alanna Murphy (Nashua, N.H.), the Southern New Hampshire University women's track and field team turned in a third-place showing Saturday at the Plymouth State University Winter Open. The Penmen totaled 114.50 points.

In addition to Murphy's event wins, junior Ashley Elder (Bristol, Conn.) took the shot put, sophomore Megan Eugene (Everett, Mass.) topped the 400-meter dash and the 4x400-meter relay team finished first overall.

Murphy's day featured a total of 28 individual points. In the long jump, she propelled herself a distance of 5.03 meters (16 feet, 6 inches) to finish .08 meters (3 inches) ahead of her next closest competitor to secure 10 points, and she duplicated the effort in the triple jump with an 11.15-meter (36 feet, 7 inches) performance. Murphy tacked on eight points in the 60-meter hurdles, where her time of 9.47 seconds placed second in the event. Sophomore Natalie Gallagher (Windham, N.H.) garnered six points for Southern New Hampshire in the 60-meter hurdles, as she crossed the finish line third in 10.26 seconds.

Elder tallied 18 points in the two events in which competed in. In the shot put, Elder posted a heave of 12.88 meters (42 feet, 3.25 inches) to rack up 10 points and outdistance her next closes competitor by .29 meters (11.5 inches). She capped her day with a second-place outing in the weight throw, where she whirled the weight 14.28 meters (46 feet, 10.25 inches) for eight points.

17 Penmen points came by way of Eugene, who was in the top-six of all three of her races. Eugene clocked a time of 1 minutes, 6.25 seconds in the 400-meter dash to breeze past the rest of the field and receive 10 points. Freshman Megan Decker (Durham, Conn.) checked in just behind Eugene in 1:07.02, which was third overall and good enough for six points, while Gallagher grabbed another point in 1:14.76. Eugene's fifth-place performance in the 200-meter dash in 28.96 seconds registered four points for SNHU, and she and Decker brought in another 4.5 points in the 60-meter dash. Eugene was sixth in 8.73 seconds and Decker was tied for seventh in 8.81, which accounted for three and 1.5 points, respectively.

The final event win for Southern New Hampshire came in the 4x400-meter relay. The contingent of Decker, Murphy, sophomore Madison Brand (Valhalla, N.Y.) and classmate Jill Dieterich (Commack, N.Y.) cruised the track in 4 minutes, 20.97 seconds, which topped the second-place team by nearly eight seconds.

Dieterich nabbed eight points in the 1000-meter run, as did junior Mary Claffey (Burlington, Conn.) in the pole vault. Dieterich crossed the line in 3 minutes, 18.98 seconds to finish second overall and just .23 seconds out of the top spot. Claffey cleared a height of 2.75 meters (9 feet, .25 inches) to slot in second as well. Brand and junior Ashley Dennis (Coventry, R.I.) netted the remaining 11 SNHU points, with Brand completing the 1600-meter run third in 5 minutes, 36.25 seconds for six points and Dennis the 3000-meter run fourth in 11:24.21. 

- Franklin Pierce University claimed the team title with 144 points, and the Ravens were followed by Fitchburg State University (134.5), Southern New Hampshire and the host Panthers (104).
- Head coach Lex Butler competed unattached in the men's 60-meter hurdles, and finished second in the event final with a time of 8.58 seconds.
- 11 of Southern New Hampshire's 13 athletes placed on Saturday with seven setting new personal records.

What's Next:
The Penmen are idle until January 20, 2018 when they head back to Plymouth State University for the Panther Invite.

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