Seven track athletes going to states

Over the last two months, track and field athletes all over the state have been working feverishly to reach the standards set for this Sunday’s state meets.

And with 42 schools making up Division II, it is no simple feat to qualify. But for seven local runners and throwers, the qualifying times were not too much to overcome. Some reached the standards in the first meet of the season, while others continued to build toward earning a spot on the track at Leverone Field House at Dartmouth College on Sunday.

ConVal will have the most local competitors at Sunday’s Division II championships with five, while Conant and Mascenic will have just a single runner each. Of the seven, five will be making a return trip to the state meet, while two others will get their first taste of it all.

Conant senior Katie Tonyai headlines the group of D-II sprinters. She is ranked first in the 55-meter dash with a time of 7.00 seconds and second in the 300 meters, 42.60 seconds. In five finals of the 55-meter dash this season, Tonyai won each won and finished first in the preliminary round three times. She was second the other two races.

Tonyai will be competing for the third straight year in both events. Last year she was second in the 300 and third in the 55, reaching the New England Championships in both.

ConVal senior Tom Hughes is making his second trip to the Division II meet after qualifying last year in the shot put. Hughes is ranked No. 1 overall for all D-II throwers in the event after posting a school-record throw of 47 feet, 2.5 inches at Dartmouth College on Dec. 29. Hughes was fifth last year.

But Hughes will not be the only ConVal thrower to compete this weekend. Junior Coty Cadorett will also be vying for the D-II title, as he enters the weekend seeded second in the event. Cadorett, who also qualified last year and finished ninth, threw for career best 45 feet, two inches on Jan. 13 at UNH. Junior Megan Hardwick will compete in the girls shot put after qualifying with a throw of 29 feet, 4.75 inches in the second to last meet.

ConVal junior Haley Zanga enters the weekend in a tie for the sixth seed in the 55-meter hurdles. Zanga, who is making her second trip to the D-II meet after placing 14th last February, posted her season best time of 9.30 seconds on Dec. 22.

Mascenic senior Elizabeth McGurk will be competing at the D-II meet for the third straight year and second in the 3,000 meters. McGurk is ranked 10th going into Sunday with a time of 11:28.60. She was eighth last year and also ran in the 1,500 meters.

ConVal junior Corey Barrett will be the only pure runner for the Cougars this weekend, as he will compete in the 300 meters. Barrett’s best time of the season of 38.40 puts him in a tie for ninth among all qualifiers.

The top six competitors from Division I and II combined will qualify for the New England Championships on March 2 at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.

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