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Tonyai, Hughes win state titles

Conant senior Katie Tonyai and ConVal senior Tom Hughes entered Sunday’s Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships ranked first in their events.

And in their final shots at winning a state title, both left the Leverone Field House at Dartmouth College in the same position.

Tonyai, who finished third in the shortest sprinting event last year, had the same result in the preliminary round of the 55-meter dash on Sunday. But that easily put her in the eight-person finals and that is where Tonyai shined — like she had all season.

In five appearances in the 55 meter finals during the regular season, Tonyai won each one and Sunday’s performance made it a perfect six-for-six. Tonyai’s time of 7.39 seconds was good enough to win the event by .03 seconds over Coe-Brown sophomore Jelesa Nelson. It was not her best time of the season, which was 7.00 seconds on Dec. 15, but it was the best one on Sunday.

In his only trip to Dartmouth College this year, Hughes set a new ConVal record with a throw of 47 feet, 2.5 inches on Dec. 29. That performance put Hughes, who finished fifth in D-II last year, at the top of the Division II depth chart in the event.

And while a repeat throw would have earned him his first indoor track championship by over a foot, the senior left nothing to chance. Hughes broke his existing ConVal record by over 10 inches with a throw of 48 feet, .75 inches to add an indoor title to his outdoor win last spring in the discus.

But Hughes had some familiar company at the top of the final results. ConVal junior Coty Cadorett threw for a personal best 45 feet, 11.25 inches to capture second place in the event. Cadorett entered Sunday ranked second in the field and like his older teammate, he stayed true to his seeding.

Both Hughes and Cadorett will make the trip to the New England Championships at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Boston on March 2. The top six from each event between Division I and II qualify. Hughes is third overall and Cadorett is fourth.

Tonyai will also make the trip for New Englands. She is ranked second in the 55 meters and fourth in the 300 following her second place performance on Sunday in 41.86 seconds, almost a full second ahead of her previous best this season. She was .06 seconds behind Goffstown junior Michele Tremblay. Last year at New Englands, Tonyai was 17th in the 300 and 23rd in the 55.

Mascenic senior Elizabeth McGurk set a personal best by over six seconds with her time of 11:22.50 in the 3,000 meters. McGurk finished in seventh overall, one spot better than last year.

ConVal junior Corey Barrett placed eighth in the 300 meters in 38.83, improving upon his ninth-place ranking entering the meet.

ConVal junior Haley Zanga had the sixth best time in the 55-meter hurdles prior to Sunday, but was 0.38 seconds off her best time of the season and finished ninth overall in the preliminary heat of the event.

ConVal junior Megan Hardwick qualified in the second to last meet of the season and was ranked 14th going into Sunday in the girls shot put. But Hardwick finished with a throw of 28 feet, 10 inches, which was good enough for 11th in the event.

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