Track & Field

Tonyai, Fafard earn runner-up at state meet

Five of the local athletes competing at Meet of Champions qualified for Saturday’s New Englands

Making it to Meet of Champions is an accomplishment that only nine local athletes can put on their resume this season.

And now five will be able to add a trip to the New Englands Championships as well.

Conant senior Katie Tonyai advanced to the regional meet for the third straight year, while the other four will be making their first appearances. Tonyai qualified in the 100 and 200 meters, while Mascenic sophomore Tim Fafard is the only other runner to move on, doing so in the 3,200 meters.

ConVal throwers, senior Tom Hughes and junior Coty Cadorette, made it in the discus and shot put, respectively. Wilton-Lyndeborough sophomore Jordan Litts advanced in the high jump. Only the top six in each event qualify for New Englands.

Tonyai won titles in the 100 and 200 at the Division III Championships on May 25, marking the second straight year she swept the events at the D-III level. And on Saturday at Londonderry High School, Tonyai added another chapter to her career.

She finished second overall in the 100-meter finals after placing fifth in the preliminary heat. Tonyai posted a time of 12.37 seconds in the finals. In the 200, Tonyai was third in 25.30 seconds, as both times were faster than her winning performances at the D-III meet. She was also the top sprinter from her division in both races.

Fafard was also coming off a win in the 3,200 at the Division III Championships. He ranked second in the state entering Saturday’s meet and was able to stay true to his seeding with a runner-up finish. Fafard’s time of 9:39.25 was just 0.26 seconds off his pace at the Division III meet and improved his state standing by seven spots over his freshman season.

Cadorette was coming off a second place finish in the shot put at the Division II meet and looking for his first trip to New Englands in outdoor track. Cadorette threw for 46 feet, 1.5 inches on Saturday to set a new personal best to take fourth overall. He was the top finisher from D-II and only trailed a trio of Division I seniors.

Hughes had his sights set on qualifying for both the shot put and discus, but only made it to Meet of Champions in the discus after placing second in Division II. But Hughes will have one more week of his high school career after placing fifth in the state. Hughes threw for 128 feet, nine inches to once again finish second among D-II competitors. ConVal senior Nawyn Meas also qualified in the discus, but did not compete.

Litts entered the Division III meet ranked ninth in the high jump, but surprised the field by leaping a season-best six feet to win the D-III crown. On Saturday, Litts once again stepped up against the better competition to finish fifth with a new personal best of six feet, one inch.

Conant junior Eli Hodgson finished one spot out of qualifying for New Englands, placing seventh in the javelin. Hodgson was ranked 16th entering the weekend, but threw for a career-best 154 feet, three inches and was second from D-III. At the D-III meet, Hodgson took third after throwing for 142 feet.

Mascenic senior Elizabeth McGurk won her first Division III title in the 3,200 meters on May 25. But on Saturday, McGurk was 25 seconds off her winning pace from the previous week and finished 12th overall in 12:15.15.

ConVal junior Megan Hardwick placed 15th in the girls discus with a throw of 83 feet and two inches, which was more than 10 feet behind her qualifying distance from the D-II meet.

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