MISSOULA – Since he was crowned a state champion his sophomore season, Sentinel long-distance runner Marshall Beatty has been trying to figure how to repeat.

Beatty fell short in the 3200 meter race last season to a record-setting Jake Perrin, but Beatty seems to be on a track of his own as a senior. He hasn’t lost any of his 10 races this season. But with more than a month until the state track meet, Beatty’s focus is already set on reclaiming his throne.

“It’s beyond motivation,” Beatty said. “I mean, having reached the top and then get knocked all the way down to the bottom, all it does is makes you hungry to get it back again. And I’ve been grinding super hard, and I know I’m going to come out on top.”

“Last year was… It left a sour taste in his mouth,” added Spartans head coach Diego Hammett. “And I don’t think it worked out to what he wanted, and I think it just gave him more desire and drive to work as hard as he has this year, and to be where he’s at.”

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While Beatty’s focus is presently set on winning another state title, his future will be focused on serving his country. Following his senior season, the Spartan athlete will compete for Westpoint Military Academy.

“I am a firm believer that America is number one and we will always be number one, because we’re defenders of what’s right, and that’s freedom,” Beatty said. “And I’m proud to be part of that bigger cause, that bigger idea that there’s freedom for all, everyone deserves equal opportunity in this life.”

“That’s a big commitment, to go run for the Academy, Westpoint to serve our country,” his coach added. “And I have all the respect for him for doing that. And with things going on in the world right now, how can you be focused? But Marshall is doing a great job at doing that.”