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Just a freshman, Polson's Morgan Delaney chasing 3,200-meter hardware in Class A

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Posted at 8:12 PM, May 16, 2024

POLSON — Morgan Delaney has been running ever since she could walk, now the Polson Pirate is in contention to be a state champion in Class A for the 3,200-meter race as a freshman.

"Now that it's in season I just don't think we get enough mileage at practice," said Delaney. "So I’ll wake up and do four miles with my dad or with my dogs and it's just fun, and I enjoy it so it gets me up in the morning."

But more than those early morning runs, Delaney finds joy in the friends she makes on the track.

"I like it a lot because we all know each other, we’re all friends — or right until the gun goes off — we're all buddy buddy," said Delaney with a laugh. "Once the gun goes off there might be some pushing and shoving in there, but they're all super nice and we're all super good friends out of it, like we'll go to the lake after the meets and stuff and go get ice cream and it's really fun."

For Delaney, running runs in the family, as her dad Jason has been a runner most of his life, and even won the Missoula Marathon in 2013, Now he gets to watch his daughter fall in love with the sport he loves most.

"I'm very blessed that I get to kind of enjoy this journey with her, or get to watch this journey and she's got a passion for the same sport that I have passion for," said Jason Delaney.

"And just to watch her grow, and maybe the thing I'm luckiest with, or I feel the most blessed with, is just getting up for those 6 a.m. four mile runs that we do, you know that's just the highlight of my day in a way."

As for his daughter, she couldn’t be happier having dad to look up to and run alongside.

"I really like running with my dad, he's really experienced so he knows what to do and I always go to him and coach Matt (Seeley) for any questions that I might have because they both know a lot and they're really helpful," said the younger Delaney.

"And I like running with my dad and he just keeps it interesting, keeps it fun, and he helps motivate me to be more like him."

With a season-best time of 11:23:21 for the 3,200 meters, Delaney is only one second off the fastest mark in Class A. Despite the impressive freshman year so far, Seeley, who also helped train her dad during his senior year at Polson High School, knows that the best is yet to come.

"Hopefully this can be a building block. I tried to tell Morgan that she has several years in high school, and she doesn't have to achieve everything the first year and she's achieved a lot already," said Seeley.

"So this is kind of icing on the cake and it's a chance to give it one more go, and then you know she's still got three more years to go even higher than that, so that's a cool thing to anticipate."

Delaney will look to end her freshman season strong at the Class A state track and field meet in Laurel May 24-25.