LAUREL — The Morley family has left its mark on the running history books in Montana. Bryn, the youngest sibling, put the bow on the family’s decorated career this past weekend at the State B track and field meet in Laurel.
Makena, the oldest of the Morley siblings, paved the way for her brother Logan and sister Bryn to continue the Morleys’ success on the track. During her career, Makena racked up eight gold medals at State B track meets. Makena won three titles as a freshman, in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs. Her sophomore year, Townsend’s Chiara Warner pushed Makena to runner-up with her record times. With Warner gone, Makena again won three titles in 2014.
And then Bryn burst onto the scene in a big way in 2015.
As a freshman phenom, Bryn won the 800 and 1,600, defeating Makena, and finished runner-up to Makena in the 3,200. Bryn also set the all-class record in the 1,600, but it lasted just one race as Billings Senior’s Christina Aragon broke Bryn’s record moments later.
That wasn’t the only record Bryn would have a hand in breaking as a freshman. The Bigfork 1,600-meter relay team, consisting of Mattison McAnnaly, Makena Morley, and freshmen Haile Norred and Bryn Morley, broke the Class B record in the event, a record that still stands.
“I definitely think it’s cool that a lot of people have looked up to my family, especially my sister,” Bryn said. “I’ve been able to look up to her, as well. I think having our names on records and stuff, that’s just always cool to come back and look at, have other people chasing after our records.”
Makena moved on to run for the University of Colorado, while Logan and Bryn took aim at the record books. Logan won four individual state titles in his time at Bigfork — three in the 1,600 and one in the 800. At the conclusion of his Vikings career Logan moved on to Colorado State-Pueblo to continue running.
The stage to shine was then all Bryn’s, but injuries nagged her over the course of her sophomore and junior years. A stress fracture in Bryn’s tibia kept her out of postseason contention her sophomore year and, although she won three individual events and a team event at the State B track meet her junior season, kept her from being at full strength until this season.
Finally recovered, Bryn made the most out of her senior season. She ran at prestigious meets early in the season, such as the 78th Nike Rotary Elite meet in Chandler, Ariz., in training to break her own records. It all came full circle when Bryn won the 800, 1,600, and 3,200 at the State B track meet last weekend, running away from the pack and by herself for the majority of the races.
Bryn also added an 11th and final gold medal in the 1,600-meter relay. Although the Valkyries dominated the relay race, they came up just short of the Class B record set in 2015. Norred, a multiple-event state champion herself, was a member of both relay teams and has had the opportunity to see Bryn’s training on a firsthand basis.
“Bryn is an amazing runner. She deserves everything she gets, all the bragging — she doesn’t brag about herself enough, honestly,” Norred said. “She trains constantly. She deserves every win. She’s running against herself throughout this, too, lapping people. It’s all just confidence for her, just go, go, go. She’s just unbelievable.”
Between Makena, Logan and Bryn, the Morley family has an astounding 33 State B track medals — 23 being gold. Bryn holds the Class B record in the 1,600 and joined sister Makena as a member of Bigfork’s record-breaking relay team in 2015. Bryn won the state cross country meet the last three years of her high school career, while Makena won four consecutive.
While their legacy in the state of Montana is set, the Morleys still have more races to run. Bryn will be joining her siblings at the collegiate level next fall when she joins the program at Northern Arizona. If their collegiate careers are anything like their high school careers, the Morleys will be a household name in more than just Montana.