Hard work paid off for Cydney Delley last month at the GHSA Class AAAAAA track and field championships.
After failing to reach the medal stand previously in her prep career, the Evans standout won the 400 finals and added a third-place finish in the 200. Delley is The Augusta Chronicle’s All-Area Track and Field Girls Athlete of the Year..
“I had been working really hard for it,” she said about claiming the state championship. “To actually do it, the feeling is indescribable. It’s a dream come true.”
Delley posted a pair of sixth-place showings in the 400 – her main event –the previous two years at the state meet. She also finished sixth in the 200 in 2016.
“I was all sixth places until this year,” Delley said, laughing.
She entered the state championship with a game plan. Knowing the top two finishers of the two heats in the 400 preliminaries – along with the next four fastest runners – would advance, Delley said she only planned to finish in the top two in her heat. Instead, she won her heat with a time of 56.94 – the second-fastest time in the preliminaries behind Shatara Johnson of Drew (55.93).
“I tried to run it smart,” she said, stating she wasn’t exhausted afterward. “If you ran it super hard on Friday and gave it everything you had, your body’s tired, your legs are tired. On Saturday in the finals, you couldn’t perform as well as you wanted to.”
In the 200 preliminaries, she decided to give it her all. She ran a personal-best 24.43 seconds, finishing fourth.
In the finals, she competed first in the 400. Delley recorded her fastest time in the event, winning gold with a time of 54.96. She defeated Johnson (56.13) by more than a second.
Later in the day, Delley clocked a time of 24.91 in the 200 to take bronze. She finished just behind champion Hope Glenn of Pope (24.76).
Delley is now taking her track prowess with her to the state of North Carolina. In the fall, she almost signed to run track elsewhere. Something, she said, didn’t feel right about attending Eastern Michigan. She didn’t sign the offer, Instead, she kept contacting other schools and eventually had a long conversation with the Wake Forest coach. After a campus visit in December, she was sold. She signed with the school in May.
“I wanted to see what Wake Forest was like,” she said. “When I stepped on campus I said this was home. The campus is beautiful. The track program is growing. I’m happy I’m going to be a part of a program where I’m going to be a key player, a key runner.”
Delley plans to major in biology with the hopes of becoming a neonatologist or neonatal surgeon. She said studying to become a doctor at the North Carolina school only makes her situation more perfect.
“Education is a big deal to me,” she said. “I’m excited.”