Fletcher's Kayley Delay Destined To Be Yale Bulldog

Fun fact. If you rearrange the letters in Fletcher senior Kayley Delay's name it spells "Yale Yale KD." Maybe she was born to attend the Ivy League University, and third oldest institution of higher education in the United States. Delay, arguably the top female distance recruit in the state of Florida with personal bests of 4:57.93 (1,600m), 10:30.30 (3,200m), and 17:37.40 (5k XC). She was the 4A 3,200m state champion , 1,600m runner up, and Cross Country Finals runner-up in 2016.

Delay picked the Bulldogs over Columbia, FSU, and UF. We talked to her about the recruiting process, her decision, and what's next for this XC season and looking forward to outdoor in the spring.

What was the recruiting process like for you?

The recruiting process was long, repetitive, and draining, but also incredibly exciting! I always told myself I would run in college, like my parents did, but it wasn't until I started getting emails and phone calls in July, did I realize it was going to come true! I have never had a "dream school" or any strong negative/positive opinions about any universities, which allowed me to have an open mind coming into my senior year. The recruiting process was also a period of growth for me. I have been insanely busy trying to juggle my heavy course load this year, along with the eight clubs and the city council board I'm in (not to mention running), so having to also keep track with emails, phone calls, and visits was slightly overwhelming. From such, though, I have developed (what I'd call) decent time management skills and can have an easier time conversing with adults. After constantly talking on the phone, over the past few months, I can honestly say I have no trouble calling to order pizza anymore!

Delay finished 2nd at the 2016 4A Cross Country Finals marking her third top five finish in the last three years.

Where all did you visit consider?

I visited Yale, Columbia, Florida State University, and University of Florida (in that order). I was hoping I would be able to eliminate schools as I went through my visits, and there would be a clear favorite, but I can honestly say it wasn't like that. My Yale visit was my first official, (and also super cool in that it was my first ever plane ride!!!) so it set the bar very high. Yet I still loved my other three visits, and realized that they were all fantastic universities with their own pluses and minuses. In the end, my decision came down to Yale and FSU and, although it was tough (since they are two completely different worlds), I finally realized I couldn't pass up the amazing opportunity to get an Ivy League education. I have extremely high goals for my future running career and will work hard to continue improving, but I haven't forgotten the true purpose of going to college. I am excited to be part of an incredible team, comprised of girls who are just as focused on their athletics as their academics. 

Kayley Delay clocks one of her fastest 1,600m times of her career, 5:02.14 to win the 4A Region 1 Championship in 2015.

Talk about the difference in recruiting and admissions for the Ivy League schools.

When talking about recruiting and the admissions process, Ivy Leagues are very different from state schools. Ivy Leagues are not allowed to give athletic scholarships, but they can provide fantastic financial aid to students. The application process is similar to that of any non-athlete student, with the perk that the coach may support your application with a letter and you also find out much sooner if admission approves your application!

Ultimately you decided on Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. What were the major factors that made you pick the Bulldogs?

Yale's campus is insane. It is so so so pretty and (yes I have to say it) just like Hogwarts! When I was on my official, I got a full tour of the beautiful campus and athletic facilities, and also got to attend some classes with the girls on the xc team. I was in awe by the genuine emphasis on learning at Yale, rather than just getting by and passing courses. I also had the most wonderful time getting to meet some of the girls on the team and Coach Amy Gosztyla! Coach Amy is absolutely amazing and I can't express how excited I am to get to run for her next year! The women's team qualified for nationals this past weekend and I am thrilled next year to join such a successful and fast team!

You were the runner-up in the 1,600 for track and state champion in the 3,200 last spring, but you still have more cross country races ahead of you this fall correct?

My cross country season isn't quite over yet! I will be running in the  FACA Senior All-Star meet this weekend and then will be up in Charlotte next week for Foot Locker South. Give it a few weeks after cross country ends and I will pick back up for track.

Who would you like to thank for getting you to this point in your journey?

Above all I would like to thank my brother Lawton, my parents, and Coach Holloway for always supporting me and helping me get to where I am now. I am beyond blessed to have the most wonderful friends and family, and am endlessly thankful for them all!

By The Numbers (Personal Bests)

  • 800m - 2:18.10
  • 1500m - 4:55.06
  • 1600m - 4:57.93
  • 3200m - 10:30.30
  • 5K (xc) - 17:37.40

The Low Down (Get To Know Kayley Outside The Sport)

What is your favorite place to run?

I enjoy the occasional run on the beach and running at the Ft. Caroline trails.

What are your hobbies?

I have fun making arts & crafts and enjoy journaling! Even though I cannot exactly do it at home, I am also a pottery student!

Other than running what do you love to do?

I love camping, going to concerts, climbing trees, and flying kites (like a little kid) 

Favorite food:

Coffee, cookies, & ice cream (specifically coffee ice cream) 

Favorite place to eat:

Panda Express 

Favorite movie:

Goodwill Hunting. I also love the movie Moonrise Kingdom.

Favorite music artist:

Vampire Weekend, Bombay Bicycle Club, RKS, Glass Animals (& so much more I love music) 

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