AURORA | City teams and athletes won one team state championship and 11 individual titles during the final weeks of the 2017 spring prep sports season. Here’s an in-depth look at Grandview senior Brie Oakley, the Class 5A girls state champion in the 3,200 meters:
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
GRANDVIEW’S BRIE OAKLEY: 5A GIRLS 3,200 METER STATE CHAMPION
In the same way that she kicked off the 2016 Class 5A state track meet, Grandview senior Brie Oakley put on a record-setting performance in the 3,200 meter run May 20 at Jefferson County Stadium. When the original three-day meet got condensed down to two, the schedule was shuffled and the opening event of 5A competition became the opening battle of a lengthy war between the University of California-Berkeley recruit and Fort Collins’ Lauren Gregory. Oakley got the better of Gregory the last time the two raced in a state championship format — the 5A state cross country meet at the Norris Penrose Equestrian Center in Colorado Springs — and she would win the first of the three toe-to-toe meetings in fine fashion. Oakley made sure she got prime position right off the starting line in the 3,200 and once she got there, she never gave it up. Gregory found a comfortable spot on Oakley’s hip for the first 7 3/4 trips around the track, but Oakley — thriving in a race she feels most comfortable running — pounced on her chance to take control coming around the final curve.
As she pulled away, Oakley left Gregory unable to close and she crossed the finish line in a group of runners who were just starting their last lap, then gave her elated mom, Angie, a big hug as she stood along the railing next to the track. Oakley’s time of 10 minutes, 9.26 seconds, shattered her own 5A state meet record of 10:33.16 from the previous season as well as the Colorado prep record of 10:17.48 set in 2014 by Niwot’s Elise Cranny. Oakley’s season-best time in the 3,200 meters, however, came at sea level in April in California at the Arcadia Invitational when she ran a 9:57.59 to finish a fraction of a second behind Claudia Lane of Malibu, California.
Oakley posted the first of five event championships for Grandview, which had 70 points by the end of the first day, a total that also included the fourth-place result of the 4×800 meter relay team, which included Oakley, Emily Schlichting, Caroline Robbins and Kaitlyn Mercer. A similar race unfolded on May 21 in the 1,600 meters, but Gregory had enough to overtake Oakley with the finish line in sight, while Gregory also won the 800 meters with Oakley coming in sixth. In the end, Oakley’s Grandview team finished with 120 points — the most scored by a girls team at the 5A state meet since George Washington’s 124 in 2000 — and forced Gregory’s Lambkins (the 2016 state champions) to settle for second.
MORE WE ARE THE (AURORA) CHAMPIONS
We are the (Aurora) champions: Grandview girls track team (5A state track)
We are the (Aurora) champions: Cherokee Trail’s Sydnee Larkin (5A girls triple jump)
We are the (Aurora) champions: Hinkley’s Darrien Wells (5A boys 400 meters)
We are the (Aurora) champions: Grandview’s Kylee Harr (5A girls high jump)
We are the (Aurora) champions: Hinkley’s Angel Heredia (5A boys 300 meter hurdles)
We are the (Aurora) champions: Cherokee Trail’s Jaiden Paris, Taylor Watson, Chian DeLoach, Sydnee Larkin (5A girls 4×100 meter relay)
We are the (Aurora) champions: Grandview’s Kennede Brown, Kameryn Brown, Lily Williams and Michaela Onyenwere (5A girls 4×200 meter relay)
We are the (Aurora) champions: Hinkley’s Casey Sharpe, Oscar Sarabia, Angel Heredia and Darrien Wells (5A boys 4×200 meter relay)
We are the (Aurora) champions: Grandview’s Kylee Harr, Jordyn Moore, Kameryn Brown and Lily Williams (5A girls 800 meter sprint medley relay)
We are the (Aurora) champions: Grandview’s Lily Williams, Kaitlyn Mercer, Kennede Brown and Michaela Onyenwere (5A girls 4×400 meter relay)
We are the (Aurora) champions: Grandview’s Amy Chitkoksoong (5A girls golf)