AURORA | City teams and athletes won a combined four team championships and 12 individual events in the final weeks of the 2016 spring prep sports season. Here’s a look at one of Aurora’s individual state event winners in Grandview junior Brie Oakley, the Class 5A girls state champion in both the 3,200 and 1,600 meter runs:
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or email@example.com. Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
GRANDVIEW’S BRIE OAKLEY: 5A GIRLS 3,200 AND 1,600 METER STATE CHAMPION
Just as she’d done in her first Class 5A state cross country meet in the fall — in which she finished second — Grandview junior Brie Oakley caused a stir in her first 5A state track meet May 19-21 at Jefferson County Stadium by winning two state championships. The distance phenom, who completely gave up her longtime career in soccer to run for the first time this season, set the tone for a momentous state meet with her performance in the first championship race. Oakley came in as the top seed in the 3,200 meters by more than 30 seconds and she believed she could set a record given that she ran a time of 10 minutes, 27.38 seconds two weeks before state and and she simply pulled away from the field with her supreme fitness and methodical style. Aided by a push every time she came around the track from a crowd eager to see a state record established in the event, Oakley crossed the finish line in a time of 10:33.14 seconds to set a 5A state meet record as she bettered the mark of 10:34.09 of Boulder’s Melody Fairchild that had remained for the past 26 years. On May 20, Oakley had a much-closer race in the 1,600 that she expected and she came away as the state champion, though she was interfered with by Horizon’s Megan Mooney on the third lap. Mooney got right up on Oakley’s back and the proximity caused Oakley to fall to the ground, though she got up and nearly chased down Mooney near the finish line. Mooney was disqualified and Oakley’s 4:58.47 gave her the victory. Neither of her state performances were her best in terms of time, as she ran a 4:57.91 in the 1,600 at the Eagle 8-Team Invite on April 1 and the 10:27.38 at the Cherry Creek/Grandview Invitational on May 7, with both times ranking only behind superstar Katie Rainsberger of 4A Air Academy among Colorado girls distance runners in 2016. Oakley also teamed with senior Kayla Vallin, junior Caroline Robbins and freshman Kaitlyn Mercer on a fifth-place finish for the Wolves in the 5A girls 4×800 meter relay and helped coach John Reyes’ Grandview team finish sixth in the 5A team standings, second best among Aurora teams behind Cherokee Trail.