AURORA | City teams and athletes won one team state championship and 11 individual titles during the 2017 spring prep sports season. Here’s an in-depth look at the Grandview girls track team, the Class 5A state champion:
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel
GRANDVIEW: 2017 CLASS 5A GIRLS TRACK STATE CHAMPION
The average winning score for a Class 5A girls state track champion over the past 10 years is roughly 84 points, which makes what Grandview accomplished at the 2017 5A state meet all that more impressive. In a meet that was cut down from three days to two because of weather at Jefferson County Stadium, the Wolves had a whopping 70 points by the end of the first day — 17 more than they scored all of last season in the entire state meet — and had reached 83 points after just one event on the second day (with 10 of 19 events scored). Coach John Reyes’ team kept its foot on the gas the rest of the way and finished with points in 14 events on its way to 120 total, which marked the first time any team had scored more than 100 points at the 5A state meet since Montbello tallied 101 in 2005 and the most points for any team at the 5A state meet since George Washington scored 124 in 2000. The first girls state track championship in program history for Grandview was bookended by an opening victory by senior distance star Brie Oakley in the first event of the meet, the 3,200 meters, with the 4×400 meter relay victory of seniors Michaela Onyenwere and Kennede Brown, sophomore Kaitlyn Mercer and freshman Lily Williams in the final event.
Reyes knew his Wolves had a strong base of potential big point scorers coming into the season in Oakley — the Gatorade National Cross Country Runner of the Year in the fall — and Onyenwere, a sprint star who had finished in the top four of the 100 and 200 meters in each of the past two seasons. Add in junior transfer Leilah Vigil, who finished second in the shot put last season while at Highlands Ranch, and the Wolves had what appeared to be significant firepower. But a roster full of multi-sport standouts from Grandview’s outstanding girls athletic program — including five members of Grandview’s 5A state championship-winning girls basketball team in Onyenwere, Vigil, Kennede and Kameryn Brown and Alisha Davis — performed at a level even Reyes couldn’t have anticipated.
Oakley contributed points as expected with three top-six individual performances and a leg on the fourth-place 4×800 meter relay with Mercer, Caroline Robbins and Emily Schlichting and the University of Cal-Berkeley signee set a prep record in winning the 3,200 meter run. Onyenwere finished second in the 100 meters, third in the 200 and ran legs on the championship-winning 4×400 and 4×200 relay with the Brown sisters and Williams.
Junior Kylie Harr’s state title in the high jump certainly wasn’t expected and she added a fifth in the long jump and also ran a leg on the championship-winning 800 sprint medley relay, in which she teamed with senior Jordyn Moore and freshmen Kameryn Brown and Williams, the state runner-up to Denver East speedster Arria Minor in the 400 meters. Kennede Brown (300 hurdles), Davis (high jump) and Vigil (shot put) added fourth place individual finishes and the Wolves posted four top-four finishes in the relay events to leave defending state champion and runner-up Fort Collins (83 points) well in their wake. The Wolves managed to douse Reyes with sports drink in celebration once victory had been assured.
Grandview is the fifth Aurora school with a girls track championship as it joins Aurora Central (5, most recent 1989), Cherokee Trail (2015), Overland (1994) and Rangeview (1992). Internally, the track team became the seventh female athletic program from Grandview to win a state championship, joining spirit (11), volleyball (5), girls soccer (3), softball, girls basketball and girls golf.
MORE WE ARE THE (AURORA) CHAMPIONS
We are the (Aurora) champions: Grandview’s Brie Oakley (5A girls 3,200 meters)
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)