Oakley

Oakley

Brie Oakley runs away with Colorado 5A cross country title

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COLORADO SPRINGS For almost two miles Lauren Gregory fought hard to make it a race worthy of two of America top high school runners. The three time 5A champion from Fort Collins was laboring to stay with Brie Oakley, the Grandview star who is ranked No. 1 nationally, even throwing in a surge or two.

Then, suddenly, Gregory was down,oakley her hopes of accomplishing a four peat dashed at Saturday state cross country championships. And Oakley, who heard Gregory fall behind her, was off to win easily in 17 minutes, 8 seconds.

Related ArticlesOctober 30, 2016

heard her drop out and I was like, my God, I just need to keep going,’ Oakley said. was definitely tired because I should have held back the first mile. I tried to keep telling myself to keep going. I really started to surge with a half mile or less to go, to come into the stadium and really kick it in. year ago Oakley finished runner up to Gregory by 1.6 seconds, and now both seniors are committed to Division I schools, Oakley to California and Gregory to Arkansas. It not unusual for Colorado to have top national runners, but to have two in the same race made this one special.

When Gregory went down, though, it was over. She resumed running but there was no way she could catch Oakley. She finished second in 18:33 more than a minute off her recent times.

Andy Cross, The Denver Post

Second place finisher Lauren Gregory of Fort Collins, right, hugs first place finisher Brie Oakley after finishing the girls 5A Colorado cross country championship race at the Norris Penrose Events Center on Oct. 29, 2016.

took it to me, Gregory said. was running, next thing I knew I wasn running anymore, laying on the ground. She just so fast. I tried to hang. We were going so hard. I got really wobbly legged and went down. is only Oakley second year as a competitive runner, but after she nearly beat Gregory last year and then won two titles at the state track meet last spring, she came here as the favorite.

really respect each other, Oakley said. definitely my biggest inspiration, she such a competitor. I remember hearing about her last year and I was like, I really want to be like her some day. I just glad we can compete hard against each other but still be classy and stuff off the race course. favorite status brought pressure, too.

been rooting for me my parents, my team and they all like, you can definitely beat her,’ Oakley said. like, don want to be cocky, I just want to get to the race, finally, and not hear everyone talking about it. It was exciting to tune everything out and just race. coach Allyson Robbins said it has been incredible honor to coach Oakley as she developed from first time runner to garnering national attention over the past 13 months. Oakley was a soccer player before starting cross country last year.

think she will not be satisfied unless she at the (Olympic) trials,oakley possibly in Tokyo (for the 2020 Olympics), Robbins said. been a great teammate to all the other kids. Brie a wonderful person, too, and I have so much admiration for Lauren Gregory. She is a class act. They two runners we will be watching for years.