Cross Country: Grandview’s Brie Oakley picked Gatorade’s Colorado Runner of Year for 2016 season

Grandview High School's Brie Oakley on Thursday June 23, 2016 at Stutler Bowl. Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel
Grandview senior Brie Oakley became the first girls cross country runner from an Aurora program to win the Gatorade Colorado Cross Country Runner of the Year award. She is the 29th athlete from a city school across 10 sports to be recognized by Gatorade since it began to give out awards in 1985. (Photo by Gabriel Christus/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | Grandview senior Brie Oakley captured national attention with her performance during the 2016 cross country season and she gained another honor Monday with her selection as Gatorade’s Colorado Cross Country Runner of the Year on the girls side.

In just her second season of competitive cross country, the former soccer player won every race she ran in Colorado — defeating three-time Class 5A state champion Lauren Gregory of Fort Collins on multiple occasions — claimed her first 5A state crown and followed it up by winning the Nike Cross National race in December to become only the second national champion from Aurora.

Oakley, a University of California-Berkeley signee, finished the season atop Saucony Flo50’s national rankings.

“I’ve had very competitive, talented runners before in our program, but Brie is simply at a different level,” Grandview coach Allyson Robbins said in a press release. “She has the whole package. She is a physical phenomenon, her mental strength is unparalleled and her discipline pertaining to the details of becoming a champion are constant and unwavering.”

Gatorade established its state awards in 1985 to recognize the best student-athletes in the nation. A national winner is also selected in each sport and Oakley is now eligible for that when it is announced in late January or early February. Air Academy High School graduate Katie Rainsberger won the national award last year.

Oakley also has a 4.60 weighted grade point average and has volunteered on behalf of the Aurora Public Library.

She is the sixth different individual to win the Colorado girls cross country award from Gatorade since its inception in 2007. As the state’s Gatorade selection, Oakley will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program.

In addition, Oakley is the first cross country runner from an Aurora program (boy or girl) to win Gatorade’s state honor and she joins Lauren VanOrden (volleyball, 2008), Beth West (girls soccer, 2008), Greg Bird (baseball, 2011) and Michaela Onyenwere (girls basketball 2015 & 2016) as Grandview’s all-time Gatorade state winners since the school opened in 1997.

In all, she becomes the 29th athlete from an Aurora school to win a Gatorade state honor. Full list of Aurora’s Gatorade Players of the Year across 10 sports, here.