LAKEWOOD — What a way to begin the final Colorado prep meet of your career, Brie Oakley.
During the opening events of the state track and field championships at Jeffco Stadium on Saturday morning, Oakley shattered the all-classification record in the 3,200 with a winning time of 10 minutes, 9.26 seconds.
The Grandview senior, a Nike national champion in cross country in December, proved every bit as capable on the track in separating just enough from Fort Collins senior Lauren Gregory (10:16.43, second-fastest in state history) to claim the 5A crown in back-to-back years. The previous Colorado record in the girls 3,200 was 10:17.48 by Niwot’s Elise Cranny in 2014.
“I feel really great,” Oakley said of the achievement. “That was also a big PR for me, about 14 seconds.”
The pair of Division I recruits — Oakley signed with the University of California and Gregory with the University of Arkansas — have combined for multiple state championships, state records and national accolades. The tandem pushed each other to historic heights.
For the first seven of eight laps Gregory tucked in behind Oakley, letting the No. 1 seed do much of the work. The smooth striding senior, a two-time state champion in the event in 2014 and 2015, seemed in perfect position to potentially overtake Oakley.
But it was Oakley who shifted into a gear Gregory couldn’t match on the final lap. Still, the race was memorable for both competitors.
“I knew she was going to be right on me,” the new state record holder said. “She’s run a 10:30 this season. I think having her right on my back really helped push me to go even faster than I thought I could.”
Oakley also ran the anchor leg of a 3,200 relay that finished fourth in 9:28.45. Fairview’s foursome of Sarah King, Hannah Freeman, Isabella Rowland, and Marlena Preigh overtook Broomfield on the final leg to win in 9:13.42. Broomfield was the runner-up in 9:20.92, while Mountain Vista finished third in 9:26.64.
Grandview girls are off to a substantial lead in the team tally after day one with 70 points, not only winning the 3,200 but also the high jump (junior Kylee Harr at 5 feet, 8 inches). Alisha Davis (5-2) also tied for fourth in high jump for Grandview and Leilah Vigil (40 feet, 9.75 inches) was fourth in shot put.
The Wolves were impressive in two other relay finals as well; claiming state championships in the 800-meter sprint medley (1:46.57) and 800-meter relay (1:41.12).
Cherokee Trail (31), Mountain Vista (29), Fort Collins (26), Loveland (21), Rock Canyon (21), and Cherry Creek (21) round out the top teams in the current standings, but Grandview has to feel positive about their chances of winning a first-ever girls state championship in track and field on Sunday.
In Class 4A, Air Academy’s Maria Mettler (10:47.25) ran away from Denver North’s Kayla Young (10:56.25) and Mountain View’s Lauren Offerman (11:08.24) to claim the 3,200.
Peak to Peak sophomore Anna Shults the 3,200 title in 3A with a winning 11:15.62. She also claimed the 1,600 crown as a freshman.
Telluride’s Soleil Gaylord (11:33.16) won the 2A 3,200 and Shining Mountain’s Emma Schaefer (12:24) claimed 1A.
There were a number of other standout performances on day one of the state meet, including Valor Christian sophomore Anna Hall winning the 4A 300 hurdles in 43.17 seconds and Paonia girls setting a new 2A state record in the 800-meter relay (1:43.95 with Sophia Anderson, Emily Pieper, Brianna Van Vleet, Lyla Hayutin-Baril).
The Peak to Peak girls 3,200 relay of Tiana Bradfield, Anna Shults, Rachael Metzler, and Quinn McConnell broke the 3A state record of 9:24.95 by The Classical Academy in 2012 with a 9:12.44.
Lutheran junior Maya Evans won the 3A 200-meter dash (24.35) and long jump (3A state meet record of 19-5.25). Eaton senior Tarynn Sieg broke her own 3A state meet record in the shot put with a mark of 45-5.50. D’Evelyn senior Sarah Cerrone broke the 3A state meet record in high jump with a mark of 5-7.50.
Denver East sophomore phenom Arria Minor put away the 5A field in the 200-meter dash with a blistering 23.57, while Niwot junior Mary Gillett was the 4A champion in 24.83. She placed second in long jump behind only teammate Alexis Carroll.
Isaac Green leads the way for Monarch
As for the top-flight boys competitors on Saturday, Monarch swept the 5A top three places in the 3,200 with Isaac Green (9:26), Charlie Perry (9:27) and Zach Litoff (9:31). Green and Litoff teamed with William Dixon and Sean Gazarick (7:50.04) to dominate the 3,200 relay as well.
Monarch and Fountain-Fort Carson (Donovan Williams first in 200 in 21.63, Jason Farrell third in 300 hurdles in 38.89, Jequan Hogan first in triple jump at 50 feet, 7.25 inches, second place in 800-meter relay) are in a battle in the 5A team competition.
Hogan, a junior, gave his team a major boost with one of the top triple jump marks in Colorado history on his fourth and final jump. Hogan actually scratched his first two jumps, but leaped 49 feet, 7 inches on his third attempt. Fruita Monument senior Gunner Rigsby (49-00.50) was the runner-up.
“After they said that second jump was a foul, I was kind of mad,” Hogan admitted. “I was kind of angry and I think it helped me jump a little harder and push a little harder. I picked it up and jumped a 50.”
Hinkley also had a promising first day as senior Darrien Wells (runner-up in 200) and junior Angel Heredia (now two-time state champion in 300 hurdles) were two legs of an 800-meter relay that nipped Fountain-Fort Carson 1:27.25-1:27.43 for the 5A crown.
Veterans like Montrose’s Ian Meek (4A 3200 champion in 9:23) and The Classical Academy’s Tanner Norman (9:14.45 for 3A state meet record) were distance stars again. Montrose (7:58.93) held off Silver Creek (7:59.56) in an entertaining 4A 3,200 relay.
Mountain View’s Nolan Kembel (37.94) claimed the 4A 300 hurdles and Pueblo West’s Frank Nash (23-6.25) won the 4A long jump. Lutheran’s Jacob Dack (shot put) and Adam Dawson (203-1 in discus) swept the throws in 3A.
The final day of the state track and field meet at Jeffco Stadium will begin with field events at 8:00 a.m. and track events at 9:00 a.m.