Brie Oakley of Colorado and Manlius (N.Y.) dominate girls race at Nike Cross Nationals

Brie Oakley of Colorado and Manlius (N.Y.) dominate girls race at Nike Cross Nationals

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Brie Oakley of Colorado and Manlius (N.Y.) dominate girls race at Nike Cross Nationals

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Dec 3, 2016; Portland, OR, USA; Brie Oakley wins the girls race in 17:10 during the Nike Cross Nationals at Glendoveer Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-354080 ORIG FILE ID:  20161203_ads_al2_322.JPG

Brie Oakley dominated the girls field at the Nike Cross Nationals (Photo: Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports)

In one of the most dominant performances in Nike Cross Nationals history, Brie Oakley of Colorado overpowered the field to win the girls race by 28 seconds Saturday at Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland, Ore.

Oakley, the Colorado 5A state champion from Grandview High (Cherry Creek), pulled away early and was largely running the course by herself to finish in 17:10.03.

“I thought it was going to be a lot closer than it was,” she said. “I wanted to go through the mile, staying back and decided down the hill to shoot ahead and not look back.”

At one point, Oakley stumbled but got back up and kept running.

“I just got really excited and got a little ahead of myself,” she said, “but I got back up and surged ahead.”

Oakley ranked as the No. 1 runner in the nation only took up running more than a year ago after a standout career as a youth soccer player.

“It’s definitely one of the best choices I think I’ve made in my life,” she said.

She will continue her running career at Cal.

“I think she will not be satisfied unless she’s at the (Olympic) trials, possibly in Tokyo (for the 2020 Olympics),” Grandview coach Allyson Robbins told the Denver Post after the state meet. “She’s been a great teammate to all the other kids. Brie’s a wonderful person, too,

Sunset (Beaverton, Ore.) sophomore Ember Stratton, who finished 20th a year ago, came in second in 17:38.16. Fort Collins (Colo.) senior Lauren Gregory, the runner-up to Oakley in Colorado, finished third.

“I run with her in Colorado and see how she runs often,” Gregory said of Oakley. “She’s a complete beast. It was cool to see another runner from Colorado do so well.”

Anna Gibson from Jackson, Wyo., was fourth and Kelsey Chemeil from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., was fifth.

Grace Ping, a 13-year-old eighth-grader from Utah, finished sixth after initially being denied the chance to run in the event over eligibility concerns. Officials reversed their initial ruling on Thanksgiving.

Ping finished fourth at the Southwest NXN Regionals, meaning she qualified for the 2016 nationals. The top five in each region make the national race.

Ping was 14th in nationals last year. The difference this year is where she lives, having moved from Minnesota to Park City, Utah. Minnesota middle school athletes can compete against older athletes; Utah does not allow middle schoolers to compete with high schoolers.

Dec 3, 2016; Portland, OR, USA; Fayetteville-Manlius girls pose with championship trophy after winning a record 10th team title during the Nike Cross Nationals at Glendoveer Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-354080 ORIG FILE ID:  20161203_ads_al2_371.JPG

Fayetteville-Manlius girls pose with championship trophy after winning a record 10th team title during the Nike Cross Nationals (Photo: Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports)

In the team competition, Fayetteville-Manlius (Manlius, N.Y.) won its 10th title in 11 trips to the event and third consecutive overall. Running as the Manlius XC club, the team posted 41 points to easily win the championship.

“Every year is different and special, every group is different and special,” longtime coach Bill Aris said. “They did a terrific job today and it was a pleasure to coach them all season long.”

The top three teams were the same for the second year in a row with California teams Davis and Temecula Great Oaks again finishing second and third. Davis had 181 points and Temecula had 185 points. Carmel (Ind.) was fourth with 194 and Willmar (Minn.) was fifth with 218.

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