Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Gatorade® National Girls Cross Country Runner Of The Year: Brie Oakley

Two-time Olympian and Pro Distance Runner Molly Huddle Surprises Winner with Honor

News provided by
The Gatorade Company
Jan 31, 2017, 15:00 ET

AURORA, Colo., Jan. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In its 32nd year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Brie Oakley of Grandview High School (Aurora, Colo.) as its 2016-17 Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. Oakley was surprised with the news by two-time Olympian and Pro Distance Runner Molly Huddle.
Check out the surprise video here.

"Brie really deserves to be this year's Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year because she symbolizes everything the award stands for," said Huddle. "Not only has Brie impressed on the racecourse, but she's also a good student and is a positive influence in the community. I'm excited to watch her take these traits with her to UC Berkeley and see what she will accomplish in the future."
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the racecourse, distinguishes Oakley as the nation's best high school girls cross country runner. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Brie from nearly 220,000 high school girls cross country runners nationwide. Brie is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.
The 5-foot-4 senior raced to the national title at the Nike Cross Nationals Final this past season, breaking the tape in 17:10.1. Brie also won the Class 5A individual state championship with a course-record time of 17:07.83 and captured the NXN Southwest Regional championship in 16:56. She was unbeaten on the season, also setting course and meet records at the Woodbridge Classic and the Liberty Bell Invitational. Brie has volunteered locally on behalf of the Aurora Public Library and has maintained a 4.60 weighted GPA in the classroom.
"Brie Oakley's consistency throughout this past season was surpassed only by her dominance of the nation's elite runners on many of the country's most prestigious courses," said Erik Boal, editor for Dyestat.com. "Whether it was her course record at the Colorado state final, her mastery of the nation's deepest region at NXN Southwest championships or running away from an exceptional field of competitors at the NXN Final to win by 28 seconds, Brie continued to thrive when facing the toughest challenges of her career. The fact she has only been running competitively for 16 months since making the transition from soccer shows that Brie is only scratching the surface in terms of how much she can excel in the sport."
Brie has signed a National Letter of Intent to compete in cross country and track and field on scholarship at the University of California Berkeley this fall.
"Without question, Brie is deserving of recognition as the nation's best high school girls cross country runner based on her times on the racecourse and the impact her accomplishments have had on Grandview's success," said Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O'Brien. "But she is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young athletes of what a leader and a student-athlete should be. She represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient."
As a part of Gatorade's cause marketing platform "Play it Forward," Oakley also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for her organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year. 
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Former notable Gatorade National Players of the Year include:
  • Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning
  • 2015 NBA first overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns
  • Three-time WNBA champion Maya Moore
  • Four-time track & field gold medalist Allyson Felix
  • Three-time beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh
  • Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw
For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of former winners, and future announcement dates, visit the Gatorade Player of the Year Web site at http://www.gatorade.com/poy, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.
Brie Oakley
Grandview High School, Aurora, CO
High School Senior 
Katie Rainsberger
Air Academy HS, Colorado Springs, CO 
Univ. of Oregon
Anna Rohrer
Mishawaka High School, Mishawaka, IN
Univ. of Notre Dame
Alexa Efraimson
Camas High School, Camas, WA
Pro runner for Nike
Sarah Baxter
Simi Valley High School, Simi Valley, CA
Univ. of Oregon
Molly Seidel
University Lake, Hartland, WI
Univ. of Notre Dame
Aisling Cuffe
Cornwall Central, New Windsor, NY
Saucony Pro runner
Megan Goethals
Rochester, Rochester Hills, MI
Team USA Minnesota
Jordan Hasay
Mission College Prep, San Luis Obispo, CA
Nike Oregon Project
Ashley Brasovan
Wellington, Wellington, FL
Duke University Grad.
SOURCE The Gatorade Company

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