By DAVE O’SULLIVAN
Staff Writer
As a sophomore, Brielle Smith of Oakcrest finished second at the Meet of Champions in the javelin. Falcons assistant coach Kevin Wiesner figured he would give her the old, ‘good try, get ‘em next time’ speech. The reaction he got from a then-15-year-old Smith wasn’t what he expected.
“I said, ‘I know you’re upset you didn’t win it,’” Wiesner said. “And she said, ‘we didn’t come here for second place.’ That just tells you about the intensity and the pride in what she does.”
Smith — who promised to be an outstanding soccer and basketball player at Oakcrest when she first arrived as a freshman, and was (she finished her soccer career as one of the best goalies in the state and was a solid hoops player for two years) — picked up the javelin as a freshman as a way to stay in shape for soccer, and that one decision completely changed her life.
The Glory Days Girls Field Athlete of the Year put together one of the most dominating girls track and field careers the Cape-Atlantic League has ever seen. As a junior, she won the Meet of Champions with a state-record throw and went on to become a national champion. She followed that up her senior year with another MOC gold medal, and even on what she considered an off day, she still beat the second-place finisher by nearly 10 feet. She’s also parlayed her track success into a scholarship to prestigious Stanford University.

Brielle Smith, a Stanford University recruit and one of the top javelin throwers in the country, finished her Oakcrest career as a state record holder and two time Meet of Champions winner. (Glory Days Magazine photo/Dave O’Sullivan)


“I’m really happy, I was just a little disappointed in my last couple of throws,” she said after the MOC at Northern Burlington High School in June. “I was hoping to PR but I was off just a little bit. I had a big setback in the middle of the season with injuries, so to be able to come close to where I was — I had an elbow injury and a back injury. It was a lot of overuse stuff. But to be able to come back and throw in the 150s and win it again is awesome. It’s a good accomplishment, I just wish I could have thrown a little bit better.
“It’s crazy how things work out, but I just have faith that things are going to go the right way. When one door closes, another one opens somewhere. I’m just happy I had the opportunity to come to Oakcrest and try new things, and I happened to find something I really love and that I am pretty good at.”
“She came out for track to stay in shape for soccer, and she could do every event. As a freshman she was triple jumping 31 feet, she was high jumping 4-foot-8 in the first week of the season,” said Oakcrest girls track head coach Joe Seaman. “I remember the first time she threw a javelin she threw 88 feet without even knowing what she was doing. I said, ‘Brielle, you’re pretty good at the javelin, we’re going to spend a little more time over here.’ A few weeks later, we were at Lower Cape May and she threw 120 feet, and from there her career just took off. There are no words.”
Not only did Smith graduate as one of Oakcrest’s best athletes ever, what she did off the track and athletic fields will, perhaps, leave a more lasting impression. She was one of the school’s best leaders and one of its most influential students.
“She’s a role model for the kids and she gravitates toward kids who need to be picked up. I feel like I’m having a conversation with a kid who has already gone to college, graduated and come back. I always use the term ‘total package’ and that’s what she is — in the classroom, on the field, socially. The future is so bright for her. It’s going to be great to follow her (at Standford) and see what she does,” Wiesner said. “She’s like another teacher in the hallways. She gets along with everyone, has time for everyone, and if you need something she’s always there. If you had to clone what you want as the student-athlete, she would be it. And we’ve had some great ones, like Alec Rodriguez, who is going to Cornell, kids like that. We’re very proud of her and very happy for her.”
And the value of all the accolades thrown her way aren’t lost on Smith. She used her notoriety to bring attention to all the good things happening at Oakcrest, and all the valuable people who helped her become a star athlete.
“It’s definitely an honor, all the accomplishments I’ve had with track in general. It’s been a great season. All I can do is look back and be grateful, and realize how blessed I am. I’m excited to move on, go to new places, try new things and meet new people, and there will never be a moment where I look back at my high school career and I’m disappointed or upset. I’m happy I was able to go through it and meet great people,” she said. “I’m just really grateful that I was able to have all these experiences, meet people like my coaches, find a family at my high school and in sports in general, and just to spread my wings and meet new people. I can’t really explain what it means to me. It’s everything.”
Seaman said he has no doubt Smith will one day have a plaque hanging in the Oakcrest hallways as a Wall of Fame member.
“She’s such a leader. Great GPA, the way she’s a role model in helping out younger throwers and younger players in soccer, it was fantastic to see her develop as a leader. It’s great to watch someone like her flourish. It comes down to her work ethic. She wins gold and is mad at herself for not breaking her own record. She never lets excuses enter the equation. She was hurt and we had to shut her down for three weeks, but that wasn’t an excuse for her,” he said. “She’ll be on the Oakcrest Wall of Fame, absolutely. There hasn’t been anyone like Brielle, and there won’t be anybody like Brielle. She stands alone, like Michael Jordan in the NBA. That’s Brielle Smith at Oakcrest High School.”
Contact Dave O’Sullivan: sully@acglorydays.com; on Twitter @GDsullysays