Junior Brielle Smith of Oakcrest waited until her final throw to take the lead and won the javelin championship at the New Balance National Outdoor Championships Saturday evening outside Aggie Stadium on the North Carolina A&T campus in Greensboro, N.C.
Smith is the second South Jersey girl to win the national javelin title, the first since Shawnee’s Lynlee Phillips in 1998. She’s the second Atlantic County girl and the second from Oakcrest to win a national title, joining hurdler Nicole Hill who won the 100 highs in 13.72 in 1997.
She’s only the second South Jersey girl to win a national title in the last 13 years, the first since Jess Woodard of Cherokee in the shot put in 2012.
Smith opened with throws of 143-11 and 143-9 and then a foul and went into the finals in second place behind Shira Stoller of Sharon High in Massachusetts, who threw 148-10 on her second attempt.
With Brielle throwing second-to-last and Stoller last in the finals, Smith threw 140-1 to open the finals and Stoller 143-3. On their fifth throws, Smith threw 136-10 and Stoller 140-4.
On her final throw, Smith popped her 150-5 to take the lead. On the final throw of the competition, Stoller fouled, giving Smith the national title.
Smith ranks No. 16 in U.S. history with her 163-8 to win the Meet of Champions at Northern Burlington last weekend.
S.J. GIRLS NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
Jess Woodard [Cherokee], Shot Put [45-4 1/2]
Krystal Cantey [Winslow Twp.], 400-Meter Hurdles [56.83]
Winslow Township, Super Sprint Medley [1:45.07]
Winslow Township, 400-Meter Relay [40.92]
Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], Mile [4:42.96]
Erin Donohue [Haddonfield], Mile [4:48.68]
Lynlee Phillips [Shawnee], Javelin [140-6]
Nicole Hill [Oakcrest], 100-Meter Hurdles [13.72]
Dana Burnett [Williamstown], 400-meter dash [53.51]