Brielle Smith got inspired every time she walked by the Oakcrest High School Wall of Fame.
The wall, located outside the Oakcrest gym, features plaques of the high school’s most accomplished athletes.
“Every single day since the first day I stepped into the school,” Smith said, ‘I’m like, ‘I have to get on that wall one day. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I’m going to make it happen one day.’ Hopefully, I’ve done enough.”
It’s only a matter of time before Smith has her own plaque. She is one of the most accomplished athletes in Oakcrest history.
The recently graduated standout won back-to-back javelin championships at the outdoor track and field Meet of Champions and set the state record in the javelin with a throw of 168 feet, 6 inches.
She also excelled as a soccer goalie.
Smith is The Press 2018-19 Female Athlete of the Year. She will continue her track and field career at Stanford University.
“I have been able to take advantage of things that come my way,” Smith said. “People have always been by my side helping me out from day one. It’s awesome.”
Oakcrest girls track and field coach Joe Seaman credited Smith’s dedication and intelligence for her success.
“The way she can watch video, and then process it and then change her body to improve is remarkable,” Seaman said.
Oakcrest reveled in Smith’s success. More than 200 people packed the school cafeteria to hear Smith announce her college decision last December.
“She’s always positive,” Seaman said. “She’s always lifting up the other girls. It was a mutual lovefest between Brielle and Oakcrest and Oakcrest and Brielle.”
In a telephone interview this month, Smith discussed her career, including why she never gave up soccer to concentrate solely on track and field.
On what she remembers most about her senior year?
The biggest thing that happened to me this year was signing with Stanford. The whole college recruitment process was just so much more than what I expected. It was very different, the fact that so many schools were interested in me. That was probably the biggest part of my year.
On what she plans to major in at Stanford
Honestly, I’m going to go in undecided. There’s just a lot of things that I’m interested in. I’d rather not limit myself. I love Oakcrest. I love my high school, and I love my hometown, but I’m so ready to see what Stanford and California hold for me.
On where her motivation and determination come from?
It comes a lot from my family. They always made sure I knew how important it was to have success in the future and to make sure I’m trying my best and take advantage of the opportunities I’m given.
On why she continued to play soccer and didn’t concentrate on the javelin full time
I’ve been playing soccer for so long. To quit, would make it seem incomplete. I couldn’t let my teammates down. It’s definitely been a long journey with Oakcrest soccer and to stop in my senior year when I’ve been doing it for so long, that would seem wrong.
On how she started to throw the javelin
Terrence Smith (a 2016 Oakcrest graduate) was the best (javelin) thrower at Oakcrest. He and me had a joke that we were siblings because we had the same last name. He was like, ‘Hey, little sis, I want you to try this javelin thing.’ When I ended up doing track, I remembered that and said I would try it. The rest is history.
On what she does to relax
One of my favorite things is to listen to music. I’ll listen to any music, but I guess R&B would be my favorite. J. Cole is probably my favorite artist. I’m going to take up reading a little more now that I can read things more for enjoyment.
On her time at Oakcrest
I don’t know if there are any words to explain what Oakcrest means to me. I’ve changed, grown and developed there. I’m just thankful, and I’m so honored that I was able to come to this school, interact with everyone, represent the school and shine a light on what the great things about Oakcrest and being a Falcon are.