Nick Mirabelli of Rancocas Valley High School is already the best in the state this year, but he still isn’t the best javelin thrower in his house.
Mirabelli won’t just be competing against the other javelin throwers at the Penn Relays, the talented senior is competing against his older brother, Chris, as well. Chris Mirabelli threw a 207-7 as a senior at Holy Cross in 2014 at Penn.
“It’s cool trying to live up to him and the expectations,” said Mirabelli, whose best throw at Penn is two inches behind his brother. “Basically I’m competing against him. I always try to do better than him.”
Last June, as a junior at Rutgers University, Chris Mirabelli earned first-team All-American honors by finishing eighth at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore. Chris, who was already a two-time honorable mention All-American, threw 235-2 inches to earn the elite status.
“Like brother, like brother,” Nick said with a smile on competing against his brother.
On Saturday, at the 46th annual Woodbury Relays, Nick Mirabelli was named the Most Outstanding Male Field athlete as he won the javelin with a throw of 204-07 and placed second in the discus with a 152-03.
Earlier this month, Mirabelli ripped a throw of 222-10 at the Rebel Relays in Howell for the fourth best throw in state history.
“I knew I had something big in me this season with all the training I’ve been doing,” said Mirabelli, whose previous best was 213-5 last year.
Mirabelli admitted he was saving himself for the Penn Relays, where he finished second last year in the javelin. He will throw Friday afternoon outside Franklin Field.
“I think he’s going to throw his farthest,” Rancocas Valley coach Jeff Dzuranin said. “I know he’s excited to get to run on that rubber runway.”
In high school, his brother’s best in the javelin was 216-6 in 2014, so Nick topped him already in this young season.
“I watched him since I was young,” Mirabelli said about Chris, who is a red shirt senior at Rutgers
As a junior last outdoor season, Mirabelli went into the Meet of Champions with the second longest throw in the state, but placed seventh.
“It was a tragic day,” he said with a head shrug. “I hurt my shoulder and it was sore and it got into my head and I ended up choking. A lot of people were looking at me to win it and I was very disappointed.”
This year, he is the only returning thrower in the state to better 200 feet. Then, he opened the outdoor season heaving the 220-10.
“My goal was to throw 220 and I didn’t expect to get it on my first meet,” Mirabelli said, “but I trained very hard over the winter.”
His next goal is the state record, which is held by his older brother’s Burlington County rival Curtis Thompson of Florence. Thompson threw 224-10 at the Meet of Champions as a senior to dethrone Chris Mirabelli, who won the M of C a year earlier as a junior with a 214-6
“He is one of the hardest working kids I have ever seen,” Dzuranin said. “Whatever he does, he puts everything into it.
“After meets, he is on the turf doing sprints, I have to tell him we’re locking up. He’s dedicated himself to his craft.”
Mirabelli’s father, Mark, trained both Nick and Chris since they were kids. Mark was a former All-American at The College of New Jersey.
“It all comes from my dad,” Mirabelli said, “he pushed us from the beginning when we were young.”
Mirabelli, who signed in November with Texas A&M, where he will major in biology in hopes of one day being a physicians assistant. But first he is dreaming big.
“I’m hoping for the Olympics, maybe the 2020 trials,” Mirabelli said, “and then the 2024 Olympics, that’s more of a realistic goal, but I got a long way to go.
“I don’t know where I’ll be in four years.”
Probably still competing against his brother.