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Dayton High’s Howerton is eager to keep learning at the next level

Howerton will head east to throw at Bryant University

By Carter Eckl ceckl@nevadaappeal.com

There’s a specialization to the throws in track and field that’s hard to get experience in.

The discus and the shot put are tough sports to get exposure too, and require a level of strength that isn’t simply given to most athletes.

For Dayton High’s Katelyn Howerton, throwing has been in her repertoire since sixth grade.

As she wraps up her final year of high school with the Dust Devils, she’s earned a chance to continue working on a unique set of skills at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

“It’s really exciting to be able to take something that I learned in such a small town, and with everyone supporting me,” said Howerton, “That’s the big thing for me, to be able to take Dayton, Nevada across the country.”

Expanding her horizons

Howerton has competed in the only two throwing events she can at the high school level – discus and shot put.

The high school senior admits she’s a better discus thrower, but knows she will get to try her hand at a few more events once she lands in Rhode Island.

“I definitely excelled in discus more. I love the technique. I’ve had some great discus coaches in my high school career,” Howerton said. “I’m also really excited to learn college level throws like the weight and the hammer and the javelin.”

The soon-to-be Bulldog tossed the discus 93 feet, 10 inches as a junior in the Northern 3A regionals, but has since improved her personal record to 99 feet, 3 ½ inches, according to Athletic.net.

Howerton will quickly tell you how lucky she is to be surrounded by supportive people.

Since the pandemic started, her father built her a discus and shot put ring in her backyard to allow her to keep practicing on her own.

Howerton also spends every other weekend in the car with her father making an eight-hour round trip to Concord, California to train with a club coaches.

“I’ve been really lucky that my parents have supported me through this whole entire thing,” said Howerton. “I’ve been able to throw this whole offseason at my house and I have weightlifting equipment at my house.”

Growing into a leader

Since her sophomore year, Howerton has continued to make an impression on Dayton track and field coach Kelly Frantz.

Frantz worked with the throwing talent not only in track and field, but also on the basketball court as well.

When Frantz jumped into her coaching role with the Dust Devils’ track and field team, she had to adjust to Howerton’s level.

“I had to understand what she was doing and where she wanted to go,” Frantz said. “It was fun because it helped me improve my coaching game.”

As a coach, Frantz has seen Howerton grow over the last two-and-a-half years and step into an instruction role of her own.

Dayton’s discus and shot put rings are on opposite ends of the field and, as a coach, Frantz realized she didn’t need to worry about what was going on in the other ring if Howerton was around.

“Last season before we got shut down, she was helping the kids to really improve their throws,” said Frantz. “She kind of stepped up and matured into this leader that I could rely on that I hadn’t seen in the past.”

When Howerton does get to Rhode Island next fall, she plans on studying business/accounting with a minor in criminal justice.