March 4, 2009
By Keenan Bowen, EWU Sports Information
Winning, hands down, is the element Eastern Washington University track and field athlete David Howard likes most about his sport.
And he's had his share of championship wins, including his most recent -- a Big Sky Conference shot put championship last Friday (Feb. 27) in Flagstaff, Ariz.
A 2005 graduate of East Valley High School in Spokane, Wash., Howard won the shot put title with a throw of 57-4 3/4. That mark ranks the Eagle junior third in school history behind the 57-10 mark of Roy Martin and the school-record of 59-1 3/4 set by Chris Benson in 1986. That record is in jeopardy of being broken next winter, and this spring he'll chase the school's 26-year-old outdoor record of 60-10 1/2 set by Bruce Anderson in 2003.
A transfer from Community Colleges of Spokane, in both 2007 and 2008 he won shot put titles outdoors at the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) Championships. He was also second in the discus, fifth in the javelin and 14th in the hammer as a sophomore, and as a freshman he finished third in the discus and fifth in the hammer. His personal best marks while in community college were 50-1 in the shot put, 145-0 in the hammer and 151-7 in the discus.
Q: How did it feel to win your event this past weekend to help the team to a third place finish?
A: "It felt really good to win -- I came in as the fourth seed so to win was a real honor. I am very glad that I could help the team to the best finish that they have ever had."
Q: How were you able to increase your personal record over the course of the season?
A: "A lot of hard training and practice. I always say if you want to be the best you have to train better and harder than the best. That is what I have been doing."
Q: What aspects of throwing are outsiders not aware of that only a thrower would?
A: "Throwers are not just big fat guys -- we train very hard and there is a lot of technique involved. Some of the throwing events have more technique than any other event. I don't think even some people who do track and field realize that."
Q: What do you feel has been your best track and field moment?
A: "Winning the Big Sky Championships this past weekend is definitely one of them. Others would probably be competing at nationals in high school, winning two NWAACC championships, and setting two meet records at last year's Washington-Oregon meet at Spokane Falls Community College."
Q: What element of the sport do you like best?
A: "Winning, hands down. Who doesn't love winning, honestly? Really there isn't much in this sport that I don't like."
Q: What do you plan to do after you graduate?
A: "Hopefully I will keep competing and eventually make it to the Olympics. As for my job, I already have a degree in bio-medical equipment technology and that is what I am planning for as of right now."
Q: Who has been your favorite professor at EWU so far?
A: "Probably Stu Steiner, he has a good sense of humor. Jeff Holmes is another good one -- he shares my love for track and actually competed for Eastern as a thrower years ago."
Q: If you had to pick another event to compete in, what would it be and why?
A: "Well, I already do all the throws. So I guess I would have to say pole vault because it would look hilarious to see a man of my size going up in the air on a stick - I would probably have to use a tree!"
Q: Who have been the most influential people in your athletic career?
A: "Definitely my family and best friend for all their support, as well as my high school coach Chuck Dunning and my SFCC coach Ryan Weidman."
Q: If there were doubles throwing events, what teammate would you choose to be your partner and why?
A: "For shot put it would have to be Brody Faire. Hammer throw would have to be Cody Irby. For javelin I would pick Aaron Mettler. Lastly, for discus I would choose Mike Schaffer. If I could pick anyone, the Incredible Hulk would be my choice . . . need I say more?"
Q: What expectations do you have for your remaining athletic career at EWU?
A: "I expect to break both the indoor and outdoor school records in the shot put and the discus. I'd like to hopefully win a few more championships too. But we'll see what God has in store for me."