Best in Throw

    Howes blonde hair, playfully spiked up or shaved on the sides, takes the edge off of the 210-pound, three-time All-American, who trains the NCAA sanctioned six days a week, alternatively lifting weights or working on form in order to generate enough force to send a spear through a person.

    Or, on the track, in order to propel a javelin upwards to 231.5 away.

    The two-time national champion in the javelin has one more meet left in his collegiate career before he walks the stage as part of the graduating class of 2012. Howe will take part in the U.S. Track and Field meet at UCLA this weekend, June 1 to 2 before graduating with a B.A. in Political Science from Revelle College. With a 3.3 GPA, Howe will also graduate with a spot at the University of San Diego School of Law, where he will study part-time for the next four years.

    Its really the best of all situations: personally, professionally and athletically, Howe said. I get to stay down here to train with my coach [Tony Salerno], see the development of my brother Nash and be with my girlfriend Jackie [Rose]. I also get to help coach the throwers next year because I will be attending USD part time, and I will be taking up personal training to supplement my income.

    The winningest individual athlete at UCSD comes with an origin story all his own. Howe, who excelled in both basketball and baseball in high school, had never tried his luck in the javelin until the summer before entering UCSD. Convinced by his father, a collegiate javelin thrower at UC Riverside whose 2215 mark from 1980 still stands as the program record, Howe gave it a try. In the vacant lot outside of his home in Little Elm, Texas, Howe threw an unheard of 180 in his first attempt.

    I didnt think much of it, and as always, my Dad was super supportive and told me I could do it, and now thats exactly what I do. Howe said. I just walk out there and do it, every day for hours.

    Faced with the decision to either walk onto the then-No. 2 nationally-ranked UCSD baseball team with a 91 mph fastball in tow, or trying out for the Track and Field team, Howe contacted UCSDs track and field coach Tony Salerno.

    Salerno assumed Howe was a hoax, that one of the many track coaches hes in contact with had drated the email Howe had sent to him as a joke. The last person to have thrown comparable to 180 their first go was former world record holder Tom Petranoff, back in 1977.

    Tony and [UCSD Track and Field coach Darcy Ahner] thought I was the [Cal State Chico] head coach calling to play a prank on them, but as I sent them more and more info I think they just didnt believe me until I tried out and was as actually as good as I said I was.

    Howe has continued to stand out in his subsequent four years on the track a four-time CCAA Champion, three-time All-American, two-time NCAA Division II National Champion and school record holder.

    Still, Howe is looking for more.

    Honestly, this senior year was a little disappointing for me because I did not win Cal/Nevada or, more depressingly and recently, NCAAs for a third time, Howe said. But you either get defeated or pick yourself up and keep dreaming, and thats what Ill do. I just gotta keep working and learn from my mistakes.

    Howe will be training this Summer at the Chula Vista Olympic Center alongside U.S. National Champion Mike Hazle. Howe will then spend the next school year training with other Track and Field alumni sprinters Kelly Fogarty, Stephanie LaFever, Linda Rainwater and Christine Merrill as part of a group of postgraduates. Dubbed the Triton Track Club, made up of former collegiate standouts, the club is currently sponsored by Movin Shoes, a locally owned small business specializing in running apparel.

    Howe threw his furthest mark to date last year 231.5’— at the NCAA Division II National Championship. When asked about where he sees himself this time next year, Howe said he would like to be consistently hitting around 260.

    I think I have the raw materials to hit that mark, Howe said. Its a matter of getting the form right, the timing right, everything has to come together.

    Despite taking two back-to-back national titles in 2010 and 2011, Howe hit a roadblock last weekend, May 26 to 28 in this years national championships. In a strong field, which included two throwers that bested Howes current personal record, Howe ended up with a 223 mark to finish in fifth place.

    When asked about bridging the gap from being amongst the top in NCAA Division II to being amongst the top in the world Howe said, Its a matter of just a tiny amount of patience in my form. Just changing the angle of my hips or the way I hold my arm back could make that huge leap of 30, 40 feet that would take me to the next level.

    Howe is succeeded by his younger brother, freshman Nash Howe a legitimate 65”— who will carry on the family trade. Nash placed second at the CCAA conference tournament this year, behind his brother.

    Nash is the best training partner I could ask for. Hes motivational and a beast when it comes to getting focused on what goal or area of technique we are working on. Its a blessing to have him here with me and Im so excited to keep going with him.

    Nashs throw of 1991 from CCAAs qualified him for this years USA Junior Olympic Trials in Indiana. If he finishes in the top two, he will represent the U.S. at the upcoming 2012 Summer Junior Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.

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