Monica Howard is a thrower for the Spiders Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field teams where she competes in the Weight Throw and Shot Put during the indoor season and the Discus, Javelin, Hammer and Shot Put during the outdoor season. With the discus as her primary event, Howard a Wilmington, Ohio native also picked up the javelin throw her freshman year where she was crowned the league champion and earned a spot at the NCAA East Regional Championships hosted by the University of Florida. Along with holding the program record in the discus, she was named the Spiders' Most Outstanding Rookie Field Performer during the 2008 outdoor season.
We had the opportunity to ask Monica a few questions recently:
Question: You are coming off surgery this fall. What was the nature of your injury and how have you felt during your rehab?
Howard: Initially they thought that my ACL was torn but I found out that my ACL is just smaller then it should be. So instead of ACL surgery I had scar tissue removed from the knee surgery I had my senior year of high school. As far as rehab was concerned I felt like it went really well, I fell like I am back to 100%.
Question: Originally from Wilmington, Ohio, what drew you to be part of the Spiders program?
Howard: Well if you have ever been to Ohio you know that there isn’t much there, so when I was searching for colleges I was only looking outside of Ohio. Richmond actually found me though, I didn’t find it, I actually had never heard of Richmond until I talked to Coach Jones who recruited me. Once I came on my visit I really like the environment so I decided that Richmond was the place for me.
Question: What will you focus on the most in training as we head into the indoor and outdoor seasons?
Howard: Footwork and technique is always important, you can never be too good with footwork and technique.
Question: What is the strongest part of your technique in the discus that you feel can help take you to the next level?
Howard: I am quick in the ring, and since I am a small thrower it’s an advantage.
Question: What exercises do you practice the most in the weight room that helps you the most in your event? Do you incorporate any ply-o-metric exercises?
Howard: All of our workouts are designed for whatever event or events we specialize in so our whole workout is important. Yes we have a specific day specifically for ply-o-metrics.
Question: Considering the time you have to wait for the outdoor season to arrive, what do you focus on during the indoor season to prepare yourself for your event?
Howard: Outdoor is really what I look forward too, so during indoor season I try and focus on footwork and technique because no matter what event those two things are important. As for my outdoor events, we have practices where we work on outdoor events.
Question: Do you pay close attention to your competitors within your conference and on the national scene?
Howard: No, I don’t really like to know where I stand because I feel like that adds pressure. The only person I like to watch nationally is my sister; I like to see how she is doing.
Question: Who are some of the most influential people in your life and what is some of the best advice that they have given you?
Howard: My track coaches in high school were really influential in my track career and my sister because if it wasn’t for her I would never have started throwing in the first place. Also my parents for sharing their athletic genes with me…