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Dockall changes direction - Odessa American: Odessa High

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Dockall changes direction

Former runner switched to throws and powerlifting

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Posted: Sunday, May 20, 2018 12:00 am

Perseverance and tenacity are two traits that Odessa High senior Katelyn Dockall made work to her advantage during her high school career.

Originally a distance runner for the Odessa High cross country and track and field teams, Dockall made a radical change to her athletic pursuits as a junior by picking up the shot put and discus in an effort to be more valuable to the Lady Bronchos.

“I started out in high school doing long distance and long and triple (jumps), but the last couple of years I did throwing, shot and discus.”

The reason was a number of talented younger distance runners coming into the Odessa High program, leaving Dockall facing the prospect of being left out of the lineup.

“I really liked running, but we had a lot of good freshman come up and I wasn’t able to contribute as a runner,” she said. “I wanted to find an event where I could contribute.

Learning two totally different disciplines — especially the shot put, which Dockall was her most difficult event — took extra time in an already busy schedule.

“I just had to listen to what the coaches were saying,” Dockall said. “I just learned how to do it. I had to practice every day and try really hard to improve.

“I did a lot better than I did last year. I switched events midseason last year. I was on JV both years, but I improved a lot (about 40 feet in discus and about 10 feet in shot put).”

Also a regional qualifier in powerlifting, Dockall said the technique required in the throwing event was what made the transition difficult for her.

“It’s all technique,” she said. “That was the hardest part. Shot put was weird because you have to hold it up to your neck and flick it out.

“Shot put’s a lot harder for me. I like discus better.”

But it was powerlifting where enjoyed her most success, finishing ninth in the 148-pound class at the regional meet. She posted a total of more than 600 pounds in three of four meets competing in the squat, bench press and deadlift. Her season-best total came at the Levelland Invitational, where she hoisted 670 pounds.

“Powerlifting was my favorite,” Dockall said, though she noted that it also made for her busiest time of year.

“I think the hardest part of the year is when we have two sports seasons cross over,” she said. That’d be powerlifting and track.

“We’d show up for powerlifting at like 5:30 or 6 in the morning, then we’d got to zero hour and go through the whole day at school. After school, we’d have track for two hours, so we were at school for like 13 hours a day.”

In addition to her athletic pursuits, Dockall has maintained a rigorous academic load in addition to a plethora of other activities.

“It’s taken a lot of hard work and time management, except I’m not really good at time management, so I just did it day by day,” she said. “I focused on what I had each day and I just did that.”

Dockall said the support of her parents, Christine and Christopher, helped her get through it all.

“They’ve been with me through all the stress,” she said. “I’m part of the IB (International Baccalaureate) program. That’s a whole lot of other stress added on to regular AP classes and stuff.”

Academically, Dockall said Odessa High math teacher Ray Mata and biology teacher Karen Wilson helped keep things from becoming too much of a burden.

“They were my favorite classes because I’ve always liked math, and biology, I really like our teacher,” Dockall said. “I like the way she teaches us and I learn a lot, especially since I work at a vet clinic. Some of the stuff I learned I was able to apply to what I was learning in my job.”

On top of all that, Dockall found time to participate in FFA, showing sheep at area livestock shows.

“The first two years of high school, 10th and 11th grade, I did FFA, and that was a lot,” she said. “I was an officer, so I would have to help organize meetings and stuff. I had, like, two meetings a week.

“I showed sheep and still have sheep. I had to walk them and train them every day.”

With that kind of background, it should be no surprise that Dockall plans to study veterinary medicine at Texas A&M.

“First, I’ll be doing pre-vet,” she said. “I’m going to major in animal science so the next four years after that I can work on being veterinarian.”

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