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By Bill Bray

FREMONT – The time has come; after four long years of waiting, the “Kiser Klan” will make their way to Dayton’s Welcome stadium Saturday to see ‘one of their own’ compete for a state title in his first love, the shot put beginning at 2pm.

It has been a long and sometimes tumultuous road to the “Big Dance,” but Dominic Brown is there to make his family proud and to throw his heart out, particularly for his mom, Michelle Kiser. “Although I do have a relationship with my dad, it has been my mom who has played both roles on a day-to-day basis and has given me a blessed and privileged life. The whole Kiser family has been a tremendous amount of strength for me.”

The road has been long over Brown’s four years of varsity throwing, from a freshman year that Brown admits he didn’t take seriously to this year, which has seen him make a 180-degree turn and accomplish the goal of getting to the state meet with diligence and hard work.

Brown’s interest grew from seventh grade liking the throws events to reaching the pinnacle of the High School shot put and is excited to see what he can do. It took work and lots of it for the Fremont Ross Little Giant to reach this day and this event. It was a process, and Brown discussed his every move over the last four years as part of the throws team for the Ross tricksters.

 “Looking back on my freshman year, I could have worked a whole lot harder,” Brown said. “Especially near the end of that season, I was more into hanging out with the guys. There were some points through that season that  I definitely could have done better or practiced harder. That may have been because I missed the 8thgrade season (due to COVID), but I’ll always wonder what could have happened if I had worked harder during my first varsity season.  I remember how fast my first year ended with me thinking, ‘Dang, that was way too short of a season not to spend all my time getting better.’

Brown’s sophomore and junior seasons were filled with ups and downs. Both years end in huge downers for the talented athlete.  “Yes, I’d love to have those two seasons back. The lessons learned during his sophomore year were important ones. “That season, I focused more on distance than my throwing technique,” Brown said.  “I got into my head during that season in a negative way. On the other hand, it was the time in my career when I started gaining confidence.  My body started to understand and keep up with my mind.”  But the season ended in disappointment at the district meet. Dom finished 14th in the shot put with a toss of 40’5.5”.  With the top four moving onto regional, Dom was left outside looking in.

So, with the advent of his junior season, Brown had to turn his “mess” into a message. “My sophomore year, I was seeded second at the district for shot put and ended 14th, not even making the finals.” It was a similar story to Brown’s junior campaign. He came into the district meeting with a legitimate chance to advance to regionals. This time, he just missed advancing in the discus with a 5th-place finish with a throw of 137’5” . He again failed miserably in the shot put, settling for 9th place with a put of 44’8”.

Brown explained the beginnings of his final season this way: “Coming into my senior year, I realized that I couldn’t accept not making it to state on my last chance, so I just really worked on being consistent every meet and just being able to focus on myself every time I step into the ring and not care about anything else. Not only that, but hours of work in the weight room as well.”  That’s where Ross throws coach Travis Bates comes in.

Dom credits Bates for the development process. “Bates has been a constant source of information,” Brown began. ” I can ask him a question, and he’ll do his best explaining things, and if he doesn’t know, we’ll find out together by searching or doing research. He’s a partner; he’s not just a coach.”

Bates also has high praise for his disciple. “Dom has a heart of gold,” Bates began. “He is genuinely kind and puts everyone before himself. Dom and I have been working together these last four years, pushing and encouraging each other. I saw his potential from his freshman year, and now that he is putting it all together, I’m just so happy for him to see him get to where he is now.”

With the passing of his senior season, Dom has improved in district competition by winning the discus with a throw of 159’9” and finishing second in the shot put at 55’5”.  An 11’ improvement in the shot put, and more than 20’ in the discus moved Brown to qualify for his first regional meet. Not just in one event but both. However, Dom says that the shot put is his favorite event. “Sometimes I enjoy discus and how I feel through the ring,” Brown explained.  “But with the shot put, I would say I am just much more consistent and feel better when I am going through the smaller ring.“

At the regional meet, the confident senior, focused entirely on himself, stepped into his domain and finished 4th with a put of 55’6” to move on to the state meet. Brown also finished sixth in the discus earlier with an ending toss of 154’3”.

So, on June 1st, just a few weeks short of his 18th birthday, Dom Brown will achieve his ultimate goal. He hopes that Dayton is a Welcoming place to make his final high school statement before making his college decision to find the perfect fit where he will continue his track and field career while majoring in Mechanical Engineering.

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