Cause soaks in All-America moment
By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Reality set in for East Carolina shot put standout Galissia Cause during her hotel check-in last week in Eugene, Ore., for the track and field NCAA Outdoor Championships.
She competed at the NCAA East Regional meet in all four of her seasons, but only this year did the senior make it past regionals and qualify for the national competition. She then proved her worth at the championships, where she was joined by fellow Pirate senior Stefano Migliorati, by earning second-team All-America status in taking 10th place in the shot put. Migliorati was 20th in the 800-meter run.
What still stood out to Cause on Tuesday about the NCAA championships was the pride she felt not long after arriving in Eugene and the quick reminder she got of the accomplishments already recorded by all of the athletes.
“When we got to our hotel, the key card had the national meet symbol and the NCAA logo and everything on it,” Cause said. “It didn’t have the hotel symbol, but it was legit for the national meet. That’s when I knew it was real and I guess you could say it started the whole experience.”
Cause’s best throw of 16.72 meters clinched her 10th-place finish, but the boost she needed from a personal standpoint came in mid-May during the American Athletic Conference championship meet in Cincinnati. She won the discus event and was second in the shot put to help the ECU women take second place.
“That kind of changed the game,” the Gainesville, Va., native said. “Then during practices leading up to regionals, I really was believing in what I was doing. Throwing is a very technical thing, but the technicalities along with confidence play a huge factor.”
Veteran ECU track and field coach Curt Kraft said seeing Cause, who is the Pirates’ all-time record holder for an outdoor shot put heave, shine nationally was a rewarding process.
“She came in as a freshman and did a lot of learning and a lot of listening to throws coach David Price, who does a great job,” Kraft said. “With what they do out here in these rings, it just takes a lot of repetitions over and over and over again. To see her grow during these four years, not only as an athlete but also a person, has been really gratifying as a coach.”
Cause’s performance in Oregon gave the Pirates an All-American after not having one a year ago. Avion Jones was a first-team All-American in the high jump in 2016.
The final attempt by Cause resulted in a foot fault, which she said was unfortunate because she felt like it was a strong throw from an upper-body sense.
There were 24 competitors in the shot put and the top nine made it to finals, which left Cause one spot away from advancing.
Migliorati already has returned to his homeland in Italy. Cause is still in Greenville and described her career-ending, All-America moment as bittersweet.
“I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get top nine, of course, but after that last throw I thought, ‘Wow, it’s all over,’ and I felt accomplished,” she said. “I had been to the East Regionals four times and finally on that fourth time I made it out. … It is bittersweet just knowing how far I got this year and knowing that I can’t do it again.”
Contact Ronnie Woodward at email@example.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.