Galissia Cause

Senior Galissia Cause performing a shot put during previous meet.

The East Carolina University Track and Field and Cross Country team finished out the NCAA East Preliminaries in Tampa, Florida on Saturday, where seniors Galissia Cause and Stefano Migliorati both finished in the top 12, making them the first Pirates to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships since Avion Jones did in 2016.

Galissia Cause punched her ticket to the championship, which will be held in Eugene, Oregon from June 6-9, first on Thursday, placing eighth in shot put with a mark of 16.58 meters, her second-best showing of the season. Migliorati secured his spot on Friday with a school record 800m time of 1:48.28, good for a tenth place finish. Both players will compete against the top 24 finishers in the Championships. Head coach Curt Kraft said he is proud of his player’s accomplishments and determination at the preliminaries. 

“It’s a great accomplishment any time you can get one player to the championships, and I am just so excited that we got two,” Kraft said. “It is really a testament of how hard Galissia and Stefano have worked this season and in their careers here. They both had the experience and they both went in with the mindset of not being denied.”

While Cause and Migliorati were the only Pirates to advance to the championships, two Pirate freshmen had great showings at the preliminaries. Brooke Stith (Triple Jump) and Sommer Knight (Pole Vault) competed well, and although they did not advance, the experience gained at the preliminaries should help them in their future careers with the Pirates. Knight cleared 4.08m in the pole vault, placing 13th and missed advancing by one spot, while Stith took 24th in the triple jump with a mark of 12.59 meters.

As Cause and Migliorati prepare for the championships, coach Kraft said they will not change up their routine in advance of their travel to Eugene.

“Right now it’s more about recovering and getting rest,” Kraft said, “We won’t do anything different as far as our routine goes, and we will really focus on staying sharp. They are about to go up against the best 24 in the nation in their event, and being able to say you are one of the top 24 in the nation is really an accomplishment for Stefano and Galissia.”

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