Casey Bogues prepares to throw the Javelin during Thursday’s NCAA Championships at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon. Cover photo and pictures in story courtesy of Bogues.
If you’re looking for an incredible comeback story, look no further. Casey Bogues, a sophomore University of Dayton Javelin thrower, qualified for the Olympic Trials this past weekend at the Division 1 NCAA Track and Field Championships.
She stepped onto Hayward Field at University of Oregon and knew it was gametime.
“The track is breathtaking but honestly it just felt like another meet.”
Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Casey took the opportunity of competing at Nationals and took it up a notch. Right out of the gate on her very first throw of 53.39 meters, she threw a personal best, breaking her own school record, placing 11th in the Nation and qualifying to compete alongside Volunteer Coach, Chantae McMillan, at the U.S. Olympic Trials this month.
Accompanied by Head Coach, Jason Ordway, and Throws Coach, Kevin Gilhuly, Bogues leaned on them to calm her nerves.
Bogues (center) with coaches Ordway (left) and Gilhuly (right) at Hayward Field.
“I think we both had a lot of nervous energy and you could tell but I’m a very talkative person so I was just constantly talking and you could tell he was trying to focus in during lunchtime the day I competed. He definitely controlled his nerves very well.”
That is the way she described how Coach Kevin helped mentally prepare themselves before heading to the track.
Casey knew immediately after that first throw that it was a personal best. Her coaches on the other hand had to wait a few minutes for the live results to update. Once it loaded Coach Kevin couldn’t hold in his excitement.
“I was thinking I know that was a PR it had to be a PR it felt too good not to be. Then he jumped out of his seat and nearly jumped the barrier. It was that kind of excitement.”
All over the country, Bogues had her teammates and family’s support. She stated her Aunt hosted a watch party where her family members gathered to watch the magic happen. Her immediate family was attending a high school event where they were constantly checking the time to ensure they didn’t miss her throws.
The day of competition, Casey was surprised with a video of her team, family and the rest of her support system wishing her good luck.
“I definitely cried a little bit. Hearing from all of you guys, it reminded me of why I was out there and who I was out there for and that I wasn’t just out there for myself, I had a lot of people counting on me back home.”
Bogues is the type of athlete that puts in the work behind the scenes. An athlete with integrity and perseverance. She is dedicated to her diet, taking care of her body and getting her mind in the right place.
Casey has always been an incredible athlete. In high school she consistently broke records but once she got to college, things changed.
Her freshman year at University of Dayton, her first outdoor college season was stripped away from her. She took that time to remain humble and work towards the goal- Representing herself and her team at the National Championship.
Overcoming adversity due to the pandemic, she came back her sophomore year with more will to persevere than ever before.
Casey credits Chantae for her boost of motivation in practice this year. “The moment she started practicing with me the intensity of practice jumped at least 10 levels. Without having her there I definitely wouldn’t have pushed myself as hard as I did this past semester.”
It takes a special athlete to be able to handle the pressure of competing on such a large stage. Casey is able to remain calm and take it easy.
Bogues takes time to smile during the NCAA Championships.
“That’s the cue we had all season. I have a tendency to tense up and make the throw a lot harder than it has to be. The point is for me to relax and just go with it and not force the throw. Whenever I don’t try as hard I throw farther.”
For Bogues, there is no time off. She will be leaving for the Olympic Trials alongside Coach Kevin and Volunteer Coach Chantae McMillan, Sunday, June 20th.
The Olympic Trials will also be held at Hayward Field in Oregon.
Stay tuned for the history she creates next.