"I was having kind of an off day today," Gallavan said, "so I was really nervous."
With one throw, however, she ensured an off day did a 180.
Gallavan, a returning Division I Austintown-Fitch regional qualifier in the shot put, earned her fourth career CVC Chagrin title in the event with a throw of 40 feet, 6 inches. The lone News-Herald area CVC Chagrin athlete with a chance at becoming a four-time league champion this week in the same event saved her best for when it mattered most.
"This is insanely special," Gallavan said. "Going into my final throws, I was really worried that I wasn't going to end up getting it for the fourth year, so it means a lot to me. I try every year to just improve and improve, and it's finally paid off."
Gallavan broke the school record with an effort of 40-10 at the Orange Relays, and popping 40-plus throws is coming at a good time considering the depth of the D-I Fitch Regional field.
"It's so tough," Gallavan said. "You have to throw at least 41 and over to at least have a chance to make it out. And even if you do throw over 40, there's still a chance you're not going to make it out. So it just makes it that much more intimidating."
A 2:14 anchor split can also qualify as an intimidating sight, and West Geauga senior Kelly Williams delivered just that to give the Wolverines a big win in the 4x800 as they opened their quest for a third straight CVC Chagrin team title.
After a confident leg by senior stalwart Kori Chapic in a rare appearance on the 4x800, Williams brought it home. She reeled in seasoned Kenston anchor Maygen Semall on the back stretch and finished the job with 40 meters to go as West G won in 9:39.08.
"I've run against (Semall) before, and I really thought I could catch her," Williams said. "I've been working really hard this season, so I thought I would have the foot speed in the last 200 meters. Probably around the last 200, I really saw her within maybe 10 strides, and I really wanted to catch her. So then I got to the last 100, and I said, ‘All right, I've got to get this, no matter how hard it hurts.' "
On the boys side, the Kenston quartet of J.T. Ward, Sean Slaughter, Luke Porter and Owen Norley took first with an 8:05.22. Norley was outstanding on the anchor with a 1:58.3 split. After the opening 400, Norley could sense an opportunity as Aurora's anchor had difficulty with his arms and maintaining his form, and he pounced on it with a well-executed move on the back stretch.
"I knew I had to catch up to him quickly and try to put the pressure on him so that he could start feeling that," Norley said. "I was hoping I'd be able to pull out the last 300, because that's all we work on — our final 300 kick. I felt like once I got close enough to him that I could definitely win that race."
Other area CVC Chagrin champions crowned Tuesday were Kenston's Lou Mantush (discus), Harvey's Tino Vargas (pole vault) and West Geauga's Denise Volcensek (pole vault).