Karleigh Gause went to Washington, D.C., to work in politics.

Along the way, the Grand Forks Central product has managed to win a national college boxing title.

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Competing for Georgetown University's boxing club, the 20-year-old Gause went to Syracuse, N.Y., in late March to compete in USIBA Nationals, where the Hoyas beat Michigan to win the team title and Gause won the 165-pound belt.

Gause holds just a 2-2 record in her young career, but the title belts are awarded to boxers in varying experience levels.

Gause, who played volleyball and soccer at Central and also participated in competitive shooting in Grand Forks, started boxing two years ago.

The idea started at a Georgetown activities fair as a freshman on the Washington, D.C., campus. The residence assistant in her dormitory was in boxing, and he convinced her to give it a try.

"It ended up being one of the best decisions I made," Gause said.

Gause had done Tae Kwon Do when she was young in Grand Forks, and she was searching for a similar sport that fits her personality.

"I had a little experience sparring-the fact of getting hit and trying to hit someone," Gause said. "But the technique is different. Tae Kwon Do is with your legs and boxing is with your arms."

Gause said her family found her decision to join boxing strange but were supportive.

"My dad loves the fact that I fight other people," Gause said. "Obviously, it still came as kind of a shock."

At Georgetown, Gause majors in international politics, where she'd like to work in government in one way or another. She's developed an interest in counter terrorism.

Gause also spent one summer each interning with U.S. Sen. John Hoeven and former U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.

She plans to graduate next winter after just three and a half years at Georgetown, but she also wants to stick with boxing.

"It's a really good way to work out," she said. "It's nice in the fact that it's an individual sport. You don't have to rely on teammates when you're in the ring, but you have teammates at practice to hold you accountable. I hope I can find a good boxing gym in the area wherever I end up."