Beaver Nation Moves East
When they crossed the finish line at the New York High School Track & Field Championships last June, Kristiane Width and Holly Cavalluzzo had no idea that they might be college teammates some day — and 3,000 miles away.
Width, a senior at the United Nations International School, and Cavalluzzo, a senior from Valley Central (Long Island), placed second and fifth, respectively, in the 3,000 meters final.
On Wednesday, they will both sign letters of intent to Oregon State University, rival of the Oregon Ducks and a school looking to raise its track and field profile by recruiting nationally.
Width and Cavalluzzo both responded to a questionnaire they received in the mail last summer from Oregon State. Cavalluzzo visited the campus in Corvallis, Ore. in October, liked what she saw there, and then discovered that Width had shown an interest too.
Cavalluzzo sent Width an email and told her how much she liked her visit. Width made her visit in December and came to the same conclusion.
On Monday, Width came to the Armory wearing an Oregon State T-shirt in order to watch her future teammate.
Oregon State disbanded its track programs in 1988 but then revived a distance-only women's program in 2004. Head coach Kelly Sullivan led a fund-raising campaign that slowly built momentum, leading to a new track facility, the inclusion of other events, and eventually the restoration of the men's program. Oregon State will host its first meets in 25 years this spring.
"Their program is really starting to take off, which is what really interested me," Cavalluzzo said.
Width, who was born in Norway, has lived in Finland and Sweden and moved to New York City three-and-a-half years ago. Her father works in the Norwegian Mission. She won the girls' mile at the New Balance Games on Jan. 26, running 4:58.40, to earn a spot at the Millrose Games.
Cavalluzzo was fourth at last year's state meet in the 1,500, running 4:31.71.