Wright Sprints To Success; Headed to Oregon

Kate Wiggins, Features Editor

   400-meter State Champion Katriina Wright has announced her commitment to the University of Oregon to continue her career in both athletics and academics. “Oregon was my number one school. After learning about the program and its history, I knew it was my dream school,” said Wright.

   Wright put in countless hours to get herself in the position that she is in today. “It took me awhile to really get into my recruiting process, just because I really wasn’t familiar with it at all. I took charge and started to reach out to colleges. I was fortunate to be in communication with all of the schools that I was interested in. It was sometimes stressful, but all worth it at the end,” shared Wright. 

   Wright is often recognized as a hard working athlete with a next-level mindset. Senior Desiree Foster commented on Wright’s strong work ethic: “Katriina is an amazing athlete, and one of the hardest working people I know. She never lets anything stop her from accomplishing her goals. I am so proud of how far she has come. She has pushed herself so hard, and the work has finally paid off.” Senior Kilee Horner shared, “Katriina is incredibly driven and works hard for her dreams. I know she will do amazing things at Oregon, and I’m excited to watch all of the incredible things she will accomplish.”

   Wright had a strong list of competitive schools which she was interested in, including: Louisiana State University; University of Florida; University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, Berkeley. Among all those big name schools, Wright ultimately made the decision to choose Oregon to pursue her track dreams. After Wright had the opportunity to see the campus in person, she knew it would be the perfect fit for her. Wright shared, “After feeling the energy of the school, I was just in absolute awe, and I completely fell in love.” What also caught her eye was the city which the University of Oregon calls home, Eugene. Wright explained that the surrounding nature was beautiful and that she doesn’t mind the cold climate. 

   “I loved the coaches. When I visited, I already felt like I was a part of a family, even though I wasn’t a member of the team yet. They were very welcoming and nice, which really was a big reason why I chose Oregon,” said Wright. She confirmed that she had never been so sure of something in her life. “It was really a shocking feeling, because I find myself to be an indecisive person,” said Wright.

   “Running is something that I have always been passionate about. It constantly gives me the sensation of being happy, and I just feel free when I am running,” said Wright. She continued to explain that running is something that has always come naturally to her. “I expect there to be high levels of competition, and I’m ready for it; I’m really excited. I love competition, and it is something that I don’t shy away from. It pushes me more, and I think I will thrive and be in my element,” said Wright. 

   As Wright looks to possibly major in psychology or sociology, she knows that she ultimately wants to help people. She also carries the ambitious goal of going pro for track. And to add to the list, she hopes to coach young athletes, just like herself. “Coaching is something that you can do after you have a career. I really want to help athletes, just so I can mentor them and help them out. If you are a coach and have a strong psychology background you can have a huge impact on your athletes’ growth,” said Wright. 

   As for her own coaches, Wright is eternally grateful. “I am so grateful for Coach Hutsel, my teammates, my friends, and the track community for helping me get to where I am today. The abundance of support from the community is something that I will cherish and be thankful for forever,” shared Wright. 

   To anyone who has interest in playing sports at the collegiate level, Wright shared some wise words: “You are going to have to make sacrifices. Put yourself first, including your dreams and goals. Learning to be there and motivate yourself by the end of the day is really what matters.”

   With a State Championship already under her belt, the UC High community can not wait to see what Wright will have to offer at the prestigious University of Oregon Track and Field Program.