SANDPOINT — Sandpoint swim prodigy Payton Bokowy made it official this week, signing a letter of intent for a full ride scholarship to swim at Washington State University.
Bokowy, fresh off her 5th and 6th state titles in the 50 and 100 free, had a lot of schools to choose from, but picked Pullman largely because of coach Tom Jaeger and the chance to compete against the fastest swimmers in the country.
“The coach was an Olympic swimmer in the 50 free,” said Bokowy, who liked what she saw on her visit. “The team is very inclusive. There’s 20 girls that love to swim, and I can’t wait to join them.”
Dartmouth and Cornell were among a host of other school courting Bokowy, and she toured some California schools before making her choice. The full ride is 78 percent athletic, and 22 percent academic, and while the 4.3 GPA student has no idea yet what she plans to study, she hopes to enroll in the Honors College.
The jump in competition will be immense, as the Pac 12 features current Olympians thrashing in the pools, but Bulldog head coach Mike Brosnahan sees Bokowy fitting in fine.
“She’s going to be a team leader. She’ll continue to go faster. She’s going to a guy who’s an incredible sprint coach. The potential is unlimited,” admitted Brosnahan, who has coached Bokowy since she was 3 years-old. “It’s really the highest level of competition. It’s just the beginning, go to a college program and take it even farther.”
Parents Tom and Jacinda Bokowy were elated at their daughter’s choice, and will be able to catch some home meets with just a few hours drive.
“Payton sets higher goals for herself than we do,” said Tom, who named his daughter after Bears running back Walter Payton. “I couldn’t be happier that she’s going to Washington State.”