High School Sports

Bellingham Bay Swim Team’s Rowan King signs with University of the Pacific

Bellingham Bay Swim Team member Rowan King, a senior at Squalicum, will compete for the University of Pacific next year.
Bellingham Bay Swim Team member Rowan King, a senior at Squalicum, will compete for the University of Pacific next year. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Though Squalicum senior Rowan King hopes to grow as an adult and help prepare himself for a career in sports management when he leaves for college next fall, he admits those aren’t the only areas he in which he wants to improve.

“I wanted to go to a place that was going to be competitive,” King said. “I wanted to improve as a swimmer in college – I’m not just going for academics. I love swimming, and I love competing. I wanted to find somewhere that was going to push me in every way.”

King believes he found that place at the University of the Pacific.

He signed his national letter of intent to join the Tigers last month, joining fellow Bellingham Bay Swim Team member Sydney Wong in securing an NCAA Division I scholarship offer. Wong will swim for the University of San Diego.

“I really liked my visit there,” King said. “I liked the team atmosphere, as well as the academic program really fit with what I wanted to do.”

King said he chose Pacific over the University of North Carolina-Willmington and Davidson and a couple of other smaller schools. The fact that the Tigers are a Division I school and swim against strong programs such as Cal Poly and BYU drew King there.

“They swim against some strong teams, so that pushes you to get better,” King said. “The program itself has people that are going to push me to get better, so I’ll have a lot of opportunities to improve.”

King should have a few chances to continue to get better before he even gets to Stockton, Calif.

Next week he’s heading to Junior National Championships in College Station, Texas, to swim in the 100 (56.87 seconds) and 200 (2:08.40) breaststrokes and likely the 50 freestyle (21.86 seconds).

“Swimming BBST definitely has helped prepare me for this,” King said. “They introduced me to the highest level of competition, and I’m looking forward to continuing to push myself in college.”

Whatcom County Class of 2017 signings





Emily Holt



Central Washington

Rowan King




Elisa Kooiman



Northwest Nazarene

Whitney Walker



Texas A&M Kingsville

Ruby Watson


Cross country/track


Drew Westford



Fairfield University

Sydney Wong



University of San Diego

NOTE: To report a Whatcom County student athlete who has or will sign national letter of intent to continue their athletic careers next year, call 360-715-2286 or email sports@bhamherald.com.