Being surrounded by palm trees, flowery landscape and warm weather quickly appealed to Northwest Christian High senior Karen Bulger when visiting the University of Hawaii, in addition to what she called a warm and welcoming track and field program.
Those perks were why Bulger, a nationally ranked javelin thrower, orally committed to Hawaii on Thursday, and when she signs her letter of intent in the coming days, she’ll become the first Northwest Christian athlete to sign with an NCAA Division I program.
Northwest Christian, a Class 2B school in Lacey, opened in 1995.
Bulger, after receiving interest from more than 50 colleges, selected Hawaii over powerhouse Pac-12 Conference schools such as Washington, WSU, UCLA, USC and Oregon.
Bulger described the Rainbow Wahine team
atmosphere as welcoming and having a family feel.
“I couldn’t have chosen a better team and coaching staff to be with,” she said.
Bulger came on the national scene in the spring when she threw the javelin 161 feet, 5 inches at the Pasco Invitational. She had the nation’s top mark for high school girls for more than a month.
She went on to win the Class 2B state title in the javelin with a meet-record throw of 154-4, and also placed first in the shot put (42-21/2). She’ll have a chance to defend both state titles in May.
MORE LETTERS OF INTENT
Former Olympia and Capital High School quarterback Derrick Becker signed to play football at Simon Fraser University, an NCAA Div. II program in Burnaby, B.C. Becker, who attends high school in Hawaii, played his senior season at Olympia after transferring from Capital. He completed 65 percent of his passes for 1,886 yards and a school-record 23 touchdowns last season. He also rushed for 518 yards and two touchdowns on his way to earning 4A Narrows League offensive MVP honors. As Capital’s starting quarterback as a sophomore and junior, he led the Cougars to the state 3A quarterfinals in 2011, and 2A semifinals in 2012. ... Mary M. Knight senior Hannah Frost signed with North Dakota State for track and field, principal John Schultz said. Frost, a nationally known hammer thrower, is believed to be the 1B school’s first Division I signee, Schultz said.
Yelm and Capital’s girls bowling teams were crowned winter academic state champions by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association on Thursday. Yelm had a state-best 3.790 grade-point average among 4A teams, while Capital, competing in bowling for the first time, had a 2A-best 3.610 GPA.Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 firstname.lastname@example.org theolympian.com/ southsoundsports @megwochnick