Local high school gymnast accepts full ride to BYU | ParkRecord.com

Local high school gymnast accepts full ride to BYU

Academics a determining factor for Pitou

PCHS student Haley Pitou signs her National Letter of Intent to be a gymnast at Brigham Young University next year. Pitou was offered a full-ride scholarship.

For Park City High School gymnast Haley Pitou, who's been participating in the sport since she was 2 years old, the road to a college scholarship wasn't like most.

Where most kids have the opportunity to participate in school sports to help bolster their chances of being a collegiate athlete, Pitou didn't have that option with gymnastics because it's not typically offered among high schools.

Instead, Pitou was forced to go elsewhere — All American Gymnastics in Lindon — so that she could get the experience necessary to achieve her dream of being a gymnast at the next level. Her hard work, which consists of 20-25 hours in the gym per week, finally paid off last month when Pitou signed on to become a BYU Cougar after accepting a full-ride scholarship.

"It was like a breath of fresh air," Pitou said in regards to signing her National Letter of Intent to be a Cougar. "It was a weight off of my shoulders and it was replaced by this exciting feeling of finally becoming a college athlete."

When deciding which school she wanted to go to, Pitou honestly didn't have much of a preference. Of course, she wanted to give herself the best opportunity possible — which she feels she has by signing on with BYU — but all options were on the table.

"I didn't really mind where I went [to school] in the country," Pitou said. "I was looking all over the place. I didn’t really care where I went. I just wanted to go to college."

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For someone who didn't care that much, she ended up picking a pretty good school for her. Sporting a 4.0 GPA at PCHS, Pitou said academics were a big part of the decision process. She wants to go into medical school and she was impressed by the academics that BYU has to offer. Because of this, Pitou figured moving down to Provo would be her best bet.

"I'm really into academics and what I want to do takes a lot of focus," Pitou said. "The distractions [at BYU] are a lot less than other schools. Plus, BYU's academics are amazing."

But before she becomes a Cougar, Pitou still has a few months left as a high school gymnast. In that time, she hopes to return to JO Nationals in Texas, which she qualified for last year, and top all of her previous best scores in each of her events.