Seniors Max Pokutta and Michael Lincoln commit to Brown University


Written by Stina Chang

As the last relay wrapped up, the swim team was only a few inches from taking the lead and winning the championship. Senior Michael Lincoln, swimming the second to last lap, speeds up and secured Gunn’s win. The swim team won the 2016 Central Coast Section Championship, breaking the 31-year streak title held by Bellarmine Preparatory Academy. Lincoln described this moment as one of his proudest accomplishments in his swimming career.

Lincoln was scouted by Brown University and has committed to the college with his teammate senior Max Pokutta. Both of them have been swimming for Gunn since freshman year and for Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics for more than five years.

When asked what swimming means to them, both Lincoln and Pokutta described it as “fun and rewarding.” According to Pokutta, swimming allows him to make long-lasting friendships. “People think swimming is a individual sport, but you need your team, need your teammates to push you to be better,” Pokutta said.

Lincoln and Pokutta has been part of the Gunn swim team since freshman year. Being part of the team allowed them to participate in the college athlete recruitment. Through the recruiting process, Lincoln and Pokutta were offered spots from many schools. What stood out to them about Brown was the campus life and the curriculum. While visiting the school and campus, they got to spend time with the swim team and attend some of the classes.

“I felt the most at home there,” he said. “It’s a fantastic school and I felt connected with the people,” Lincoln said.

According to Pokutta, Brown recently refurbished their athletic facility and, to him this “showed [their] interest in athletes.”

Brown’s curriculum was also another factor in their decision. Lincoln expressed his interest in computer science and plans on majoring in this field when he goes to Brown. On the contrary, Pokutta has not decided on a major yet. “Part of the reason why I chose Brown was because of the open curriculum,” he said. “Professors seem supportive and care about the students’ learning.”