Patel

Paducah Tilghman swimmer Bailee Patel signed her letter of intent to continue at Rollins College on Tuesday.

Bailee Patel has done it all for Paducah Tilghman.

She's a star swimmer, having set several First Region records in four years at the school - the last of which as a captain. She's a scholar in the classroom, with a 4.0 grade-point average. Patel is also involved in about a dozen extracurricular clubs, including the school's paper.

And, after Tuesday, she's a committed collegiate swimmer, signing to spend the next four years in the pool at Rollins College, a private school in Orlando, Florida.

Oh, and while Patel is there, she'll also be taking pre-med classes, hoping to becoming a doctor.

All in a day's work, one might suppose.

"A lot of it has been just doing it and planning it out, and knowing how my day is going to go after practice, and what all I'm going to have to do," said Patel, explaining how she manages the workload. "A lot of weekends, I've had to take off from going out with friends, or anything, and having to sit down and do work. (I) just have to make some sacrifices."

So, why Rollins?

"It had the small student-to-teacher ratio that I was looking for," Patel said. "Their swim program is being developed. It's a school that I can go there and immediately I can contribute to the team, while also having people to push me to go farther and to improve myself. The location is great. It's in Florida. I mean, who wouldn't want to be there?

"Academically, the school is exactly what I was looking for. It's something rigorous that I could get into, while also pushing myself to be able to do well there."

The support from family and friends, she said, was there from the beginning.

"I can't even describe how supportive they've been," Patel said. "It's been incredible."

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