Athletics and academics were important factors for Lakeside High School swimmer Rebecca Pakradooni when the time came for choosing a college.
Pakradooni, 18, signed a letter of intent to swim at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio. She hopes to attend medical school there.
“I’m not really used to being far away from home, but traveling doesn’t bother me,” she said. “And the cold? I’m fine with. I love the cold.”
Pakradooni, whose best strokes are freestyle and butterfly, began swimming competitively at age 7 on a summer league team.
“It’s just fun,” she said of competitive swimming. “Your teammates push you, but you also have to push yourself to higher levels than you would expect of yourself.”
In addition to swimming all four years at Lakeside, Pakradooni swam year-round with the Aiken-Augusta Swim League.
Before attending high school, Pakradooni also spent three years on a swim team in Germany while her father was stationed there with the U.S. Air Force.
At the state championships, Pakradooni was a big part of Lakeside placing 13th, said Lakeside swim coach Sarah Wexler.
“She was definitely a team player,” she said. “We couldn’t have done it without her.”
Individually, Pakradooni finished 12th in the 200-yard freestyle and 14th in the 100-yard butterfly. She also placed in two relay races.
Wexler said she believes that Pakradooni’s positive attitude and work ethic will take her far.
“I think she’s going to get better and better,” Wexler said.