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LaGrange’s Paschal swimming off to Tech

LAGRANGE – She explored her options.

LaGrange High’s Allie Paschal has enjoyed a phenomenal career as a high-school swimmer, and colleges took notice.

When she decided she wanted to continue to swim on the collegiate level, she had plenty of suitors.

One of the schools that offered Paschal a swimming scholarship was Georgia Tech, and that’s a school she was already familiar with.

Maddie Paschal, Allie’s older sister, is in the midst of her senior season as a swimmer at Georgia Tech.

Just becuse her sister is at Georgia Tech didn’t mean Allie Paschal was automatically going to choose that school, though.

She did her research, took her visits, and made sure she had all the information she needed to make an informed decision.

In the end, though, she decided that Georgia Tech was the place for her, and she’s looking forward to being a Yellow Jacket.

“When I had all my offers on the table, it was pretty tough, and I really had to think about it,” Paschal said.

After giving it some thought, Paschal said “I woke up the next morning and said I know I’m going to call Tech and tell them I’m going to accept the offer. I’m really excited.”

Paschal made it official last week during a signing ceremony at LaGrange High.

Her friends, family members, teammates, and coaches were there to enjoy the moment with her, and it was a special day.

“I remember this day last year, and I was wondering where I’ll be signing a year from now,” Paschal said. “I’m glad it’s here, and I know I made the right decision.”

Paschal began swimming competitively when she was 4-years-old, and pretty much from the start she has been the one the others in the pool are chasing.

Whether she’s competing for LaGrange High, or her club team in Auburn, Paschal has excelled.

In the high-school state meet in February that included teams from Class A to Class AAAAA, Paschal was second in the 50-yard freestyle, and third in the 100-yard backstroke.

As a sophomore, Paschal also had a pair of top-five finishes in the state meet.

Paschal believes getting the chance to swim in college is a validation of the hard work she’s put in over the years.

“I think it’s a good representation of just how much work you put toward the sport, and how many sacrifices you make,” she said. “I’m really excited and happy about it. I’ve been looking forward to this day for three years.”

William Paschal is not only Allie’s father, but he’s also one of her coaches on the LaGrange High team.

He was a proud dad while watching his daughter sign her letter of intent.

Allie’s mother Heather, who has also been there every step of the way, was also by her side during the signing ceremony.

“It’s been a pleasure watching her, because you just don’t know how hard it is,” William Paschal said. “She is highly motivated, and she’s always been that way. She has really worked hard, and I think she’s going to do great at Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech has been really good to the Paschal family.”

Elliot McHugh, another of Allie Paschal’s coaches and her teacher at LaGrange High, said he’s “extremely proud of her.”

“Not only is she a great swimmer, but she’s an incredible artist,” McHugh said. “She works very hard at what she does. She’s just all-around a very inspiring and encouraging student. A lot of the kids in third period really look up to her and really admire what she does. I’m really proud, but it’s very bitter-sweet, because I’m really going to miss her next year.”

Allie Paschal will have a familiar face down the road in Atlanta.

Fellow LaGrange High senior Alaina Tomlinson is heading to Georgia State to be a distance runner.

“We’re really excited,” Allie Paschal said. “I’m sure I’ll go to her meets, and she’ll come to mine.”

OF NOTE: For more photos, check out facebook.com/LDNsports

Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports

LaGrange’s Maddie Paschal has signed a letter of intent to join the swim team at Georgia Tech. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/11/web1_paschal3.jpgLaGrange’s Maddie Paschal has signed a letter of intent to join the swim team at Georgia Tech. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

LaGrange’s Maddie Maschal is joined by family members, coaches and friends during her signing ceremony last week. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/11/web1_paschal1.jpgLaGrange’s Maddie Maschal is joined by family members, coaches and friends during her signing ceremony last week. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News

http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2016/11/web1_paschal2.jpg

By Kevin Eckleberry

kevin.eckleberry@lagrangenews.com