Since Kate May was 6 years old, she has been making a name for herself in swimming.

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Almost from the start, May was considered a “natural” in the pool and was always ahead of the others in nearly every stroke. On Friday, she made her college choice official, signing a national letter of intent to attend Purdue University, a Big Ten Conference school, on a swimming scholarship.

“I really loved how the team reacted to me at Purdue,” she said. “I like the behaviors of the people on the team and how much respect they have for the sport. I did have quite a few options, but when I went to Purdue I noticed things that just clicked there.”

May’s goals for college are pretty simple, “I would like to have a good career and end as a senior in college on a good note. I just want to be happy in swimming and have a good time with it.”

“It is awesome for me to see Kate and Elizabeth take the next step on to college,” Christian Rhoten, head Edwardsville swim coach, said. “Less than 1 percent of all swimmers go on to swim in college. “It has been a real joy to coach Kate. She has been a positive leader inside and outside for her teammates.”

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“Kate and Elizabeth are both terrific talents,” Coach Bob Rettle of the Edwardsville Breakers and Chuck Fruit Pool Director, said. “I am always proud of swimmers when they go on to college and swim there. They are like my own kids going on to college,” Rettle said.

The Edwardsville senior plans to study nutrition sciences and wants to be a dietitian or nutritionist one day.

She thanked her dad, Thomas, and mom, Yukiko, for their constant support in her life and for always being there for her in swimming.

“My mom and dad mean so much to me,” she said. “They always brought me to practices and meets and want me to do well in swimming.”

Mostly, now, she tries to set a solid example for the other younger swimmers on the EHS team, many who were in attendance for the signing, which is not the case for most college signings. The large turnout of other swimmers shows how committed they are to the program and that she is one of their mentors. Kate’s brother, Noah, is an up and coming swimmer for the Tigers, and he joined the family in attendance on Friday.

“I really want to set a good example for my little EHS Tigers over there,” she said.

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