High School: East Wake
Also Considered: Wingate University, Wilkes University, West Virginia Wesleyan College
Why South Dakota State? “I was looking at pharmacy and they had the major, so I was very interested. I visited unofficially and I really like it so I decided to have an official visit. After the official visit, I knew that was where I really wanted to go.” Something that stood out to Ryan was seeing how athletics function at the Division I level. “When I got to know the guys on the swim team, I felt a bond with those guys and could see myself swimming with them. I felt the coaches were phenomenal.” He also liked what he saw with the pharmacy program at SDSU. “All that put together, I really enjoyed the school,” he said. “It’s very far away. It’s going to be a big change. I definitely think I’ll be able to do it. I really think they’re going to help me make that transition. Of course I’m going to miss North Carolina, but I think I’m going to love it up there.”
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Most Memorable: “This area of (the Triangle) isn’t very big on the whole club swimming, so me being one of the few club swimmers to come through this school has been kind of cool because I’ve kind of stood out in this sport. It’s been cool to have something to stand out on.” He’s thankful to have had the opportunity to swim at the regional level in high school. “Since I am into club swimming in the Raleigh area, I know a lot of the guys at other schools so it’s cool to be able to compete against each other.” He’s also enjoyed swimming against guys he knows that swim for Garner and Knightdale. “There’s been competition in the conference, for sure, and it’s been fun to swim against the competition.”
Notable: Ryan has been an All-Greater Neuse River 4A Conference selection and earned and All-Academic honors all three years entering his final season at East Wake. He’s also been team MVP twice. He has made the regional championships all three years and has a goal of making the state championships for the first time as a senior. Ryan swims with the Zebulon Dolphins in the Tarheel Swimming Association summer league and has been a year-round swimmer since kindergarten. He has participated on several club teams and currently swims for the Marlins of Raleigh. “My club swimming background is definitely what got me to the college level,” he said.
Compiled by Aaron Moody