BALTIMORE, Maryland, September 9. WHILE Stanford and Georgia have been having a blast in the early part of the Class of 2014 recruiting cycle, the Big Ten just made its first score as North Baltimore’s Gillian Ryan committed tonight to swim for head coach Mike Bottom with the Michigan Wolverines.
Heavily rumored to have chosen Michigan after an incredible visit to Ann Arbor, Mich., Ryan made her commitment known tonight via her CollegeSwimming.com profile.
Ryan, the No. 4 recruit in the nation as ranked by CollegeSwimming.com, is from Kutztown, Pa., and first made some serious noise on the national scene with a victory in the women’s 800-meter freestyle national title at 16. That occurred while swimming for Parkland Aquatic Club.
However, when her coach Erik Posegay took a position with the North Baltimore Aquatic Club, she elected to head to Baltimore to live and train at NBAC while taking online courses from Kutztown High School in Pennsylvania.
Ryan will make an immediate impact for the Wolverines in distance events. She already owns a pair of stellar short course yard times in the 1000 free (9:26.50) and 1650 free (15:49.74). Her 1650 freestyle already would have placed her third at the 2013 NCAA Division I Championships this year, which would have been the top finish in the Big Ten. Indiana’s Lindsay Vrooman owned that honor with a third-place 15:50.73. Notably, Michigan’s top finisher in the 1650 free was graduated senior Adrienne Bicek, who took 40th, so Ryan is a huge upgrade for the Wolverines.
Ryan also boasts a 4:36.99 lifetime best in the 500-yard free that would have taken seventh overall at NCAAs this year as well. Only Vrooman has a better time in the Big Ten with a fifth-place 4:36.41, with Bicek the top Wolverine with a 42nd-place 4:47.06.
Ryan’s third-best event in yards is a 1:45.20 in the 200-yard freestyle, which puts her solidly in line for 800-yard freestyle relay duty for the Wolverines as well, and would have placed her eighth in the 200 free at NCAAs.
Ryan also has some serious chops in the long course pool with a 4:07.26 in the 400-meter free, 8:25.57 in the 800-meter free (8:25.57) and 16:14.67 in the 1500-meter freestyle.