Sprinter Ryan Zelen Follows Brother With Verbal to Wisconsin

ryan zelen wisconsin
Photo Courtesy: Ryan Zelen

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NEW COMMIT: Duluth, Minn. native Ryan Zelen has announced his verbal commitment to Wisconsin as a member of the class of 2023. His older brother, Tyler Zelen, is currently a senior for the Badgers and placed eighth in the 50 free at the 2018 Big Ten Championships.

Zelen does his club swimming with Lake Superior Swim Club under head coach Howie Leathers and owns the Winter Juniors cut in the 50 free. He recorded a trio of best times at MN Seniors over the summer with his highest finish being an 11th-place showing in the 50m free. He had four top-10 finishes at MN Seniors in March while earning the bronze in the splash-and-dash. Also competing for Duluth East High School, Zelen is a three-time Minnesota State Championship finalist. He placed third in the 50 free and fifth in the 100 free as a junior after winning both events at the Section 7AA meet a week prior.

He told Swimming World:

I’m very happy to announce my commitment to the Wisconsin Badgers.  The combination of the University of Wisconsin’s phenomenal academics, storied coaching staff, and an incredible team culture cemented my commitment to Wisconsin.  I can’t wait to call Madison my home!  Go Badgers!”

His best times include:

  • 50 free – 20.71
  • 100 free – 45.80
  • 200 free – 1:49.29

When he suits up for the Badgers next fall, Zelen will join a sprint group that includes Griffin Back and Kevin Braun. Although he currently sits outside of scoring range at the conference level, Zelen has improved significantly each season with still a year of club swimming to go.

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