ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Women's College Swimming: Ryan signs with North Dakota

In Dan Anderson's 22 seasons as head coach of the Brainerd High School girls swimming and diving team, the only Warrior he can recall who went on to swim for a Division I program was exchange student Kirsten Geppert at Southern Illinois.

Fallon Ryan
Fallon Ryan

In Dan Anderson's 22 seasons as head coach of the Brainerd High School girls swimming and diving team, the only Warrior he can recall who went on to swim for a Division I program was exchange student Kirsten Geppert at Southern Illinois.

In the last few years, Warrior divers Katy and Beth Etterman have gone on to compete at the University of Minnesota. But Geppert is the only swimmer, in Anderson's recollection, who ascended to the Division I level.

On Wednesday, Fallon Ryan joined the elite group of Warrior swimmers in Anderson's tenure to go Division I when she signed with the University of North Dakota. She will graduate this spring as one of the most decorated swimmers in program history.

"It's something I've always wanted to do," Ryan said of swimming in college. "It definitely will be a good experience. It was a long decision-making process but always my main goal was to swim in college."

A 5-year letterwinner, Ryan earned all-conference honors all five years. She was a 3-time conference champion and a 3-time conference runner-up - to the eventual state champion. She also was a scholar all-conference selection.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ryan won two section titles and was a 3-time section runner-up, a 3-time state qualifier as an individual and 3-time state qualifier on relays.

In addition, she is the school record holder in the 200 and 500 freestyles and with the 400 free relay. Her time ranks third in school history in the 100 free and seventh in the 50 free.

Credentials like those reinforce Anderson's belief that Ryan will be successful at the next level.

"She's one of the best ever to come through our program, that's for sure," he said. "Fallon pretty much dominated as an eighth-grader and she's just been solid her entire career. The only time she ever lost a conference championship was to the girl who was the (eventual) state champion. She owns a third of our school records.

"We've done everything we can do for her here. It's time for her to get some different coaching, change up her training. I think she will strive, I think she will do great."

Ryan, a distance swimmer for the Warriors most of her career, switched to sprints as a senior. She anticipates competing in college events like the 200, 500 and 400 IM.

She also thinks she will be given an opportunity to compete at UND as a freshman.

"My first year I think I will jump right in, but I'm not completely sure on that," Ryan said. "I probably will have to earn my spot on the conference team which is like their big meet at the end of the year. We'll see what happens when I get there I guess."

ADVERTISEMENT

Ryan said she thoroughly enjoyed swimming for the Warriors.
"I had a great time in high school swimming," she said. "I have so many great memories. I made countless friends and my teammates I will always remember. I also got the best coaching that was available to me anywhere.

"I'm proud to be Warrior. I will always take those memories with me."

She also thanked her parents, Don and Marie, for their support during her swimming career.

"I definitely wouldn't be anywhere without the support of amazing parents," Ryan said. "I definitely owe a lot to them."

MIKE BIALKA may be reached at mike.bialka@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5861. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bertsballpark .

What To Read Next
The Central Lakes College Raiders hosted Rainy River Saturday, Feb. 4.
The Central Lakes College Raiders hosted Rainy River Saturday, Feb. 4.
The Central Lakes College Raiders hosted Hibbing Friday, Feb. 3.
The Central Lakes College Raiders hosted Gogebic Community College Friday, Feb. 3.