After COVID-19 Breakout, Ryan Soria Changes College Decision

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Ryan Soria of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School in San Antonio, Texas has announced his commitment to NCAA Division II Barton College. Soria is a member of the high school class of 2020.

Soria originally signed an Institutional Letter of Intent with The College of Staten Island in New York, but says that he decided to seek a ‘more rural college setting’ due to COVID-19 concerns.

Staten Island is coterminous with Richmond County in New York. With 2,801 confirmed cases per 100,000 population, according to Johns Hopkins University, it is one of the hardest-hit places in the world in terms of density of confirmed coronavirus infections.

That’s as compared to the Barton College community, located in Wilson County, North Carolina. Wilson County has only had 338 confirmed cases of coronavirus (though, on percentage, it is currently spreading their much faster than it is in Staten Island).

Staten Island has a population of almost half-a-million and a population density of 8,000 people per square mile. Wilson County has a population of around 82,000 and just 221 people per square miles.

The combination of being a top 10 Regional College (US News) academically, the beauty of the campus, Coach Tyler (Ziegler)’s enthusiasm, and being a two-time defending Conference Carolinas champion, I think Barton College is a great fit for me.

Best Times in Yards:

  • 50 free – 22.48
  • 100 free – 48.68
  • 200 free – 1:49.59
  • 100 back – 53.69
  • 200 back – 2:01.28
  • 100 breast – 1:02.69
  • 200 breast – 2:18.79
  • 100 fly – 53.26
  • 200 IM – 2:00.09

Soria says that he spent the first 3 years of his high school career missing a lot of club practices while helping care for his older brother, who is non-verbal autistic. That gives him a lot of upside potential for Barton.

His best time in the 100 free leaves him just a tenth of a second from scoring range at the Conference Carolinas Championships last year.

Barton College has won the last 2 Conference Carolinas Championships, including in 2020 slipping by Emmanuel by 19.5 points. The school competes at the joint Bluegrass Mountain and Conference Carolina Championship meet, with results being split out by conference.

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Very smart move! Ryan you will love the fresh air, mountains and friendly people.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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