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Pennsylvania High School AAA State finalist Claire Ryland has verbally committed to UConn. A current senior at Hershey High School in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Ryland is scheduled to join the Huskies in the fall of 2021.
At the 2020 PIAA State Championship meet, which was ultimately shortened by the onrushing coronavirus pandemic, Ryland finished 8th in the final of the girls’ 50 free, touching the wall at 23.88. She also finished 15th in prelims of the 100 free in 51.97 – results that would eventually be converted to “finals” when the finals session was canceled.
Ryland also split 23.68 on the leadoff leg of Hershey’s 2nd-place 200 free relay. That 200 free relay, which included 3 juniors and a freshman, will all be back in the 2020-2021 season for Hershey, if that season happens.
Those results highlight Ryland’s specialty as a sprint freestyler. Her secondary stroke is backstroke – she swam 58.12 in the 100 yard back and 2:04.3 in the 200 yard back as a freshman, but ultimately shifted her focus more towards the sprint free events.
Ryland’s Best Times in Yards:
- 50 free – 23.64
- 100 free – 51.62
- 200 free – 1:55.26
- 100 back – 58.12 (freshman year)
- 200 back – 2:04.37 (freshman year)
The UConn women finished 6th out of 6 teams at the 2020 AAC Conference Championship meet, with one of the teams ahead of them, East Carolina, cutting its program this offseason.
One of the areas where UConn really struggled was in the sprint freestyles. Their 200 free relay finished 5th and their 400 free relay finished 6th at the meet. Individually, UConn’s top scorer in the 50 free was sophomore Linnea Anderson (14th – 23.59) and their top scorer in the 100 free was senior Megan Wenman (14th – 51.09). While Ryland is not quite on scoring times yet in the conference which scores just A and B finals, she’s already very close.
What’s more, her best times in the 50 and 100 freestyles are already in range to crack UConn’s A relays, with still one season to go before she arrives on campus.
Ryland joins a small UConn class that includes Maggie Donlevy, Amelia Schaefer, and Paige Sugra. Ryland, who announced her commitment in early August, was the last swimmer to publicly commit to the Huskies. Of that group, Donlevy (53.20/51.13) is also a sprinter of similar caliber to Ryland.
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