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Still in the midst of his junior year of high school, Ryan Turner of St. Cloud, Florida has announced his verbal commitment for the fall of 2024, deciding to swim at the University of South Carolina. Turner will graduate from Circle Christian School next spring and currently swims club with the Highlander Aquatic Club. As a 15-year old Turner elected to compete in a 1000 freestyle swimming butterfly, ultimately finishing in 10:59.50.
“I am thrilled to announce my verbal commitment to the University of South Carolina. I look forward to furthering my swimming/academic career along with Coach Jeff Poppell and his incredible team. I would not be where I am today without the guidance and training of Coach Todd and Coach Curley. I am extremely grateful to God and for the support of my family. GO GAMECOCKS!!!🐔”
A distance specialist, Turner has been a finalist in the 500 freestyle the past two years at the FHSAA Florida 1A Swimming and Diving State Championships, a meet historically dominated by the Bolles School. As a junior last November, he finished in fourth during finals, stopping the clock at 4:32.78. He was slightly faster during the prelims of the event, touching in 4:32.33. Those swims were nearly eight seconds faster than his performance a year prior in the event. During Turner’s sophomore season, he finished 10th in the event in a then lifetime best of 4:40.25.
Less than a month after the state championship meet last fall, Turner picked up a pair of lifetime bests in distance races while swimming with his club team. In the 1650, he dropped nearly a second and a half to stop the clock first in 15:34.40. That swim put him ahead of the field in the event by over thirty seconds. He also added a second personal best in the 1000 free, touching at 9:21.47.
Outside of the pool, Turner finished in the top-8 of last spring’s Open Water Junior National Championships. Turner finished 8th in the 7.5k at that event.
Top SCY Times
- 500 free – 4:30.99
- 1000 free – 9:18.97
- 1650 free – 15:34.40
South Carolina has seen rapid improvement in the last year and a half after head coach Jeff Poppell took over the program. In his first season in charge of the Gamecocks, they doubled their total score from the previous year at the 2022 SEC Swimming and Diving.
Even with a year left of high school, Turner already boasts lifetime bests capable of adding strong depth to the Gamecocks team. Last season, his personal best in the 1650 would have made him the team’s third-fastest performer. His time would have been good enough to earn 29th at the 2022 SEC Championships, just 13 seconds outside of scoring range.
Turner will be joined as a freshman in the fall of 2024 by Tyler Whitacre. Whitacre will also have the potential to compete in the distance freestyle events, with his lifetime best in the 500 free being just three seconds behind Turner’s.
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