Born, raised, and educated in North Carolina, Ryan came to BTC after 5 standout years at North Carolina State. His path from Hickory High School Standout to Nike sponsored professional has been an ascent of moderate and steady improvement. As a prep he was a two time Footlocker Cross Country Nationals qualifier and a 7 time state champion. Freshman year at NC State he represented the USA at the World Cross Country Championships in Amman, Jordan with future BTC teammates German Fernandez and Chris Derrick. After a string of All-American finishes in XC and Track, Ryan finished 2nd to collegiate record holder Lawi Lalang in a thrilling mile race at the 2013 NCAA indoor championships where he ran 3:55. His true breakout performance would come later that year when he finished 3rd in the 5,000m at USA’s and qualified for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow.
In his first full year as a professional in 2014 he set a big new personal best of 7:34 for 3,000m solidifying his place as one of America’s brightest young stars. In 2015 he paid off on that promise by winning US titles in the indoor 2 mile and the outdoor 5,000m. He placed 7th in the 5,000m at the World Championships in Beijing and followed that with a new PR of 13:05 in Brussels. He had a stellar indoor season in 2016 winning the US title at 3,000m and backing that up with a Silver medal at the indoor World Championships in front of an electrified Portland crowd. He was disappointed to finish 6th in a hotly contested 5,000m at the Olympic trials in 2016 but proved his fitness by setting a 1,500m personal best of 3:35 a few weeks later. Ryan bounced back from missing the Olympic team in 2016 by qualifying for the World Championships in London in 2017, his 5th time representing the US internationally.
In 2013 he set the American record in the indoor 5000m (since broken) of 13:07.00 and made yet another World Championship team at 1500m. He again ran 13:07 in 2014, this time outdoors, and in 2015 won the NACAC Championship at 5,000m. He was disappointed to miss out on the Olympic Team in 2016 but rebounded with a strong 2017, when he ran 13:12 for 5,000m and was 5th at the US Championships. He demonstrated his tremendous range by winning the 2018 USATF Championship at 10,000m, becoming one of the only men ever to win both the 1,500m and the 10,000m.
Ryan is an avid sports fan who roots for the NC State Wolfpack, the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets, or a good game. He enjoys trying new restaurants with his girlfriend Emily, entertaining his teammates with impersonations, and, of course, one long show and one short show per day.