Forest City senior and Mason City swimmer Ryan Korthals has committed to swim NCAA Division I at the University of Nebraska Omaha.
Korthals made his decision official this morning at Forest City High School in front of his family and friends. Ryan is the first Forest City swimmer who will compete in NCAA Divison I since Emma Sougstad, a 2013 grad, was a two-time All-American at the University of Iowa. Sougstad and Iowa were at the center of dismantling swimming programs due to budget shortfalls caused by COVID-19.
Ryan swam at the state meet for Mason City in February.
His decision to head to UNO will come with some uncharted territory. Along with moving to a new state and swimming with new teammates, he’ll be joining a first-year program.
While programs across the country were closing the door on swimming and other Olympic programs, the Mavericks have added a men’s swimming program to join the already established women’s program. Todd Samland – the women’s coach – was promoted to lead both the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams.
Samland has been the coach of the women’s program since its inception in 1997. Since then, they have been a part of five different conferences. They moved to NCAA DI and the Summit League before the 2013 season. UNO will be the fifth men’s program in the Summit League. Coach Samland is happy to get Ryan on campus for his swimming ability but is also excited to see how he excels in the classroom. Last year, the Mavericks combined team GPA was 3.7.
At the time of this article, UNO currently has 17 members for their inaugural season. Ryan mentioned his time in Mason City as special, but he also noted he’s excited to move on and swim with his new teammates. He also joked that bus rides would be much better with charter-style busses rather than school buses. Korthals will be joined by fellow Iowan Owen Hoak of Sioux City, who also swam at the state meet in February.
Zarren Egesdal is the sports director for Coloff Media radio stations KIOW and KHAM. He can be reached daily at [email protected] or 641-585-1073. Do you have a story idea? Feel free to contact him. Zarren is an award-winning journalist providing coverage to all area schools. Throughout the year, you will hear Zarren calling games as the ‘voice of the Forest City Indians’ on KIOW (107.3), the Indians flagship station.