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Warren’s Millie Ryan selects Ohio University for track and field

Warren’s Millie Ryan makes it official surrounded by family and friends Friday at Warren High School. She commits to Ohio’s track and field team. (Photo Provided)

VINCENT — Millie Ryan is setting herself up for success at the next level, and she hasn’t started her senior season yet.

The discus and shot put standout is taking her talents from Warren High to Athens to compete for the Ohio Bobcats. While attending OU, Ryan will pursue a degree in nursing, as she plans to balance the rigors of being a collegiate student-athlete. She’s no stranger to balancing her priorities, since she competes in soccer and basketball at the high school level, as well.

“I always like to be kept busy,” Ryan said. “I’m in three sports, and I’ve done well with academics. I know I’ll be able to focus on athletics, when I’m at practice.

“But as soon as I get back to the dorm, I’ll be willing to put in the work and study, so I can graduate to be a nurse and help people.”

One of Ryan’s inspirations is her sister, Emma. The elder Ryan also competed in track and field during her time at Ohio University, and Millie credits her for always being there when needed. This comes right before she sets off to forge her own path in Athens.

“I’ve always looked up to her, so seeing what she was able to do at the collegiate level, I wanted to be able to succeed just like her,” Ryan said of her sister. “She’s always been there by helping me with track. She helped me along with this decision and even through all the COVID regulations we have to follow. She’s been very helpful.”

Ryan is taking her game to the next level, and that comes without having a junior season to compete in. While she reached new heights in 2018 and ’19, the Warrior senior is looking forward to picking up where she left off. In those past two seasons, Ryan dominated her district. She is currently a 2-time district shot put champion and a 2-time discus champion, as well. Her accomplishments at the discus throw helped qualify for the state meet in both 2018 and ’19. In the latter year, she earned all-Ohio honors in the district by placing sixth on the all-state list. Ryan anchored the team in those events by scoring the most field points in those two seasons. Ryan is looking to add on more successful season to her high school resumÈ.

“I feel like even though I wasn’t able to throw, I took every opportunity I could to get some reps in,” she said. “Even if it was just to lift, I still worked on my personal strength. This year, I could be able to put it all together.”

That attitude bodes well for WHS head coach Sally Maddox’s squad, as she gets Ryan for one more year.

“She always pushes herself to do her best during those events. When you do that, you get the opportunity to go to state’s,” Maddox said of the senior leader. “She was hoping to make it four years in a row, but with her not being able to throw (due to the canceled season), that didn’t happen. I know she’s looking forward to trying to get there again, this year. She has been an anchor for us at that position in the discus, since she joined our team as a freshman. She did a really good job and was able to provide us a lot of points coming out of the field events with the shot put and the discus as a freshman and a sophomore. We’re excited about having her, this year. I believe she’ll be able to go on to college, and with their coaching and experience, she’ll be able to do even better.”

Although there is still time before Ryan heads to college, she has some lofty expectations for herself. She hopes to compete in the javelin throw and hammer throw in addition to discus and shot put. Also, she would like to compete for MAC titles, and in doing so, help her team compete at the NCAA regional level. As for the biggest memory she’ll take with her, Ryan has a fond memory of her time at the 2019 state meet.

“Just having everyone there, we had a good showing,” she recalled. “We had a bunch of boys running, and we had Erin Bogard pole vaulting. We had a good community show up. Just whenever I was announced, there were a bunch of cheers. It was just a great memory to have at Warren.”

Contact Josh Hughes at jhughes@newsandsentinel.com

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