The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Q&A | Iowa second-year distance runner Will Ryan talks music taste, goals after graduation

The Daily Iowan learned about distance cross country and track and field distance runner Will Ryan during a one-on-one conversation.
Ayrton Breckenridge
Arkansas State’s Cash Kunkel and Iowa’s Will Ryan compete in the 1600 sprint medley during day three of the 2023 Drake Relays at Drake Stadium in Des Moines on Saturday, April 29, 2023. Arkansas State’s sprint medley team finished sixth with a time of 9:59.36.

The Daily Iowan: What is your most memorable experience as a Hawkeye?

Will Ryan: It has to be my day at Stanford [University] during my freshman outdoor track season. I ran a big outdoor [5,000-meter race] personal best of 14:15. That same day, our women’s basketball team beat South Carolina to go to the national championship. And then, Max Murphy broke the [5,000-meter] school record that night.

Who is your inspiration?

I would say there are a lot of different types of inspiration that I pull from. Overall, I would say my mom and my dad. If I had to pick an athlete, it would be Kobe Bryant. I just love the way he approaches basketball and his killer mentality.

If you didn’t run, what do you think you would be doing?

If I wasn’t running, you’d find me playing basketball at a small college somewhere in Iowa or Minnesota or Wisconsin. I just always need to be doing a sport to be competitive.

What is your favorite pre-meet tradition?

My favorite thing that I like to do goes all the way back to high school. I went to Dowling Catholic [High School], so before every meet we would say a Hail Mary. I always like to say that in my head before races because it gets me in the right mindset to race in.

Do you have any go-to pump-up music?

My favorite pre-race music is the La La Land soundtrack if I want to be chill. My main mix is usually rock and roll like “Back in Black” because it’s super Iowa-themed.

What are you studying at Iowa?

Right now, I am studying human physiology on the pre-med track. My plan is to go to med school at the University of Iowa.

Do you have a favorite class you’ve taken so far?

It might be one I’m taking right now. I kind of like elementary psychology. I like learning how the brain works and the different tricks it can play on you.

What is your goal for after graduation?

Right now, my main goal is to be a doctor and make a difference that way. I just want to make a difference and help others whether that be in my career or working through Catholic charities. Whatever way I can make the world better is my end goal.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Mia Boulton
Mia Boulton, Sports Reporter
Mia Boulton is a freshman at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism & Mass Communication, as well as exploring a possible double major in Sports Media. She works at the Daily Iowan as a sports reporter. Outside of the Daily Iowan, Mia has been a photographer for her hometown newspaper, The Record.
Ayrton Breckenridge
Ayrton Breckenridge, Managing Visuals Editor
Ayrton Breckenridge is the Managing Visuals Editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and cinema. This is his fourth year working for the DI.