Division 2 State Champion Ryan Champa Chooses John Carroll

2020 OHSAA Division 2 cross country individual and team titlist, Ryan Champa, from Woodridge, will stay close to home and attend University Heights-based John Carroll University

MileSplit Ohio reached out to Champa for more context on his college commitment decision, as well as to learn about his history in the sport. 

Coverage - 

What separated John Carroll University from other schools you were considering? Why did you ultimately choose to go with the Blue Streaks?

The thing that separated JCU from other schools was the culture they are building and the guys they have there already. They have goals of high placements at the national meet as well as a focus on success in the classroom. 

Understanding that you just recently announced your commitment, but have you had time to think about what you'd like to accomplish at the college level? What goals do you have set for yourself at John Carroll? 

I really don't have many specific individual goals at the moment, but I really plan on doing my best to try and help the team win a national championship.

How did you get started in the sport and when did you realize that you'd like to pursue running beyond your high school years? 

I started running track and cross country in 3rd grade because I was too small for football and hated baseball. I have always had the goal of competing at the highest level I can for as long as I can.

Do you have any mentors or influences who've helped you develop as a highly successful high school runner? 

From a celebrity standpoint I have always looked up to Steve Prefontaine because of his legendary status. On a more personal level I would say Coach Howard has been my biggest mentor and I have learned so much from him.

You've reeled in a lot of hardware during your time at Woodridge. What team accomplishment stands out the most from your 4-year tenure with the Bulldogs? 

I would say that our 2019 team title stands out the most because we broke the record for lowest score in state history with 37 points and I just thought that was a really cool achievement.

Moving away from athletics, what do you plan on studying at John Carroll and what else are you looking forward to during your time in University Heights? 

I plan to study business and with JCU being so close to downtown I really look forward to the opportunity to build meaningful connections in the business world.

We often try elicit advice from those who've just gone through the recruitment process. What tips can you share with others about selecting the right school? 

Honestly picking a school is one of the hardest decisions because of how many factors play into it. At the end of the day, however, I picked my favorite school because it was the place that felt the best.