Ryan Bak
Track, Soccer
​Inducted in 2004
Ryan began his athletic career at Suffield High School as a soccer player. He played soccer freshman, sophomore, and junior years and was a two-year starter playing both forward and midfield. He first became involved with track and field during the winter of his junior year and found almost instant success. From that point on, his athletic future followed a running path as he competed for the indoor track team and outdoor track team (junior and senior years), and the cross-country team (senior year).
While in high school, he was an 11-time All-State selection…11-time All-NCCC selection…6-time State Champion (Class S)…5-time All-New England selection…Nike All-American selection with 4x800 relay team…Academic All-State selection…NCCC All-Academic selection. Captain of the indoor track and outdoor track teams for two years, Ryan is the SHS record holder in 7 events (500m indoor, 800m indoor, 800m outdoor, 4x800 indoor, 4x800 outdoor, 4x1600m outdoor, and 5000m outdoor). As a senior, he was selected for the Meade Alcorn Outstanding Athlete Award and, academically, was ranked 9th in his class.

After high school, Ryan attended Trinity College in Hartford. At Trinity, he continued to excel both academically and athletically. He had a spectacular running career in college demonstrated by the following achievements:
  • NCAA Division III National Champion in cross-country (2002), indoor track 1500 meter National Champion (2002), indoor track 5000 meter National Champion (2003).
  • NCAA Division III National Cross-Country Athlete of the Year (2002), NCAA Division III National Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Year (2003), New England Runner of the Year (2002), NESCAC Runner of the Year (2001, 2002).
  • All-American honors in cross-country (two times), indoor track (4 times), outdoor track (4 times) while competing for Trinity.
  • George Sheldon McCook Trophy—Trinity Senior Male Athlete of the Year (2003).
  • Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance Connecticut Male Athlete of the Year (2003).
  • Holder of Trinity school records in every event from 800 meters to 5 miles.
He was no less a shining star academically where he was a Phi Beta Kappa scholar, named to the Trinity College Faculty Honors List 4 times, selected to the NESCAC All- Academic team 5 times, was Trinity’s Scholar Athlete of the Year in both his junior and senior years, and earned NCAA Academic All-American honors.

After graduating from Trinity, he moved westward to the Monterey Peninsula in California to pursue a professional running career and to train for the Olympic Games in track and field, with Team USA Monterey Bay, Power Bar, and Reebok as sponsors.