Ryan Schade's future was turned upside down two weeks ago.
Verbally committed to swim at the University of North Dakota next fall, the Bettendorf senior had to change his plans after the Fighting Hawks decided to drop their program on March 29 because of budget cuts.
"I was scrambling to find other schools that had both swimming and aviation," Schade said. "There are very few schools that offer both programs."
He found one about 1,800 miles from home.
Schade signed a national letter of intent Wednesday with California Baptist University, a Division II program located near Los Angeles that will be transitioning to Division I in the next couple of seasons.
Joined by twin sister, Megan, who will continue her swim career at Indiana State University, Bettendorf had 13 student-athletes participate in a signing ceremony at the school's Performing Arts Center.
Schade had four top-six finishes at the state meet in February, including a championship in the 200 medley relay and a runner-up finish in the 100 breaststroke (58.10 seconds).
He took a recruiting trip to California Baptist University last weekend before visiting Ohio State on Tuesday.
"It was a time crunch to find a school, but I'm very happy with my decision," Schade said. "It'll be tough managing school, swimming and aviation because swimming is a very physically demanding activity to do in college.
"I feel high school has prepared me a lot."
The biggest change will be separated from Megan, who was born 99 minutes before Ryan.
Megan competed in four events at the girls state meet in November. She was part of two third-place relays and an eighth-place finish in the 100 butterfly.
Instead of sharing their swimming experiences in person, they'll have to do it next season over FaceTime or Snapchat.
"I'm going to miss him a lot," Megan said. "He's really pushed me and been there for me. We've gone through a lot of things together.
"I really wanted him to go to Purdue or Ohio State, but I know California is the right fit for him. I'm sure we'll keep in contact every day."
Megan is joining an Indiana State program that just completed its first season. She also considered St. Ambrose and Northern Iowa.
"It is really neat to be part of a program that is working its way up," she said.
Schade's teammate, Hena Hassan, will join her at Indiana State. Anna Wall and Sage Ohlensehlen will swim at Northern Iowa and Iowa, respectively.
Zach Bunn is headed to swim at West Point for Army.
The Bulldogs also had two runners sign with Division I programs. Ally Gallagher will continue her career in Oxford, Ohio, at Miami University, and Sydney Spranger will run at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
Gallagher and Spranger qualified for last fall's state cross country meet. Gallagher earned all-state honors with a 15th-place finish.
"When I was first looking at colleges, I wasn't looking for a place to run, I was looking for a place that I loved," Gallagher said. "If it was Division II, I would have been as happy there."
Gallagher also considered Southern Methodist University and Vanderbilt. North Carolina and Duke were options but not for athletics. She plans to run the mile and possibly experiment with the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Her brother, Jackson, wrestles at Indiana.
"I do love being a little closer to him," she said. "I've always looked up to him since he was wrestling varsity as a freshman. He's really inspired me."
Others involved in Wednesday's ceremony were Colin Saunders (soccer/Iowa Central), Brad Holmes (wrestling/Loras), Kaylin Kuhn (volleyball/Grinnell), Mia Bruty (track/Dubuque) and Eric Hradek (football/Loras).