Meghan Small has made an impact on University of Tennessee’s women’s swimming team since she came to Knoxville three years ago from Manchester Valley High School, and the junior is still putting up standout performances for the Lady Vols.
Small is in the field for next week’s NCAA championship meet March 20-23 in Austin, Texas, and she’ll be swimming in three individual events as well as four relays. Look for her in the 200-meter freestyle, 200 backstroke, and 200 individual medley (freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke).
She’s the top seed in the 200 IM after winning the Southeastern Conference meet title in 1 minute, 51.62 seconds — a new SEC and Lady Vols record, and the fastest time in the NCAA this season. Small clipped Texas A&M’s Sydney Pickrem to take the gold, and added a second-place finish in the 200 free (1:43.37, a personal best) at the SEC meet on Feb. 21 in Georgia.
Small posted 14 individual wins during Tennessee’s dual-meet season, which included two career-best times, and five NCAA B Cut times. She also logged the sixth-fastest 100 butterfly in Lady Vols history (52.05), and appeared on three school record-breaking relay teams in the regular season.
Small was a member of Team USA in 2016 and competed in the Olympic Trials. She finished seventh in the 200 IM, as an 18-year-old, and said then she’d set her sights on the 2020 trials. Small didn’t begin swimming competitively until she was 11, and became part of the York (Pa.) YMCA youth team.
Small set national records in 2013. In 2014, Small won several individual races and relays at the YMCA Nationals.
She holds Tennessee records in the 200 IM, 200 back (set in 2017), and 400 IM (2017). Small earned second-team all-SEC in 2018, as well as four All-America certificates.
A solid start for Dukes’ Connolly
Duquesne sophomore midfielder Michaela Connolly (Century) garnered Atlantic 10 Player of the Week honors thank to her performance in the Dukes’ 22-9 win over Longwood in the season opener Feb. 10.
Connolly, a former Times Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year, registered a career-high six points in Duquesne's victory. Connolly recorded three goals — her first career “hat trick” — on just three shot attempts in the triumph. After pacing the Dukes in assists during her freshman campaign in 2018, she tied a career best with three assists in the opener and added a team-high six ground balls in the winning effort.
Connolly becomes the first Duquesne player to earn A-10 Player of the Week accolades since April 4, 2016, and the first outright POW nod since March 11, 2014.
Connolly has 13 goals and 12 assists in five games (all starts) for the Dukes, who are 4-1. She also has 17 ground balls and five caused turnovers.
Captain credentials for Shippensburg’s Hertz
Shippensburg senior defender Valerie Hertz (Liberty), a two-time All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference first-team selection and a 2018 all-region performer, is one of the team’s captains for the second consecutive season.
Entering the Raiders’ game March 13 against New York Institute of Technology, Hertz had 176 groundballs, 127 draw controls and 116 caused turnovers — all totals that rank among the top five all-time in school history.