This year’s USA Swimming National Team will feature some faces familiar to Knoxville natives as former Vols Molly Hannis and David Heron and current juniors Meghan Small and Taylor Abbott have been named to the team.
Former 2016 Olympian Hannis posted the second fastest time in the country this year in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:05.78.
Hannis saw a successful career while at UT, winning two NCAA championships in 2013 in the 200 medley relay and the 400 medley relay. She also earned 14 All-American certificates, two during her freshman year in 2012 followed by four each year until she graduated. In her final collegiate season, she was named All-SEC.
Heron, a 2018 graduate, defended his USA Swimming National Open Water Championship, earning him a spot on the team. Heron earned All-America honors as a red-shirt freshman at Tennessee.
In the summer of 2015, Heron competed in the Pan-American Games, winning the silver medal in the 10k.
Small, who hails from Lineboro, Maryland, is entering her third season as part of the swimming and diving team. She earned national honors in the 200-meter individual medley with a time of 2:11.65. Small is the record holder at Tennessee in the 200-meter individual medley and the 400-meter individual medley.
As a freshman, Small won an SEC title in the 200-meter individual medley.
Through her first two seasons in Knoxville, Small has amassed 7 All-American certificates. Four of those came last season as a sophomore and three the season prior as a freshman.
Before her time at UT, Small placed second in the 200-meter individual medley at the 2015 Pan-Am games in Toronto. Small was also the No. 1 ranked recruit in the country according to SwimSwam.
Abbott, from Cedar Park, Texas, will also join Team USA following his performance at the Pan Pacific Games in Tokyo this summer.
Prior to coming to Tennessee, Abbott was a United States Junior National team member as well as a junior world champion. Abbott is also a Junior US National Champion in open water events.
Abbott took home the silver medal in the 1500-meter free at the FINA junior worlds.
In Abbott’s sophomore year, he picked up four regular season wins in the 500 freestyle and won both the 500 freestyle and the 1000 freestyle in an early-season swim meet against Indiana and Kentucky.
As for returning juniors Small and Abbott, their season begins on Sept. 28 in the Orange and White Intrasquad Meet.