May 20, 2012
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - At a ceremony hosted by the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, Tennessee Lady Vol swimmer Jenny Connolly was one of four Athlete of the Year honorees recognized on Saturday, being named the Tennessee Female Amateur Athlete of the Year.
After a stellar four-year career at Rocky Top, Connolly leaves a legacy that includes a Lady Vol best 14 First-Team All-America certificates and an overall All-America total of 22 honors, which ranks only behind Olympian Christine Magnuson.
During her senior campaign, Connolly earned six First-Team All-America honors at the 2012 NCAA Championships to help Tennessee capture seventh.
She also won four Southeastern Conference gold medals at the 2012 league meet, placing first in the 100 yard back, the 100 yard fly and in both the 200 yard and 400 yard medley relays.
In addition Connolly tallied the third most points of any competitor at SECs, accumulating 53 ½ points to lead the Big Orange to a runner-up finish.
Over the course of the season, Connolly won multiple events in every dual meet, highlighted by sweeping her four events against No. 2 Florida on Senior Day.
The West Lafayette, Indiana, native was a perfect 4-4 in the 100y back in dual meets on the year, while never finishing below third in any event over the course of the squad's six dual meets.
During the summer as a member of Team USA, she won a gold medal at the World University Games in the 50 meter back, and added a silver medal in the 100 meter back.
She leaves Tennessee as the school record holder in the 100 yard back and on four relays.
Connolly shares the accolade with soccer player Jamie Achten of Lee University. Over the course of her four-year tenure at Lee, Achten earned numerous awards, including NAIA Player of the Year honors in both her junior and senior seasons.
Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Honorees
Male Professional Athlete of the Year: Dan Uggla
Professional Team of the Year: Nashville Predators, Memphis Grizzlies
Male Amateur Athlete of the Year: John Jenkins (Vanderbilt)
Female Amateur Athlete of the Year: Jenny Connolly (Tennessee), Jamie Achten (Lee)
Amateur Teams of the Year: Lee University Lady Flames soccer, Vanderbilt University baseball
Outstanding Achievement Award: Belmont Bruins basketball team, Bo Cordell (Tusculum)