20-year-old Keely Small has signed with the Oregon Ducks. One of Australia’s best middle distance talents, Small won the women’s 800m at the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics and the 2019 Pacific Games. She also competed in the 800m at the 2018 Commonwealth Games where she became the fastest ever Australian junior over 800m clocking 2:00.81.
Small will move to Eugene next year, and will follow in the footsteps of Jessica Hull, who won an outdoor 1500m NCAA title competing for the Ducks, and recently made the 1500m final in Tokyo. Small joins a prestigious program and will have the best facilities at her disposal, as she looks to build on her immense talent.
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Small’s PB over 800m still stands at 2:00.81 from 2018. She looked to be coming into some great form in 2020, but succumbed to an injury, which sidelined her during the 2021 Olympic year.
The move to the NCAA system is becoming more and more common for Australia’s best juniors. Other than Hull, Olympic 1500m finalist Linden Hall competed for the Florida State Seminoles and Olympic 800m semi-finalist Charlie Hunter is currently still at the Oregon Ducks.
We wish Keely the best of luck and will follow her NCAA career closely.