Lydia Jacoby is now the second fastest 100M breaststroke swimmer in the world. The 17-year-old Seward swimming legend overtook Annie Lazor late in the race at the Olympic Trial Finals in Omaha, Nebraska Tuesday night, placing her second behind world record holder Lilly King with a new personal best time of 1:05.28. Though not officially confirmed until Sunday, Jacoby will now go on with King to represent the US at the Olympics in Tokyo this July.
Jacoby’s Finals time was the latest in a string of new personal bests that began on Monday. Her previous best time of 1:06.38, obtained at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Mission Viejo, California in April, was broken Monday evening in the semifinals, when Jacoby swam a 1:05.71. The 1.10 seconds she dropped from her TYR time in the Finals now ranks her second in the world and the eighth best 100M breaststroke swimmer of all time. It also distinguishes her as the national record holder for her age group and the first Alaskan swimmer ever to make the Olympic team.
“It means so much to me to be able to represent my state at a meet like this,” she told Swimming World magazine after the race. “And I’m so excited to now represent my country as well. It’s amazing.”
Though Tokyo will be Jacoby’s first Olympiad, it is almost certain not to be her last. The soon-to-be Seward High School senior will join the world class University of Texas swimming program in 2022, and by 2024 she will have had the benefit of several years training as a Longhorn. Her future as a swimmer – as an Olympian – is promising, to say the least.
With her place in the Olympics secured and her place in history still being written, Lydia Jacoby still faces the qualifying heat for the 200M breaststroke, to be held Thursday at 7 a.m. AKDT. Later at 2:45 p.m., NBC Sports Network will broadcast time-delayed preliminaries before beginning semifinal coverage. Finals will begin next Friday at 2:45 p.m., with NBC providing live coverage.
Tune in to see Seward’s favorite swimmer represent her hometown and home state as she vies once again to represent her country in the world arena.