Seward swimmer Lydia Jacoby, the 17-year-old who earned a gold medal in the 100-meter breaststroke at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, finished with Team USA in fifth place in the mixed 400 medley relay race on Friday night.
Great Britain struck gold, while China won silver and Australia finished with the bronze medal.
Jacoby raced second — the only woman to swim the breaststroke leg in that event — and upon her dive into the pool her goggles slipped down over her mouth, where they remained for the rest of her swim.
Although both her vision and her airway were obstructed, she only finished 0.14 seconds under Monday’s gold medal time of 1:04.95. Her medley time was 1:05.09.
One of Jacoby’s coaches, Meghan O’Leary, said via text message that Friday’s race proved how much of a threat Jacoby is in the water.
“It’s not much slower than her gold medal time event without googles,” she texted. “That’s how much of a competitor she is. That didn’t even rattle her!”
Jacoby’s teammates were Ryan Murphy, Torri Huske and Caeleb Dressel, who all finished in the top four of their individual events at the Olympic games. Murphy’s time was 52.23 seconds; Huske’s was 56.27 seconds and Dressel’s was 46.99 seconds.
This is the first Olympics to have a mixed medley race, which O’Leary said makes the competition more strategic.
“It’s super exciting,” she said. “This is kind of history in the making as well, and she’s on the team.”
Reach reporter Camille Botello at firstname.lastname@example.org.