After Seward 17-year-old Lydia Jacoby finished second in the 100-meter breaststroke finals at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials in Omaha, Nebraska on Tuesday, coach Solomon D’Amico texted that she was “all but a lock” to make the Olympics.
Saturday morning, D’Amico had another text: “It’s official!!”
As in, it’s now official Jacoby is the first Alaskan to make the U.S. Olympic swimming team.
The reason for the wait involves a little bit of a deep dive into the qualifying rules, according to the swimswam.com.
According to swimswam.com, every nation gets a maximum of 26 swimmers on the men’s team and 26 swimmers on the women’s team. That’s why the commonly given selection criteria to the team — top two in each event, plus the top six in the 100 and 200 freestyles — isn’t a lock.
Swimswam.com said that the commonly given selection criteria adds up to 36 possible athletes on the team. But as swimmers begin to qualify in multiple events throughout the trials, the gap from 36 possible athletes to 26 team members begins to narrow.
Swimswam.com said that as of Saturday night, all second-place finishers at the trials are on the Olympic team. Second-place finishers get priority over the fifth- and sixth-place finishers in the 100 and 200 freestyle. The website said the top six men and women in the 100 and 200 freestyles are not locked into spots heading into the final day of the trials today.
Tuesday, Jacoby finished at 1 minute, 5.28 seconds to touch the wall behind Lilly King, the world record holder and Olympic gold medalist. King was timed at 1:04.79. Jacoby’s time sets a new national record.
The Summer Olympics run from July 23 to Aug. 8 in Tokyo.