Seward swimming prodigy Lydia Jacoby made history Tuesday night, likely becoming the first Alaskan to make the U.S. Olympic swimming team.
According to NBC Sports, Jacoby’s spot at the Olympics should be confirmed later in the eight-day swim meet in Omaha, Nebraska, which ends on Sunday.
Her coach Solomon D’Amico said they are still waiting to hear, but that the 17-year-old is “all but a lock” to make it to the Olympics.
Jacoby raced in the finals of the women’s 100-meter breaststroke and finished in second place at 1 minute, 5.28 seconds, behind 24-year-old world record holder and former Olympic gold medalist Lilly King, who finished at 1:04.79.
Jacoby hopped out of the Olympic trials pool Tuesday night the second-fastest swimmer in the world for her event, behind King, setting a new record for the fastest national time for 17- to 18-year-olds.
“We’re over the moon,” D’Amico said after her swim. “It was the race of her lifetime.”
Jacoby trailed other swimmers for the first 50 meters of the race, tapping the wall fifth at the halfway point.
She made a final push, outswimming three competitors in the last 50 meters, in an effort to clinch first place.
“Watch that blue cap!” NBC sportscasters said on the air. “Everybody in Alaska is on the edge of their seat right now! And here she comes, here comes Jacoby right now!”
Jacoby tapped the wall less than half of a second after King, setting her new personal best.
The Seward swimmer beat out seven other women in the finals, whose ages ranged from 24 to 29 years old.
“She’s still so young and has so much upside,” D’Amico said.
He also said her success on Tuesday was “a nod to the community” that shouldn’t go unrecognized.
Jacoby has trained with Seward Tsunami Swim Club head coach Meghan O’Leary, as well as Ben Kitchen and others from the Northern Lights Swim Club in Anchorage, he said.
Reach reporter Camille Botello at email@example.com.