Seward’s Jacoby wins Junior National swim title

Seward swimmer Lydia Jacoby continued her meteoric career arc Tuesday with a championship win at the 2019 Speedo Junior National Championships at Stanford University, California.

Jacoby, an incoming Seward High School sophomore, won the women’s 100-meter breaststroke, her specialty, in a time of 1 minute, 8.12 seconds. Jacoby tagged the wall 0.61 seconds ahead of runner-up Emma Weber.

Jacoby, 15, was fastest out of 117 swimmers in the event preliminaries with a time of 1:10.03, then lowered her own personal record in the A final with a time just four seconds off the current women’s world record of 1:04.13, held by the USA Olympian Lilly King.

“We’re really excited about it,” said Jacoby’s high school coach, Meghan O’Leary. “It’s a big deal, she’s very happy and it was one of her goals going into the meet.”

Jacoby is already qualified for next summer’s US Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska, thanks to a sizzling time in the 100 breaststroke last December at the Winter Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Winter Nationals performance followed up a sensational freshman campaign in high school, where she won two state titles for Seward in the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200 IM.

Jacoby is also fresh off a 12th-place finish in the same race at the Phillips 66 National Championships last weekend. Jacoby finished fourth in the B final in the 100 breaststroke Saturday in the same pool, competing against world-class athletes.

In Tuesday’s Junior Nationals final, Jacoby also almost captured the meet record time of 1:08.11, held by American swimmer Zoe Bartel from 2016. Jacoby’s time was 1/100 of a second off Bartel’s mark.

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