14-year-old Seward swimmer makes the cut for Olympic trials

At age 14, Lydia Jacoby of Seward is joining an elite group of Alaska swimmers.

Jacoby qualified for the 2020 Olympic trials in the 100 breaststroke with a splendid effort at the U.S. Winter National Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina.

She is the 11th Alaskan in history to qualify for the trials, according to Cliff Murray of the Northern Lights Swim Club.

Jacoby on Friday won the B final in her specialty to make the cut for the June 2020 Olympics Trials in Omaha, Nebraska. She finished in 1 minutes, 10.45 seconds, which put her under the qualifying standard of 1:10.99.

Jacoby’s time was faster than the seventh- and eighth-place swimmers in the A final, which was won by Micha Sumrall in 1:07.51.

On Saturday, Jacoby placed sixth in the C finals of the 200 breaststroke in 2:38.84, four seconds off the qualifying standard for that event.

The national meet featured the country’s best swimmers – among them, Olympic champion Katie Ledecky, who won three races.


It came four weeks after the Alaska state high school championships, where the Seward High freshman twice broke the record in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.68 in preliminaries and 1:03.11 in the finals) and won the 200 individual medley (2:09.31).

Alaskans at the Olympic Trials

Clark Rush, 1980

Mia Costello, 1988

Andrew Billings, 1988

Maria Reeves, 2000

Andrew Tainter, 2000

Robert Roosa, 2000

Patty Nash, 2000

Derek Gibb, 2000, 2004

Micha Burden, 2008

Samantha Wicks, 2016

Beth Bragg

Beth Bragg wrote about sports and other topics for the ADN for more than 35 years, much of it as sports editor. She retired in October 2021. She's contributing coverage of Alaskans involved in the 2022 Winter Olympics.