Seward swimmer Lydia Jacoby claims Olympic silver in women’s medley relay

Given another chance, Lydia Jacoby turned it to silver.

Jacoby, the 17-year-old swimmer from Seward, won another Olympic medal Saturday night at the Tokyo Olympics by powering the U.S. women’s 400-meter medley relay team to a silver-medal finish.

The performance came five days after Jacoby captured the gold medal in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke and one night after she swam with her goggles in her mouth during a fifth-place finish for the U.S. mixed medley relay team. The goggles slipped down her face when Jacoby dove into the pool at the Tokyo Aquatic Center, and she swam the entire 100 meters with them in her mouth.

Saturday night, nothing got in her way of another medal. She and the Americans finished .13 of a second behind the gold-medal team from Australia.

Jacoby is the second Alaskan to win two medals at the same Olympics. Alpine skier Tommy Moe of Girdwood was the first, taking gold in the downhill and silver in the super-G at the 1994 Winter Olympics.

Australia won the relay with an Olympic-record time of 3 minutes, 51.60 seconds; the Americans were right behind in 3:51.73. Both times surpassed the previous Olympic record of 3:52.02, set in 2012 by a Missy Franklin-led U.S. team.

Australia’s time was the third fastest ever and the United States’ was the fourth fastest, according to The world record is 3:50.40.


Jacoby swam the second leg for the Americans, who entered a completely different team than the one that swam in Thursday’s preliminaries. It’s a team the represents the future of American swimming -- teenagers swam the first three legs.

Backstroker Regan Smith, a 19-year-old from Lakevile, Minnesota, swam the first 100 meters in 58.05 seconds and was in third place when she touched off to Jacoby.

Jacoby had the lead by the turn and kept it the rest of the way with a split-time of 1:05.03. Her gold-medal swam earlier in the week came in a personal-best 1:04.95, and she clocked 1:05.09 on Friday with her goggles in her mouth.

The Americans trailed by .15 of a second when Jacoby started her swim. They led by .50 of a second when she finished.

Torri Huske, an 18-year-old from Arlington, Virginia, took over for the butterfly leg — just as she did in Friday’s mixed medley relay race. She had the leg’s fifth-fastest time, 56.16, and kept the Americans in the lead.

Abbey Weitzeil, a 24-year-old from Berkeley, California, maintained the lead through the turn in the freestyle leg, but her time of 52.49 seconds couldn’t hold up to a blistering anchor leg of 52:11 by Australia’s Cate Campbell.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said Torri Huske had the fastest time in the butterfly. She had the fifth-fastest time.

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.