On the track and in the pool, two of Alaska’s fastest high school girls just got faster.
Hailey Williams, a sprinter who just finished her junior year at Delta Junction, and Lydia Jacoby, a swimmer who just finished her freshman year at Seward High, recorded state-best times in competitions last weekend in the Lower 48.
Williams ran the fastest 200-meter time by an Alaska high school girl at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina.
She finished fifth in the emerging-elite division finals in 24.05 seconds, shaving more than half a second off her previous-best time of 24.78, recorded last month at the Brian Young Invitational at West High.
The time is also more than half a second faster than the Alaska state high school record in the 200 meters — 24.74 by Anchorage Christian’s Tanner Ealum, now a Division I runner for Liberty University. Because the personal-best by Williams was not recorded at the state high school championship meet, it doesn’t count as a state record.
Williams has swept the 100, 200 and 400 titles at Alaska’s Division II state championships the last two years. Her times in all six of those races were faster than the winning times in the Division I state championships for bigger schools.
In Greensboro, she ran a personal-best 24.27 in the 200-meter preliminaries and then went 24.05 in the finals. Jassani Carter of Florida won the finals in 23.31.
Williams also ran the 100 in Greensboro, finishing 14th in the preliminaries in a time of 12.00 and failing to advance to the eight-girl finals. She was .05 off her personal-best of 11.95, set at last year’s New Balance national championships.
While Williams was running in North Carolina, Jacoby was swimming in Indiana.
A qualifier for next year’s U.S. Olympic trials, Jacoby finished fifth in a loaded field in the 100-meter breaststroke.
She shared the pool with Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder Lilly King, who won the race in 1 minute, 7.33 seconds, well off her world-record time of 1:04.13. Second place in the race went to Emily Weiss (1:08.53), a recent high school graduate who earlier this season broke King’s Indiana state high school record in the 100 breaststroke.
Jacoby clocked 1:10.11, which set a new Alaska standard in the event.
Jacoby held the previous Alaska record of 1:10.45, set in November at the U.S. Winter National Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina. That time more than met the qualifying time of 1:10.99 in the 100-meter breaststroke for the U.S. Olympic Trials.
At the state high school meet last year, Jacoby set the state high school record in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:03.11, which converts to a 100-meter long-course time of 1:12.05.
CORRECTION: An early version of this story incorrectly said that Jacoby broke the 200-yard individual medley record at the state high school meet last year. That record still belongs to Kodiak’s Tahna Lindquist (2:03.61, set in 2014).