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After proving to be the fastest in the world, Seward’s Lydia Jacoby proves to be the fastest in Alaska, again

Seward's Lydia Jacoby (middle) poses with her gold medal in the 200-yard Individual Medley...
Seward's Lydia Jacoby (middle) poses with her gold medal in the 200-yard Individual Medley Saturday at the 2021 Alaska State Swim Championships.(Jordan Rodenberger)
Published: Nov. 7, 2021 at 9:54 AM AKDT|Updated: Nov. 7, 2021 at 10:55 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Before Seward’s Lydia Jacoby was an Olympic gold medalist, she was a three-time Alaska State Champion in the swimming pool.

Just over three months after winning an Olympic gold medal in the 100-yard breaststroke at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Jacoby swam the final lap of her illustrious swim career for the Seward Seahawks at the 2021 ASAA/First National Bank State Championships in the Bartlett Pool.

In her first high school state meet as just a freshman in 2018, Jacoby set what was at the time a state record in winning the 100-yard breaststroke, won the 200 Individual Medley, and was named the Girls Most Outstanding Competitor. During that 2018 meet, Jacoby broke the 100-yard breaststroke record in preliminaries, broke her day-old record again during finals, and would do so again one year later, winning the 2019 state title with a time of 1:00.61.

While there were no state swim championships in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns, it is safe to say Jacoby made the most of her off year. After swimming in her first Olympic qualifying event at the age of 14 and setting a state record while taking home three state titles as an underclassman for the Seahawks, Jacoby became the first Alaskan swimmer to earn an Olympic medal.

The 17-year old started her 2021 state meet with a win in the 200 IM at 2:05.7, her fourth individual state title. Jacoby capped her high school swim career by breaking her 100-yard breaststroke record once again, this time clocking under a minute at 59.66 while being named Girls Most Outstanding Competitor once again.

Jacoby competed in three Olympic events despite Alaska’s single 50-meter Olympic sized swimming pool at Bartlett High. Jacoby earned individual gold and later swam for a second medal as part of Team USA, taking home a silver medal in the 4x100-meter medley relay.

Next week, Jacoby will make her University of Texas commitment official when she signs her National Letter of Intent. Before graduating from Seward High School, she will compete at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Abu Dhabi.

Jacoby may have swam in her final competition for Seward, but her impact has made waves far beyond the state of Alaska.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct meters to yards.

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