At age 17, Seward’s Lydia Jacoby is now among the top eight women who will face off in tonight’s 100-meter breaststroke final with a chance to take home an Olympic medal.
Jacoby posted the second fasted time in the semifinals at 105:52. She beat fellow American, world record holder and defending gold medalist Lilly King who posted a time of 105:55. South Africa’s Tatjana Schoemaker led the pack in an Olympic-record time of 1:04.82.
Jacoby is the very first Olympic swimmer from Alaska. Over the weekend, her fellow Seward residents gathered around a large television at the local cruise ship terminal to cheer on their hometown hero. They will be there again tonight to watch the final – starting at 6:17 p.m.
“To have my whole state of Alaska backing me, I know they’re up at 2:30 a.m. watching me, it’s been great,” Jacoby told ESPN on Sunday.
Jacoby grew up in Seward, is the daughter of a boat captain and plays piano, guitar, upright bass and sings. In addition to being Alaska’s first Olympic swimmer, she’s only the 10th Summer Olympian ever to be born in Alaska.
She is set to graduate from Seward High School next spring, but tonight her vision remains laser focused on 100 meters of water separating her from Olympic glory.