For the first time, an Alaskan is in line to swim at the Olympics

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Olympic gold medalists and world-record holders qualified for the U.S. swim team at the Olympic Trials on Tuesday night. It looks like they’ll be joined by 17-year-old Lydia Jacoby, who would be the first Alaskan to swim at an Olympics.

Jacoby took second to the world’s top breaststroker, Lilly King, in the 100m breast in Omaha to all but clinch a spot on the team for Tokyo. It should be confirmed later in the eight-day meet that finishes Sunday, once enough swimmers qualify in multiple events so that the total roster doesn’t exceed 26 women.

“It means so much,” Jacoby said. “I’m so honored to be able to represent my state in a meet like this. I’m so excited to be able to now represent my country as well.”

All of the favorites won the four finals on Tuesday — King, Regan Smith and Ryan Murphy in the 100m backstrokes and Kieran Smith in the 200m freestyle.

Second-place finishers were unusual. Rhyan White was ranked 41st in the U.S. in the women’s 100m back in 2019. Hunter Armstrong was 19th in the men’s 100m back in 2019.

SWIM TRIALS: Results | TV Schedule | Women’s Event Previews | Men’s Event Previews

Then there’s Jacoby, who since April 8 dropped 2.29 seconds off her personal best in a 65-second race. She swims in goggles given to her by 2012 U.S. Olympian Jessica Hardy at a USA Swimming Foundation clinic in Alaska four years ago.

She entered Trials seeded third in the nation. She now ranks second in the world this year, behind only King, the Olympic and world champion and world-record holder.

Jacoby hails from Seward, a city on Resurrection Bay, a fjord of the Gulf of Alaska. The state has one Olympic-size pool, two hours from Jacoby’s home, but they halve it save one meet a year, she said on a Swimswam podcast after her April breakout.

Jacoby, committed to swim for the University of Texas in 2022, is multi-talented. She sang and played the bass for the Snow River String Band, performing bluegrass at the Anchorage Folk Festival. Her columns for SHS Today at Seward High School included a series on the 1940s.

“I have lived in Seward my entire life but hope to live somewhere else when I grow up,” her writer bio reads. “Most of you probably know that I’m a competitive swimmer.”

During the pandemic, Jacoby’s home facility was closed for eight months. So she moved to Anchorage for the summer. She was still out of pools for two months, so she went water skiing. She skied on trails outside her front door, popping at least one headphone out to stay alert to bears and moose. When snow melted, she ran on ice cleats.

Much of this is also on Jacoby’s Wikipedia page, created on May 8.

In other events Tuesday, 19-year-old Regan Smith won the 100m back, an event where she held the world record until Sunday. Smith clocked 58.35 seconds, nine tenths off the new record set by Kaylee McKeown at the Australian Olympic Trials. White took second in 58.60, edging world bronze medalist Olivia Smoliga for the likely second Olympic spot.

World-record holder Murphy won the men’s 100m back so he can defend his Olympic title in Tokyo. Murphy prevailed by .15 over Armstrong. Matt Grevers, the 2012 Olympic champion, finished sixth in what may have been his final Olympic Trials race.

Kieran Smith became the first man to win both the 200m and 400m frees at an Olympic Trials, claiming the former in a personal-best 1:45.29. Townley Haas, who won the 2016 Olympic Trials, took second, .37 behind, to join him on the Olympic team. The medal favorites around the globe can break 1:45. Drew Kibler and Andrew Seliskar were next and qualified for their first Games in the 4x200m free relay.

In semifinals, Katie Ledecky qualified fastest into Wednesday night’s 200m freestyle final. Ledecky will swim finals in the 200m free and the 1500m free about an hour apart on Wednesday, a double that she has done at major international meets.

Luca Urlando and Zach Harting shared the top time to qualify for the first Olympic Trials 200m butterfly final without Michael Phelps since 1996. Urlando, 19 and the grandson of an Italian Olympic hammer thrower, is the fastest American since the start of 2019 by more than a second. Urlando broke Phelps’ national-age group record for 17- and 18-year-olds two years ago.

Alex Walsh, 19, was the fastest qualifier into the women’s 200m individual medley final, clocking a personal best.

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Eliud Kipchoge breaks marathon world record in Berlin

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon
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Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge broke his own world record in winning the Berlin Marathon, clocking 2:01:09 to lower the previous record time of 2:01:39 he set in the German capital in 2018.

Kipchoge, 37 and a two-time Olympic champion, earned his 15th win in 17 career marathons to bolster his claim as the greatest runner in history over 26.2 miles.

His pacing was not ideal. Kipchoge slowed in the final miles, running 61:18 for the second half after going out in an unprecedented 59:51 for the first 13.1 miles. He still won by 4:49 over Kenyan Mark Korir.

“I was planning to go through it [the halfway mark] 60:50, 60:40,” Kipchoge said. “My legs were running actually very fast. I thought, let me just try to run two hours flat, but all in all, I am happy with the performance.

“We went too fast [in the first half]. It takes energy from the muscles. … There’s still more in my legs [to possibly lower the record again].”

MORE: Berlin Marathon Results

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa won the women’s race in 2:15:37, the third-fastest time in history for somebody who ran one prior marathon in 2:34:01. Only Brigid Kosgei (2:14:14 in Chicago in 2019) and Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25 in London in 2003) have gone faster.

American record holder Keira D’Amato, who entered as the top seed, was sixth in 2:21:48. D’Amato, who went nearly a decade between competitive races after college, owns the American record of 2:19:12 and now also the 10th-best time in U.S. history.

“Today wasn’t my best day ever, but it was the best I could do today,” she said in a text message, according to Race Results Weekly, adding that she briefly stopped and walked late in the race.

The last eight instances the men’s marathon world record has been broken, it has come on the pancake-flat roads of Berlin. It began in 2003, when Kenyan Paul Tergat became the first man to break 2:05.

The world record was 2:02:57 — set by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 — until Kipchoge broke it for the first time four years ago.

The following year, Kipchoge became the first person to cover 26.2 miles in under two hours, clocking 1:59:40 in a non-record-eligible showcase rather than a race.

Kipchoge’s focus going forward is trying to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles in Paris in 2024. He also wants to win all six annual World Marathon Majors. He’s checked off four of them, only missing Boston (run in April) and New York City (run every November).

Kipchoge grew up on a farm in Kapsabet in Kenya’s Rift Valley, often hauling by bike several gallons of the family’s milk to sell at the local market. Raised by a nursery school teacher, he ran more than three miles to and from school. He saved for five months to get his first pair of running shoes.

At 18, he upset legends Hicham El Guerrouj and Kenenisa Bekele to win the 2003 World 5000m title on the track. He won Olympic 5000m medals (bronze in 2004 and silver in 2008), then moved to the marathon after failing to make the 2012 Olympic team on the track.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup
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The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

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2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France 74, Mali 59 Group B
4 a.m. Australia 69, Serbia 54 Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada 70, Japan 56 Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final