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Peninsula athletes advance at Olympic Trials

Courtesy of Brenda Ballou

It’s official: Seward swimmer Lydia Jacoby is headed to the Olympics.

Jacoby came in second in the 100-meter breaststroke at the Olympic Trials in Omaha, N.E., last week. But her spot on the U.S. Women’s Olympic swim team wasn’t solidified until this weekend.

Now, 17-year-old Jacoby’s officially part of the 50-swimmer Team U.S.A., a group that includes 10 other teenagers. She’s the second Alaskan to qualify for the Olympic Summer Games, behind Rugby player Alev Kelter of Eagle River.

Jacoby competed in a second event last Thursday — the 200-meter breaststroke. She placed 26th, which did not qualify her for the semi-finals in that race.

Jacoby’s flying back to Alaska this week but will only be in town a few days before leaving for training in Hawaii. There will be a sendoff in Seward for Jacoby this weekend, details to be determined.

Kenai’s Allie Ostrander is headed to the 3,000-meter steeplechase finals at the Olympic Trials this week. The 24-year-old runner finished sixth in her heat in the semifinals for the steeplechase at the track and field trials in Eugene, Ore.

Ostrander will race in the finals this Thursday. The top three finishers in that race qualify for the U.S. Olympic team.

Ostrander graduated from Kenai Central High School and ran at Boise State, where she won three NCAA steeplechase championships. She went professional in 2019 with a contract with Brooks Sports. Back home, she’s won the Mount Marathon junior race six times.

Earlier this month, Ostrander said on her YouTube channel she was hospitalized for an eating disorder and that she was prioritizing her treatment over her Olympic training for the time being.

On Sunday, she clocked in with a time of 9:35.56. Ostrander’s also racing the 10,000-meter later this week.

Ostrander finished eighth in the 5,000-meter race in the 2016 Olympic Trials, when she was just 19. She did not qualify then for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ketchikan’s Isaac Updike is also headed to the finals for the track and field Olympic Trials. The 29-year-old won his heat for the 3,000-meter steeplechase Monday afternoon.

Correction: A previous version of this story said Lydia Jacoby would be the second Alaskan to compete in the Summer Olympics. She is the second Alaskan to qualify for the Olympics this year. The story has been updated.

Sabine Poux is the news director at KDLL. Originally from New York, she's lived and reported in Argentina and Vermont, where she fell in love with local news. She covers all things central peninsula but is especially interested in stories related to energy and fishing. She'd love to hear your ideas at
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