Jacob Pebley

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Jacob Pebley: Backstroke/Freestyle/Individual Medley

Personal and Youth Swimming:

Jacob Pebley was born September 17, 1993 to parents Walter Pebley and Cathy Worth Pebley in Albany, Oregon. In 2006, Pebley lost his mother to cancer as he was entering 7th grade. The 2 and a half year battle he saw his mother endure, inspires him to live with the same determination and compassion.

His parents, Walt Pebley and Cheslah Barkdol, along with his brothers Luke Pebley, Eric Young, sisters Katie Young, Noel Young and Hali Barkdoll are part of his support team.

Growing up, Pebley swam for the Corvallis Aquatic Team under coach Rick Guenther and attended Crescent Valley High School prior to moving to the University of California.

College Swimming:

2012-2013

Coming out of high school as one of the top male recruits, Pebley committed to the University of California-Berkeley to swim under head coach Dave Durden. During his freshman year, Pebley made quite the name for himself finishing with Cal’s third-best all-time swim in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:41.62, and Cal’s tenth-best all-time swim in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 47.22. Pebley qualified to swim at the 2013 NCAA Championships in the 200-yard IM, the 100-yard backstroke, and the 200-yard backstroke. Pebley even swam as a member of Cal’s medley relays. He finished the 2013 NCAA’s with a 40th-place finish in the 200-yard IM, a seventh-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke, and a third-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke. Pebley also swam as a member of the prelims 400-yard medley relay that went on to place second in finals.

2013-2014

At the 2014 Pac-12 Championships, Pebley’s sophomore season, he finished 12th in the 200-yard individual medley (1:45.70), third in the 100-yard backstroke (46.34),  and second in the 200-yard backstroke (1:40.38). Pebley went on to the NCAA Championships to place fifth in the 400-yard medley relay (3:06.49- BK split 46.40), 11th in the 100-yard backstroke (46.09), and fourth in the 200-yard backstroke (1:39.59).

2014-2015

In his junior year at the NCAA Championships, Pebley swam the 100 and 200 yard backstroke and 200 meter medley. His best finish was fifth in the 200 yard backstroke.

2015-2016

Pebley saved his best season for his last season as a Cal Bear. At the NCAA Championships he finished second in the 200 yard backstroke, beaten only by his Cal teammate Ryan Murphy. He added points with a sixth place in the 100 yard backstroke and in the 200 medley ‘B’ final.

National and International Swimming:

Pebley was named to the 2009-2010 US Junior National Team, his first national team, for the 200-meter backstroke. As a member of the Junior National Team, Pebley competed at the 2010 Junior Pan Pacific Championships. At the 2010 Pan Pacs, he finished second in the 100-meter backstroke, third in the 200-meter backstroke, and fifth in the 200-meter IM.

In the 2010-2011 year, Pebley was named to his second Junior National Team, this time for the 100-meter backstroke and the 200-meter backstroke. Pebley attended the 2011 World Junior Championships representing team USA. At Worlds, Pebley won three gold medals in the 100-meter backstroke (55.01), the 200-meter backstroke (1:58.73 – meet record), and as a member of the 400-meter medley relay. Pebley also took home a silver medal in the 50-meter backstroke (25.75).

The following year, Pebley was named to the 2011-2012 US Junior National Team, his third Junior National team. In 2012, Pebley qualified for his first US Olympic Trials, held in Omaha, Nebraska. Pebley left the trials with a 16th-place in the 100-meter backstroke (55.48) and a seventh-place in the 200-meter backstroke (1:59.46). After disappoint over some time add and missing the Olympic team, Pebley refocused his goals towards the 2012 US Open at the end of the summer. At the 2012 US Open, Pebley took first in the 200-meter backstroke (1:57.57) and second in the 100-meter backstroke (54.49). His performances at the US Open earned Pebley a spot on the 2013 US World University Games Team.

Pebley was named to the 2012-2013 US National Team the next year for his performance in the 200-meter backstroke, making it Pebley’s fourth, consecutive US National Team. Pebley competed for a shot on the World Championship team at the 2013 World Championship Trials, or the Phillips 66 National Championships. Pebley missed a spot on the World Championship team finishing ninth in the 50-meter backstroke, sixth in the 100-meter backstroke, and fourth in the 200-meter backstroke. Later that year, Pebley competed at the World University Games representing the US. Pebley came home from the games with three bronze medals in the 100-meter backstroke, the 200-meter backstroke, and the 400-meter medley relay (prelims).

For the fifth, consecutive year, Pebley was named a member of the US National Team, the 2013-2014 US National Team, representing Team USA as a 200-meter backstroker. At the 2014 Phillips 66 National Championships Pebley finished  5th in the 100-meter backstroke with a time of 53.90 and fourth in the 200-meter backstroke with a time of 1:56.68. His top-eight performances in the 100 and 200-meter backstroke earned Pebley a spot on his sixth, consecutive US National Team Roster for 2014-2015. Shortly after Nationals, Pebley traveled to Gold Coast, Australia for the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships. Pebley finished the meet with a 1:58.46 200-meter backstroke and a 54.57 100-meter backstroke.

2015 World University Games

In South Korea, Pebley finished more than a second faster than the rest of the field to take the 200 meter backstroke title. His time of 1:56.29 was forth fastest in the world so far in 2015. In the 100 he finished 4th.

2016 U.S Olympic Trials

Not much can top qualifying for your first Olympics, but doing so with your teammate might. Pebley finished second in the 200 meter backstroke behind his Cal teammate Ryan Murphy to punch his ticket to Rio. The pair made their Olympic debut together.

2016 Rio Olympics

In Rio, Pebley finished 5th in the 200 meter backstroke in 1:55.52. Three lanes over his teammate, Murphy, raced to the gold medal.

-Originally developed by Elle Meinholz

International Medals

Place Event Year Meet
Gold 50 Fly 2013 Olympic Games

Best Times

Course Event Time Date Meet
lcm 50 Back 25.57 08/06/14 2014 US Nationals
Irvine, California
lcm 100 Back 52.95 06/28/16 2016 US Olympic Trials
Omaha, Nebraska
lcm 200 Back 1:54.77 07/01/16 2016 US Olympic Trials
Omaha, Nebraska
Tyler Clary, Matt Grevers, Ryan Murphy, Jacob Pebley, 2014 Austin Grand Prix (courtesy of Rafael Domeyko, rafaeldomeyko.com) Jacob Pebley 50 backstroke at the FINA Short Course Worlds Windsor, Canada (photo: Mike Lewis) Jacob Pebley 50 backstroke at the FINA Short Course Worlds Windsor, Canada (photo: Mike Lewis) Jacob Pebley 50 backstroke at the FINA Short Course Worlds Windsor, Canada (photo: Mike Lewis)