Last weekend saw some of the top female breaststrokers in the country post some of the fastest times of their careers.
Highlighting the group was US Junior National Teamer Lydia Jacoby, who put up a personal best in the 100 yard breaststroke. Swimming at the 2021 NLSC Winter Time Trial in Anchorage, Alaska, the 16 year-old Jacoby posted a time of 59.87, chopping over a half second off of her best time.
This marked Jacoby’s first time under the one minute barrier. In addition, her time ranks her 15th all-time in the 15-16 age group, joining less than 20 swimmers in her age group to clear the 1 minute barrier. Her swim currently stands as the 14th fastest time in the country this season, regardless of age, putting her amongst some of the top NCAA standouts like Alex Walsh, Alexis Wenger, Zoie Hartman, and Anna Elendt.
Jacoby’s improvement in the short course pool follows several seasons of being one of the country’s top breaststrokers in long course. The University of Texas is currently qualified to compete in Wave II of this summer’s Olympic Trials in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke. In the former of the two events, her personal best of 1:07.57 ranks her as the 16th fastest American since the 2016 Olympic Games and the 2nd fastest 15-16 year-old of all-time.
Over the course of the weekend, Jacoby also competed in the 50 freestyle and the 400 IM. She finished with a time of 25.92 in the 50 freestyle, coming in about a half second off of her best time. In the 400 IM, she touched in 4:57.28, slightly off of her best time of 4:49.84.
Notably, in the same 100 breaststroke heat as Jacoby, 17-year-old Utah commit Madison Story posted a time of 1:04.06, touching 4th overall. Story was only about a half second shy of her best time, which stands at a 1:03.57.
On the other end of the country, competing at a meet in St. Petersburg, Florida, 16-year-old Zoe Skirboll posted another one of the fastest 100 breaststroke times in the country this season. Swimming to a time of 1:02.04, Skirboll put up the 14th fastest time in the 15-16 age group for the 2021 season. Skirboll was slightly off of her best time of 1:00.89, which currently ranks 46th all-time in the 15-16 age group. Notably, Skirboll also holds the 4th-fastest 100 breaststroke of all-time in the 13-14 age group, with a 1:00.96 from 2019.
During the meet, Skirboll swam a total of 9 races, coming in first place every time she entered the water. In addition to her victory in the 100 breaststroke, she also won the 50 freestyle (23.22), 200 IM (2:02.37), 500 freestyle (4:57.16), 100 butterfly (55.15), 100 freestyle (50.73), 200 breaststroke (2:16.48), 200 butterfly (2:02.83), and another 50 freestyle (23.48). Notably, she dropped over a second off of her best time in the 50 freestyle, which previously stood at a 4:58.18.
Skirboll trains with her dad at Racer X Aquatics outside of Pittsburgh. Like many swimmers from northern states, where restrictions are tighter and outdoor pools harder to come by in January, Skirboll has snuck away to warmer temperatures for a chance to race. She is currently committed to attend the University of Virginia as a member of their class of 2026. In long course, Skirboll will be competing in Wave 1 of this summer’s US Olympic Trials, where she is qualified to compete in both the 100 meter breaststroke (1:10.46), the 100 meter freestyle (56.28), and the 50 meter freestyle (25.94).
There were several other breaststrokers who joined Jacoby and Skirboll atop the national rankings last weekend including:
- Northwestern University’s Sophie Angus, who put up a best time of 58.92 in the school’s dual meet against Iowa, knocking .04 off of her school record. She now holds the top time in the country.
- Tennessee’s Mona McSharry threw down a time of 59.69 in the 100 breaststroke. For the Ireland native, this marked her first time under the 1:00 barrier, and now ranks her 4th in the country.
- University of Louisville swimmer Adeline Farrington posted a best time of 1:00.94 in the 100 breaststroke, ranking her 18th in the country currently.