Seward’s Jacoby wins NCAA title in 100 breaststroke; Tuisaula, Hippchen also find success

Lydia Jacoby, a 2022 graduate of Seward High School, won the NCAA Division I Championship in the 100-yard breaststroke Friday at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Jacoby, a freshman, finished in 57.03 seconds to take the title, while Mona McSharry of Tennessee was second at 57.16 and Anna Elendt of Texas was third in 57.29.

According to the University of Texas, Jacoby passed McSharry and Elendt in the final 5 yards for the title. The university said Jacoby’s new personal best in the event makes her the seventh-fastest in the event of all time and is the second-best time in Texas history behind the 56.88 of Elendt.

In 2021, Jacoby won gold in the Summer Olympics in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:04.95.

At the NCAA meet, Jacoby also helped the 400 medley relay of Texas to third place and finished 11th in the 200 breaststroke.

Texas finished second at the meet to Virginia.

Tuisaula named NWAC North MVP

Ituau Tuisaula, a 2020 graduate of Soldotna High School, was named the Most Valuable Player for women’s basketball in the North Region of the Northwest Athletic Conference on March 6. According to its website, the Northwest Athletic Conference is the parent organization for 36 community colleges in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.

Tuisaula is a sophomore at Peninsula College in Port Angeles, Washington. Peninsula College fell in the NWAC semifinals Saturday to Lane Community College 92-90 in overtime. Peninsula had a bunch of injuries in the game, including Tuisaula going down with an ankle injury with 8:13 left in the game and not returning. Tuisaula still finished with 14 points. Peninsula finished 22-5 overall.

Hippchen helps Western Colorado to national title

Tyler Hippchen, a 2022 graduate of Kenai Central, helped Western Colorado University in Gunnison to the men’s Nordic U.S. Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association national title in Mammoth, California, from March 7 to 9.

Hippchen was 18th in the 7.5-kilometer classic race, sixth in the freestyle sprint and 15th in the 15-kilometer freestyle. Western Colorado defeated defending champion Paul Smith’s College of New York by seven points.

Hippchen, who also is on the trail running team at Western Colorado, also earned Academic All-American recognition in skiing.