Juneau’s PJ Foy, shown winning the 2023 100 yard butterfly in 48.27 for Thunder Mountain High School during the ASAA state championships at the Dimond Park Aquatics Center on Nov. 4, 2023, qualified for the 2024 June Olympic Team Trials by swimming a 100 long course meters butterfly in a personal best 53.44 on March 16, 2024, at the Speedo Sectionals in Federal Way, Washington. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire file photo)

Juneau’s PJ Foy, shown winning the 2023 100 yard butterfly in 48.27 for Thunder Mountain High School during the ASAA state championships at the Dimond Park Aquatics Center on Nov. 4, 2023, qualified for the 2024 June Olympic Team Trials by swimming a 100 long course meters butterfly in a personal best 53.44 on March 16, 2024, at the Speedo Sectionals in Federal Way, Washington. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire file photo)

Alaskans secure spots at 2024 Olympics; Juneau swimmer PJ Foy will try for his spot on Friday

TMHS graduate seeking to qualify in 100-meter butterfly at U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

Two Alaska residents have qualified for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris next month, a third is hoping to return and Juneau swimmer PJ Foy is hoping to become the first local swimmer to make the Games when the time trials for his event start Friday.

Foy, 18, a Thunder Mountain High School graduate and state champion swimmer, became the first Juneau swimmer to qualify for the Olympic Team Trials when he set a personal best of 53.44 seconds in the 100-meter long course butterfly, just beating the 53.59 qualifying time. He and other participants are scheduled to compete in the preliminary time trial qualifier starting at 7 a.m. (Alaska time) in Indianapolis, with the semifinals later that day and the finals on Saturday if he qualifies for those.

Meanwhile, two other Alaskans have already qualified for the Olympics while a former gold medal swimmer is still trying to qualify for a return to the Games:

Homer’s Kristen Faulkner switches gears to make her Olympic cycling dream come true

Cyclists don’t make it to the Olympics without knowing how to change gears, and that’s why Kristen Faulkner of Homer is headed to Paris next month for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

After she failed to earn an automatic bid on the Olympic road racing team at last month’s national championships, Faulkner instantly pivoted.

She went from the road cycling championships in West Virginia to a track cycling camp in Belgium. The quick switch paid off: on Thursday, USA Cycling named Faulkner to its Olympic track cycling team, one of five women selected for the team pursuit squad.

“I dreamed of competing in the Olympics ever since I was 8 years old and I saw it on TV,” Faulkner said in a USA Cycling press release announcing the team. “This is the biggest dream I’ve ever had, and it’s finally coming true!”

That the dream came true on a velodrome instead of a road is the surprise element in what’s bound to be one of the America media’s favorite storylines in Paris: How Faulkner went from the halibut capital of the world to Harvard to Wall Street to the Olympics.

Alev Kelter headed to her third straight Summer Olympics with the US women’s rugby team

Here’s hoping the third time is the charm.

The Americans are in search of their first Olympic medal as they prepare for the Paris Games, where women’s rugby competition begins July 28.

Kelter, 33, helped the Americans finish fifth at the 2016 Rio Games and sixth at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

She has been a mainstay for the Americans — and one of the best players in the world — for close to a decade. Last month, she became the first American woman and the fifth player in World Rugby Sevens Series history to score 1,000 career points.

A star in hockey and soccer before she discovered rugby, Kelter is one of seven players on the U.S. squad with Olympic experience. She’s one of two three-time Olympians along with Lauren Doyle, who was named a team captain.

“Our goal is not just to compete but to move the jersey forward, leaving a legacy for those to follow, and to deliver a performance that inspires American fans,” U.S. coach Emilie Bydwell said in a statement from USA Rugby.

“… The players complement each other extremely well, enabling individuals to express their strengths and simultaneously bring out the superpowers of those around them and the team.”

Third-place finish means Seward swimmer Lydia Jacoby won’t go to the Olympics in her signature event

Seward swimmer Lydia Jacoby placed third Monday in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke at the U.S. Olympic Trials, a result that means she probably won’t get to extend her reign as an Olympic champion in her signature event.

But Jacoby could still make it to Paris. She has the third-fastest qualifying time in the 200-meter breaststroke, which starts Wednesday with preliminaries.

Typically, Olympic spots go to the first two finishers at the Olympic Trials. The final roster will be determined when the Trials end later this week in Indianapolis.

Jacoby, 20, electrified Alaska and the rest of the world by winning the 100-meter breaststroke at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. She was 17 years old and still in high school.

At Monday’s finals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, she was one of two gold medalists in the pool.

Lilly King, the 2016 Olympic breaststroke champion and world record holder, triumphed with ease in 1 minute, 5.43 seconds. She’s now a three-time Olympian.

Weber and Jacoby were left to battle for second place and a trip to Paris. Both finished fast, but for Jacoby it wasn’t fast enough: Weber clocked 1:06.10, Jacoby 1:06.37.

King is guaranteed an Olympic spot in the 100 breast. Weber is considered the presumptive choice for the second spot.

Jacoby, who just finished her second year at the University of Texas, qualified for the 2020 Olympics in the 100 breast but not the 200. After winning the gold in the 100, she helped the United States claim the silver medal in the 400-meter medley relay.

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