Jacobi’s top time in the 500 freestyle recorded on the Florida State website going into the season was 4 minutes, 47.37 seconds. Now she’s down to 4:41.85, a new Florida State record she set at the ACC championships in late February, which was good enough for fourth place — nearly 3 seconds faster than her preliminary time.
When Jacobi won the 500 freestyle in the Class AAAAA state meet last season as a Harrison High School senior, her time was 4:49.13.
That’s how far she has come over the last 12-plus months.
“It’s really exciting,” Jacobi said on qualifying for the NCAA championships. “My freshman year has been a huge adjustment, but I’ve had a lot of support from teammates and coaches so I felt like a lot of my hard work had paid off when I found out I made it.”
Jacobi discovered the intensity level was much higher in college than it was when she swam for Harrison and the Marietta Marlins.
She said she was homesick during the first few weeks before getting into routine and she learned quickly that she wasn’t swimming for herself anymore — she was representing a strong ACC program.
And once she got her bearings, her times began to drop. She said a lot of had to do with conditioning and performing dry land exercises that usually consists of running, jumping, stair climbing and other fitness activities. She had also gotten stronger over the last year as a result of more weight training.
She had also done more distance training in the water and improved her kicks. And swimming the longer freestyles like the 1,000 and the 1,650 (one mile) improved her speed and endurance.
“I speak enough about Madison,” Florida State coach Neil Harper said. “When she has a cap, suit and goggles, she has a chance to win. She can race with anyone and am excited about what she could do for the team.”
One of Jacobi’s early highlights as a Seminole came when Florida State swam a duel meet against Miami October 19. She won the 1,000 freestyle in 10:13.89 to help the Seminoles edge the Hurricanes. She took second in the 500 (:.) and the 1,000 (10:11.99) to teammate and former Roswell swimmer Julia Henkel to help Florida State win a quad meet against Duke, Virginia Tech and UNC-Wilmington on Oct. 27.
In helping Florida State win the Georgia Tech Invite last November, Jacobi won the 1,650 freestyle in 16:31.50.
At Harrison, Jacobi is the holder of seven school records and was named team MVP all four seasons. She was also an Olympic Trial qualifier last summer in the 400 and 800 freestyles and the 200 backstroke.
If there is one thing Jacobi enjoys about being in Florida, it is practicing and competing outdoors.
“There’s less chlorine and the sun feels nice,” she said.