Two-time league MVP has higher aspirations

Irvine High School senior Alexia Duncan, who’s been swimming since she was 4 years old, hopes to swim the 100-meter backstroke in the 2028 Summer Olympics.

It’s not too early for Irvine High School swimming star Alexia Duncan to dream about the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

“It’s definitely a goal, especially with it lining up with my senior year of college,” says the All American swimmer who’s received a scholarship to swim for the University of Utah.

Her goal is to make the 2028 U.S. Olympic team swimming the 100-meter backstroke, known as the 100 back.

“It will take hard work and dedication,” she says. “But with the right environment and coaches to push you, you can do anything.”

That attitude has earned Duncan two consecutive MVP titles in the Pacific Coast League, and the admiration of her coach.

“Alexia is a swimmer of focus, commitment and sheer will,” says Irvine coach Raymond Wong. “She has set the standard and tone for our school for the last four years.”

Family and friends

Duncan began swimming at age 4 for the JCC Waves Swim Club, where her parents, Gina and Chris Duncan, both coach.

“They taught me that it’s just about you in the water,” Duncan says.

In the pool, she focuses on winning. On the deck, it’s all about people.

“My favorite part is all the friends I’ve made,” she says. “It’s really fun getting to know people I’ve raced since I was 5. We’ve raced all through high school, and maybe we will in college too.”

Seeking a third league MVP

The 100 back is Duncan’s favorite event, but she also excels in the 200 back and 200 individual medley.

Over the past three years, she has garnered a shelf of trophies, including league championships, league MVPs and several California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) top 10 finishes.

This year?

“I hope to be league MVP for the third time, and I really want to make top 5 at state in the 100 backstroke,” she says.

In the meantime, she’ll keep a close eye on the U.S. team at this year’s Summer Olympics.

“They have some competition, but based on their success at the World Championships, I think they’ll do really well,” she says.

Which is what she’s hoping for herself in 2028.