#1 in 2022, Olympic Silver Medalist Claire Curzan Makes Her College Choice

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The long-anticipated announcement of where Claire Curzan will spend the next four years is here:

I am thrilled to finally announce my verbal commitment to continue my academic and athletic career at Stanford University! I could not of done this without my amazing coaches, teammates, and educators, and the endless support from my family and friends. I’m truly blessed and can’t wait to join the farm!! #fearthetree🌲❤️

Curzan is a senior Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. She swims club with TAC Titans and is the number one recruit from the high school class of 2022.

That gives Stanford the top-two recruits in the class (Curzan and #2 Charlotte Hook), as well as #7 Lucy Bell, #15 Kayla Wilson, #17 Sophie Duncan, and unranked but listed in the honorable mention or “Best of the Rest” sections, Natalie Mannion, Gigi Johnson, and Kirsti McEnroe.

Curzan is a superlative swimmer across the board, but really stands out in sprint free, back, and fly. She is already fast enough to score in the A finals of six individual events (100/200 fly, 100/200 back, 50/100 free) at NCAAs, exactly twice the number she would be allowed to swim. That kind of flexibility will allow head coach Greg Meehan to use her wherever they need the most points. Considering that Stanford will also have current World Record-holder in the 200 back and former WR holder in the 100 back, Regan Smith, and current American Record-holder in the 100 butterfly, Torri Huske, by the time Curzan gets to campus, that will give Meehan all kinds of options.

Curzan can do it all, though. She broke Smith’s 15/16 NAG in the 100 back and she is the third-fastest American performer of any age in history in the 100 fly. Her 49.51 is the 8th-fastest performance, and with a 49.73 as well, she owns two of the top-15 performances of all-time.

Rank Athlete 100 Fly Nationality Meet Date
1 Maggie MacNeil 48.89 CAN 2021 NCAA DI Women’s Swimming 3/18/2021
2 Louise Hansson 49.26 SWE 2019 NCAA DI – Women 3/21/2019
2 Maggie MacNeil 49.26 CAN Minnesota Invite 2019 12/5/2019
4 Louise Hansson 49.34 SWE 2019 PAC 12 Champs women 2/28/2019
5 Erika Brown 49.38 USA 2020 SEC Champs 2/19/2020
6 Maggie MacNeil 49.42 CAN 2020 B1G 10 Champs women 2/20/2020
7 Kelsi Dahlia 49.43 USA 2016 NCAA DI – Women 3/17/2016
8 Claire Curzan 49.51 USA 2021 NC TAC ESSZ SC Sectional 3/3/2021

In LCM, Curzan is also the third-fastest American 100 flyer in history. She earned that distinction with a 56.20 from April 2021. At Olympic Trials two months later, she finished second in the final with 56.43, earning a berth on the U.S. Olympic Team. In Tokyo, she placed 10th in the semifinals of the 100 fly and also swam the fly leg in prelims of the women’s 4×100 medley relay. She earned a silver medal when the Americans came in second in the final.

Having just turned 17 on June 30, Curzan hasn’t yet begun her assault on the 17/18 NAG Record books, but in the last four-and-a-half years, she has amassed ten individual NAGs:

  • SCY NAG Records – 11/12: 50/100 fly; 13/14: 50/100 free, 100 fly; 50/100 free, 100 back 100 fly
  • LCM NAG Records – 11/12: 50 fly; 13/14: 100 fly; 15/16: 100 fly

Best SCY times:

  • 100 fly – 49.51
  • 100 back – 50.03
  • 200 back – 1:49.35
  • 50 free – 21.50
  • 100 free – 47.23
  • 200 free – 1:45.47
  • 200 fly – 1:53.59
  • 200 IM – 1:58.87

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husked corn salad
20 days ago


PK Doesn’t like his long name
20 days ago

Whoever the best SCY breaststroker is should be lining up to head to Stanford. You’ll get all the records for a long time.

Reply to  PK Doesn’t like his long name
20 days ago

Would’ve been Lydia Jacoby from that class but she’s going to Texas. Emma Weber is the next fastest and she is going to UVA. SwimSwam’s way-too-early list of recruits for the class one year after Curzan (2023) lists Caroline Bricker from Colorado Springs as the top 100 breaststroker (59.73).

Last edited 20 days ago by lightning
Reply to  lightning
20 days ago

I’m sure Texas will be a great experience for Jacoby, and surely she knows better than any of us what’s best for her and her future, but I can’t help but wonder if the thought of changing course and joining her Tokyo roommate at Stanford hasn’t at least crossed her mind today. The medley relay records they’d set would last a long time.

Last edited 20 days ago by Willswim
NC Fan
Reply to  Willswim
20 days ago

Jacoby certainly had the opportunity to learn all about her options in Tokyo. Definitely wouldn’t fault her for reconsidering if she felt comfortable with all the girls…and direct flights (I think) home and back.

Water Bug
Reply to  Willswim
20 days ago

Maybe her decision in not only based on swimming . . .

Human Ambition
Reply to  lightning
20 days ago

Maybe Gorbenko. Should be a 57.

Rachel Wander
Reply to  Human Ambition
19 days ago

I think Gorbenko is ineligible for USA college swimming due to competing at a professional level. Not sure how much the new rule changes effect that.

Reply to  Rachel Wander
19 days ago

As far as we know, that is presently correct.

Whether that will stand is anybody’s guess.

If they start letting full-blown pros into the NCAA, it’s pretty much game over for the NCAA, and becomes a bit meaningless.

Reply to  lightning
19 days ago

Jacoby mentioned in an interview from Hawai’i training camp that she is very sensitive to sun, and was worried about outdoor swimming. Who knows if this is a factor, but outdoor training year-round could be a big change for someone like Jacoby.

what a Team
Reply to  PK Doesn’t like his long name
20 days ago

whatever the stroke, the AP courses are mandatory as are the grades, class rank, character, tests

Reply to  what a Team
19 days ago

I’m not sure if your comment is meant to target Lydia insinuating that she didn’t have these boxes checked or support Claire insinuating that she does (and I know she is a bright student), but either way these kind of comments tick me off. As a former Stanford athlete and someone with close knowledge of several current athletes there, I can assure you that, while the vast majority of Stanford athletes, and students for that matter, have great academics, there are plenty for whom the bar is lowered significantly (for test scores, grades and classes taken). Similarly, there are more impressive student athletes from a total combination of achievements both in and out of the pool or field, committed to… Read more »

Last edited 19 days ago by LOL
what a team
Reply to  LOL
11 days ago

I wasn’t pointing to either Lydia or Claire in my brief comment about “whatever stroke”. Your comment has far more value than mine. you are correct about the real life uncertainty. and your examples are all there as reminders. Just to be clear, Admissions runs the process….for every candidate. Legacies are an exception on the overall population, but shouldnt be eliminated, just keep transparency.
Coaches can make a case, and they soon learn that keeping the trust with the HS student athlete means they cant ignore checking the boxes of the Admissions team- while admitting there will be limited gray areas. So the only real phrase I dont support is that “PLENTY” for whom the bar is lowered significantly… Read more »

20 days ago

so ready for NCAA next year

Ledecky will go under 8 minutes in the 800
20 days ago

This Stanford Team is starting to look like 2016/2017 Stanford again, where Gregg had the nation’s top women’s recruits

Hopefully he knows what to do with them this time around because it would be so disappointing to see talent go to waste like this


Greg has won more women’s titles than pretty much any coach currently out there. The UVhAters are wilding

Ledecky will go under 8 minutes in the 800
Reply to  SwimFan76
20 days ago

yes but then LCM


He’s also won 10x as many LCM medals as most current NCAA coaches

Reply to  SwimFan76
20 days ago

No, Ledecky has.

Ledecky will go under 8 minutes in the 800
Reply to  Deepblue
20 days ago

No bc LeGOATkey is single handedly responsible for a good 60% of Stanford’s individual titles in the Meehan era, the majority of them coming from her NCAP days

The other 40% are from smith (pre-Stanford), Manuel, and Maya DiRado

show me your data

coversation went from titles to LCM medals. At one NCAA didnt they win 13 titles including relays. that is rough, just from memory

Ledecky will go under 8 minutes in the 800
Reply to  show me your data
20 days ago

I’m talking about the fact that he can’t develop his swimmers beyond the NCAA level because at the end of the day LCM is the most important

show me your data
Reply to  SwimFan76
20 days ago

during his tenure as head coach, he has won a bunch, and I cant say anyone else has come close in the that time frame. But I wouldnt want to overlook the long term womens LCM success that Cal’s Teri McKeever may have had, she had 6 swimmers of the year during her 29 years, and plenty of Olympians. Of course Stanford was always a step ahead in championships, and overall women’s Olympic/World/USA honors, from Janet Evans on to recent stars Dirado, Katie, Simone, Ella Eastin,

Last edited 20 days ago by show me your data
Reply to  SwimFan76
19 days ago

it is not that hard when you get top recruits

20 days ago

Boom! Awesome news for Stanford! NCAAs for the foreseeable future is going to be incredible! Go Stanford! 🌲🌲 Congratulations Claire! Well done Greg and Tracy!

20 days ago

If Meehan doesn’t win some titles soon…

Reply to  Snarky
19 days ago

Stanford has won 3 of the last 4 titles. Not too bad. I don’t know many people in any field that could match that.

hot take predictions
20 days ago

go hoos

Reply to  hot take predictions
20 days ago

Cry about it

20 days ago


If Maggie does a 5th year we have an insane 100 Fly NCAA lineup. Huske, Curzan, MacNeil, Smith, Douglass and I’m probably missing some.

Last edited 20 days ago by Jackman
Reply to  Jackman
20 days ago

I think she already announced that she’s going to take a fifth year to get a grad degree somewhere other than Michigan, so you’ll probably get to see it.

Reply to  Jackman
20 days ago

My money is on Maggie heading to Stanford. Ruck is there and she’s super academically-focused.

Reply to  Monteswim
19 days ago

Not sure what MacNeil’s academic interests are, but in a decent number of fields a graduate degree from Cal might hold more weight than one from Stanford. I’d guess the only 3 schools in the running for that 5th year would be UM, Cal, and Stanford.

Reply to  HJones
19 days ago

That’s a bold guess.

You wouldn’t think that, say, her former coach Rick Bishop would be in the mix at LSU?
Or chasing a ring at UVA?

Reply to  Braden Keith
17 days ago

She doesn’t strike me as the person to go somewhere just for swimming. She seems very academically focused and I’ll be she will follow that at the end of the day over a ring or a coach.

Reply to  Entgegen
17 days ago

I mean I know we’re all just making stuff up here, and we like to think of our swimming heroes as these perfect little bastians of white suburbanity, but if what you’re saying is correct, and if Stanford is so substantially better…why did she wait so long to make a decision?

what a team
Reply to  swimapologist
11 days ago

from the little I know, the scorecard before trials had Stanford clearly on top. The 7 verbals that Stanford rung up before the games, including her TAC teammate would have kept the trend. Other factors could have entered, but the “NIL world” is the only one that we heard her make a brief mention of. There are at least 3 firms that could be competing for the suit connection. She doesn’t have to swim HS, if she chooses to focus on World trials April. for her season. I have no special insight on how important in the delay.
She decided on official campus visit. The other 7 commits for class of 2022 all came onto campus for that weekend.… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by what a team

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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