15-Year-Old Charlotte Crush Annihilates NAG Record in 100 Back (49.53)

by Riley Overend 35

December 07th, 2023 National, News, Records


Thursday Finals Heat Sheet

At just 15 years old, Charlotte Crush clocked the second-fastest swim ever by an 18-and-under American girl in the 100-yard backstroke on Thursday night.

Leading off the 400 medley relay for Lakeside Swim Team (Kentucky), Crush posted a 100 back time of 49.53, shaving almost a second off her previous-best 50.44 from March and becoming the youngest girl ever under 50 seconds.

Not only is her lifetime best a new U.S. 15-16 girls’ national age group (NAG) record, taking down Claire Curzan‘s previous standard of 50.03 by exactly half a second, but only Curzan has been faster among all American girls age 18 and under at 49.46 earlier this year.

Just three 18-and-under girls have ever been under the 50-second barrier, Regan Smith being the other (49.66 in 2019).

U.S. 15-18 Girls’ NAG Rankings

  1. Claire Curzan, 49.46 (2023)
  2. Charlotte Crush, 49.53 (2023)
  3. Regan Smith, 49.66 (2019)
  4. Phoebe Bacon, 50.39 (2021)
  5. Reilly Tiltmann, 50.42 (2022)
  6. Isabel Ivey, 50.42 (2019)
  7. Amy Bilquist, 50.50 (2016)
  8. Bella Sims, 50.53 (2022)
  9. Rachel Bootsma, 50.54 (2012)
  10. Gretchen Walsh, 50.61 (2022)

Crush’s leadoff leg was more than four seconds faster than Ellie Clarke (54.21) of Carmel Swim Club (CSC), but CSC rallied past Lakeside Swim Team for the 400 medley relay victory by just 0.05 seconds thanks to Molly Sweeney (59.92 breast), Alex Shackell (49.25 fly), and Kayla Han (48.90 free)

Day 2 Finals Livestream, Courtesy of USA Swimming: 


  • Meet Record: 3:33.48 – Carmel Swim Club (B Berglund, M Sweeney, A Shackell, M Christman) (2022)
  • 13-14 NAG Record: 3:40.43 – SwimMAC Carolina (Razewski, Rainey, Wilhelm, Gendzel) (2019)
  • 15-16 NAG Record: 3:56.53 – Virginia Gators (Bray, Muzzy, Hamilton, Kulp) (2017)
  • 17-18 NAG Record: 3:32.10 – Elmbrook Swim Club (Wanezek, Thomas, Stoll, Tiltmann) (2023)
  • 15-18 NAG Record: 3:32.10 – Elmbrook Swim Club (Wanezek, Thomas, Stoll, Tiltmann) (2023)

Top 8:

  1. Carmel Swim Club (Ellie ClarkeMolly SweeneyAlex ShackellKayla Han) – 3:32.28 **Meet Record** 
  2. Lakeside Swim Team (Charlotte Crush, Georgia Kahler, Sydney Braeger, Haley McDonald) – 3:32.33
  3. SwimMac Carolina (Kayman Neal, Elle Scott, Caroline Mallard, Bree Smith) – 3:38.11
  4. Bolles School Sharks – 3:39.84
  5. SwimMac Carolina ‘B’ – 3:39.89
  6. Laker Swim – 3:41.11
  7. Mason Manta Rays & Michigan Lakeshore Aquatics – 3:41.73

Carmel took the lead after the butterfly leg, as Alex Shackell split a massive 49.25. She took out the first 50 in 22.75 before closing in 26.50. Haley McDonald of Lakeside anchored in 47.83, trying to close on Carmel’s Kayla Han. Han ultimately held her off at the finish, splitting 48.90 to grab the win for Carmel.

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Nick the biased Aussie
2 months ago

The US women’s backstroke field is getting tighter.

Reply to  Nick the biased Aussie
2 months ago

Seems like every year we say that with a new batch of backstrokers haha. I can’t think of a time when the US women’s backstroke field was not a gauntlet.

I miss the ISL
2 months ago

Not taking away from it at all, it was a fantastic swim. But she should’ve been DQed. It was blatant.

2 months ago

shouldn’t have counted because she was way past the 15 meter mark on the first 25

Reply to  sam
2 months ago

Agreed. In the full video the relay starts just after 2:17, and while I hate to take anything away from a great swim, her head did not break the surface until at least a full meter beyond 15.

Reply to  IMO
2 months ago

It was close… She may have been few inches beyond the mark but saying with certainty she was at least a ful meter beyond is pushing it.

Swim Pixie
Reply to  Tomek
2 months ago

Exactly, not to mention we are watching from a side-angled USA Swimming camera.

Reply to  Tomek
2 months ago

As someone else said here, I have a screenshot of the breakout, but no way to post it. It was not close, angle or no angle. Letting this swim stand as a record when it was clearly illegal would be atrocious. I hope she can repeat the swim legally in the individual event so this all becomes a moot point.

Reply to  sam
2 months ago

If Gretchen is allowed to do it why can’t she?

I miss the ISL
Reply to  Joe
2 months ago

Gretchen is really good at coming up exactly when she needs to. It looks like she is going too far every time, but she always manages to pop her head up right at the very end.

Reply to  sam
2 months ago

How much did she earn from that?

Reply to  sam
2 months ago

I haven’t seen the video, but keep in mind the yellow rings on the lane line are not the “end all, be all” when it comes to the 15 meter rule at some/most pools. As a USA Swimming official, several pools have tape on the sides of the pool to more accurately mark 15 meters, and an official placed there to look right “down the line” for DQ’s. The lane lines can get stretched/distorted over time, causing the yellow rings to not be exactly at the 15 meter mark. With that being said, my son is on Charlotte’s team, and she does always push the 15m mark routinely, especially on the first 25.

She’s an enormous talent! Certainly one to… Read more »

James Connor
2 months ago

The American women have so much backstroke talent!!!

2 months ago

She went too far off of the start…

2 months ago

She went too far off the start

2 months ago

Are we not going to talk about the OTHER 49 in the SAME heat

2 months ago

i guess you can say she CRUSHED it 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂help me😂😂😂😂😂😂

Reply to  KSW
2 months ago

Grab your coat on the way out please 🤣😉

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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