2021 Swammy Awards: Age Group Swimmer of the Year – 15-16

To see all of our 2021 Swammy Awards, click here.

2021 Honorees: Claire Curzan and Daniel Diehl

Claire Curzan – TAC Titans (Cary, NC)

For the second year in a row, Claire Curzan of TAC Titans was the most dominant force in age group swimming among 15- and 16-year-old girls. In 2021, she lowered four of her own 15-16 National Age Group Records and broke a fifth -that was also a World Junior Record- and she led the nation in another four events before aging into the 17-18s. She took .01 off her SCY 50 free time, .15 off the SCY 100 back, .21 off the SCY 100 fly, and .41 off the LCM 100 fly. In the LCM 50 free, she first took a big bite out of Gretchen Walsh’s 2019 NAG of 24.71 in the morning with her prelims swim of 24.45, then dropped another .28 in finals to settle the mark at 24.17. That time was also faster than Rikako Ikee‘s World Junior Record of 24.33 from 2017, although Curzan’s swim was not ratified by FINA (likely owing to the absence of drug testing at the TAC Spring Invitational).

NAGs:      
50 free SCY 21.50 3/5/2021
100 back SCY 50.03 3/5/2021
100 fly SCY 49.51 3/4/2021
100 fly LCM 56.20 4/10/2021
50 free LCM 24.45 5/14/2021
50 free LCM 24.17 5/14/2021

In addition to those four events, she produced the year’s top times in the SCY 100 free and 200 back and the LCM 50/100 free and 100 back. She #2 in the SCY 200 fly; #3 in the LCM 200 back; and #8 in the SCY 200 free.

She left the age group on June 30 with all-time SCY rankings of #1 in the 50/100 free and 100 back, #2 in the 200 back, #1 in the 100 fly, and #5 in the 200 fly. In LCM, she ranks 1st all-time in the 50/100 free, 100 back, and 100 fly and 13th in the 200 back.

Rank Event Age Time Standard Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 50 FR SCY 16 21.50 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 NC TAC ESSZ SC Sectional 3/5/21 TAC NC 1036
1 100 FR SCY 16 47.32 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 NC TAC ESSZ SC Sectional 3/6/21 TAC NC 1023
1 100 BK SCY 16 50.03 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 NC TAC ESSZ SC Sectional 3/5/21 TAC NC 1130
1 200 BK SCY 16 1:50.08 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 NC TAC ESSZ SC Sectional 3/6/21 TAC NC 1068
1 100 FL SCY 16 49.51 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 NC TAC ESSZ SC Sectional 3/4/21 TAC NC 1082
1 50 FR LCM 16 24.17 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 NC TAC Spring Invitational 5/14/21 TAC NC 1067
1 100 FR LCM 16 53.55 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 NC TAC Spring Invitational 5/16/21 TAC NC 1032
1 100 BK LCM 16 58.82 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 NC TAC Spring Invitational 5/15/21 TAC NC 1084
1 100 FL LCM 16 56.20 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 NC  TAC TITANS LC Premier 4/10/21 TAC NC 1074
2 200 FL SCY 16 1:53.75 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 NC TAC Polar Plunge 1/17/21 TAC NC 985
3 200 BK LCM 16 2:11.82 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 NC TAC Spring Invitational 5/16/21 TAC NC 961
8 200 FR SCY 16 1:45.79 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 NC TAC Polar Plunge 1/16/21 TAC NC 938

While still 16, Curzan finished second in the 100m fly at Olympic Trials Wave II to earn a berth on the United States Olympic Team for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. There, she swam in semi-finals of the 100 fly, finishing 11th, and swam fly in the prelims of the 4×100 medley relay, for which she earned a silver medal.

Over the second half of the year, she notched eight top-10 times for 17-18 girls, ranking 2nd in the SCY 200 free and 100 fly and the LCM 100 fly; 4th in the SCY 100 free and 200 back; 6th in the SCY 200 fly; 7th in the SCY 50 free; and 8th in the SCY 100 back.

Runners-Up

Bella Sims and Katie Grimes – Sandpipers of Nevada (Las Vegas, NV)

Teammates Sims and Grimes also represented the United States at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Mid-distance specialist Sims qualified for the U.S. team with a with a fifth-place finish in the 200 free at Trials, earning a spot on the 4×200 free relay for which she took home a silver medal. Longer-distance specialist Grimes finished second to Katie Ledecky in the 800 free at Trials, then swam the event in Tokyo where she finished fourth, just off the podium in the final.

In the 15-16 age group, Sims wrapped up 2021 ranked in the top-10 in fifteen events. She was #1 in the SCY 200/500 free and LCM 200 free; #2 in the SCY 1000/1650 free, 200 back, and 200/400 IM and the LCM 400/800/1500 free; #3 in the SCY 200 fly; #4 in the SCY 100 free; #5 in the SCY 100 fly; and #6 in the LCM 100 fly.

Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 200 FR SCY 16 1:42.92 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/10/21 SAND CA 1021
1 500 FR SCY 15 4:32.13 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 FL GAIN Invitational 4/10/21 SAND CA 1066
1 200 FR LCM 16 1:57.53 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 6/15/21 SAND CA 1003
2 1000 FR SCY 16 9:31.16 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 CA Dec CA NV Speedo Sectionals 12/16/21 SAND CA 985
2 1650 FR SCY 16 15:48.70 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 CA Dec CA NV Speedo Sectionals 12/19/21 SAND CA 1010
2 200 BK SCY 16 1:51.69 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 CA Dec CA NV Speedo Sectionals 12/19/21 SAND CA 1036
2 200 IM SCY 16 1:54.90 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/9/21 SAND CA 1016
2 400 IM SCY 16 4:03.67 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 CA Dec CA NV Speedo Sectionals 12/18/21 SAND CA 998
2 400 FR LCM 15 4:10.25 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 FL GAIN Invitational 4/10/21 SAND CA 995
2 800 FR LCM 16 8:23.55 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 6/18/21 SAND CA 1012
2 1500 FR LCM 15 16:21.22 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 TYR Pro Swim Series – San 3/3/21 SAND CA 999
3 200 FL SCY 16 1:53.91 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/11/21 SAND CA 982
4 100 FR SCY 16 48.52 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/11/21 SAND CA 956
5 100 FL SCY 16 52.21 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/10/21 SAND CA 967
6 100 FL LCM 16 1:00.02 2020 Olympic Trials Wave I 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 6/13/21 SAND CA 931

Grimes, who was still 15 all year, led the age group in the SCY 1000/1650 free and 400 IM and the LCM 800/1500 free katie and 400 IM. She was 2nd in the SCY 500 free; 3rd in the SCY 200 free; 4th in the SCY 200 IM; 5th in the LCM 200 IM; 6th in the SCY 200 back; and 7th in the LCM 400 free.

Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 1000 FR SCY 15 9:25.58 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 CA  SAND Pumpkin Invite 10/22/21 SAND CA 1018
1 1650 FR SCY 15 15:34.72 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/11/21 SAND CA 1061
1 400 IM SCY 15 4:00.66 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/10/21 SAND CA 1046
1 800 FR LCM 15 8:17.05 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2020 Olympic Games 7/29/21 SAND CA 1066
1 1500 FR LCM 15 15:52.12 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 6/15/21 SAND CA 1083
1 400 IM LCM 15 4:41.39 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 FL GAIN Invitational 4/9/21 SAND CA 969
2 500 FR SCY 15 4:32.97 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/9/21 SAND CA 1057
3 200 FR SCY 15 1:43.23 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 PC CARS NV State Championships 11/12/21 SAND CA 990
4 200 IM SCY 15 1:56.67 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/9/21 SAND CA 991
5 200 IM LCM 15 2:15.77 2020 Olympic Trials Wave I 2021 CA Cinco de Mayo Invitational 5/2/21 SAND CA 937
6 200 BK SCY 15 1:52.83 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/11/21 SAND CA 1017
7 400 FR LCM 15 4:13.09 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 6/14/21 SAND CA 960

15-16 Boys

Daniel Diehl – Cumberland YMCA Sea Otters (Cumberland, MD)

Diehl was one of the most consistent performers in the 15-16s this year and he still the rest of the 2021-22 short course season and the 2022 long course season to improve his standings in the age group, having only turned 16 this fall. Diehl won the 100 free and the 200 free at Winter Juniors East, notching the #1 times in the nation for the year among 15-16 boys in both events. He also produced the top times in the LCM 50 free and 100 back. Diehl was #3 in the LCM 100 free; #4 in the SCY 50 free; #5 in the SCY 100 back and 200 IM; and #10 in the SCY 200 back and LCM 200 free and 200 IM.

With plenty of time to continue doing damage in the rankings, Diehl already hold all-time 15-16 SCY rankings of #19 in the 50 free, #7 in the 100 free, #2 in the 200 free, #17 in the 100 back, #59 in the 200 back, and #26 in the 200 IM. In long course meters, he is #13 all-time in the 50 free and #5 in the 100 back.

Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 100 FR SCY 16 43.37 2021 Winter US Open (LCM) 2021 East Speedo Winter Junior 12/11/21 CUY MD 977
1 200 FR SCY 16 1:33.68 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 East Speedo Winter Junior 12/10/21 CUY MD 1011
1 50 FR LCM 15 22.99 2020 Olympic Trials Wave I 2021 TYR 18&U Spring Cup Richmond 5/1/21 UNAT MD 976
1 100 BK LCM 15 54.90 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 TYR 18&U Spring Cup Richmond 5/1/21 UNAT MD 1088
3 100 FR LCM 15 50.65 2021 Winter US Open (LCM) 2021 TYR 18&U Spring Cup Richmond 5/2/21 UNAT MD 993
4 50 FR SCY 15 19.95 2021 Winter US Open (LCM) 2021 MA AP YMCA Swimming Festi 4/10/21 UNAT MD 988
5 100 BK SCY 16 47.13 2021 Winter US Open (LCM) 2021 East Speedo Winter Junior 12/10/21 CUY MD 1025
5 200 IM SCY 16 1:46.69 2021 Winter US Open (LCM) 2021 East Speedo Winter Junior 12/9/21 CUY MD 979
10 200 BK SCY 16 1:45.36 2021 Winter US Open (LCM) 2021 MD FOX Fall Invitational Meet 11/6/21 CUY MD 958
10 200 FR LCM 15 1:52.35 2021 Winter US Open (LCM) 2021 MD LSC Summer Championships 7/30/21 UNAT MD 963
10 200 IM LCM 15 2:05.38 2021 Winter US Open (LCM) 2021 MD LSC Summer Championships 8/1/21 UNAT MD 962

Runner-Up

Ilya Kharun – Sandpipers of Nevada (Las Vegas, NV)

Kharun broke the only individual National Age Group Record of the year for the boys 15-16 age category, taking down Luca Urlando’s mark in the 100 fly with a best-by-1.5-seconds 45.59 in the final of the 2021 Speedo Winter Junior Championships-West in December.

NAGs:      
100 fly SCY 45.59 12/10/2021

Kharun also swam the leading time of 2021 in the SCY 200 fly at the West meet, winning that event, too. But he wouldn’t be a Sandpiper if he couldn’t put in the yardage, so he was also #2 for the year in the SCY 1650 free; #3 in the SCY 100 free and LCM 100 fly; #5 in the SCY 500 free; #6 in the LCM 200 fly; and #10 in the SCY 50 free and 400 IM and LCM 1500 free and 400 IM.

Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 100 FL SCY 16 45.59 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/10/21 SAND CA 1055
1 200 FL SCY 16 1:42.39 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/11/21 SAND CA 1041
2 1650 FR SCY 16 15:03.72 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 CA Dec CA NV Speedo Sectionals 12/16/21 SAND CA 941
3 1000 FR SCY 16 9:02.58 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 CA Dec CA NV Speedo Sectionals 12/19/21 SAND CA 943
3 100 FL LCM 16 54.08 2020 Olympic Trials Wave I 2021 CA MVN Summer JO’s 7/24/21 SAND CA 970
5 500 FR SCY 16 4:20.55 2021 Winter US Open (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/9/21 SAND CA 943
6 200 FL LCM 16 2:01.24 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 CA MVN Summer JO’s 7/22/21 SAND CA 939
10 50 FR SCY 16 20.16 2021 Winter US Open (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/9/21 SAND CA 916
10 400 IM SCY 16 3:50.16 2021 Winter US Open (LCM) 2021 CA Dec CA NV Speedo Sectionals 12/18/21 SAND CA 940
10 1500 FR LCM 16 16:05.69 2021 Winter Juniors (SCY) 2021 CA MVN Summer JO’s 7/22/21 SAND CA 848
10 400 IM LCM 16 4:28.89 2021 Winter US Open (LCM) 2021 CA MVN Summer JO’s 7/23/21 SAND CA 911

Honorable Mention

  • Will Modglin – Zionsville Swim Club-IN:

Modglin was only a member of the 15-16 age group for the first quarter of the year but her remained unsurpassed in the SCY 100 back for the rest of 2021. He showed his versatility by also remaining in the top-10 in a variety of events. He finished up #2 in the SCY 200 IM and LCM 100 back and 200 IM; #4 in the LCM 200 back; #5 in the SCY 100 breast and LCM 100 free and 100 fly; #8 in the SCY 100 fly; and #9 in the SCY 50/100 free.

Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 100 BK SCY 16 46.60 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 IN-O IHSAA Boys State Finals 2/27/21 UNAT IN 1052
2 200 IM SCY 16 1:45.14 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 IN-O IHSAA Boys State Finals 2/27/21 UNAT IN 1019
2 100 BK LCM 16 55.04 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 IN Combined Speedo Sectional 3/27/21 ZSC IN 1027
2 200 IM LCM 16 2:03.16 2020 Olympic Trials Wave I 2021 IN Combined Speedo Sectional 3/28/21 ZSC IN 1003
4 200 BK LCM 16 2:02.28 2020 Olympic Trials Wave I 2021 IN Combined Speedo Sectional 3/25/21 ZSC IN 970
5 100 BR SCY 16 54.15 2021 Winter US Open (LCM) 2021 IN Senior State Champs Combined 3/12/21 ZSC IN 990
5 100 FR LCM 16 51.00 2021 Winter US Open (LCM) 2021 IN Combined Speedo Sectional 3/28/21 ZSC IN 927
5 100 FL LCM 16 54.27 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 IN Combined Speedo Sectional 3/26/21 ZSC IN 961
8 100 FL SCY 16 47.56 2021 Winter US Open (LCM) 2021 IN Senior State Champs Combined 3/14/21 ZSC IN 955
9 50 FR SCY 16 20.13r 2021 Winter US Open (LCM) 2021 IN Senior State Champs Combined 3/14/21 ZSC IN 919
9 100 FR SCY 16 43.82 2021 Winter US Open (LCM) 2021 IN Senior State Champs Combined 3/12/21 ZSC IN 952
  • Cooper Lucas – Lakeside Aquatic Club-NT: Lucas was another versatile talent, wrapping up 2021 with ten top-10 swims for 15-16 boys in free, fly, and IM. He was #1 in the SCY 500 free and LCM 200 fly and 400 IM; #2 in the SCY 400 IM and LCM 200/400 free; #3 in the SCY 200 fly and LCM 200 IM; and #7 in the SCY 200 free and LCM 800 free.
Rank Event Age Time Std Meet Date Team LSC Points
1 500 FR SCY 16 4:18.65 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/9/21 LAC NT 963
1 200 FL LCM 16 1:59.74 2020 Olympic Trials Wave I 2021 ST TXLA Speedo Southern Sectionals 7/22/21 LAC NT 967
1 400 IM LCM 16 4:19.95 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 ST TXLA Speedo Southern Sectionals 7/23/21 LAC NT 995
2 400 IM SCY 16 3:46.26 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/10/21 LAC NT 982
2 200 FR LCM 16 1:50.36 2020 Olympic Trials Wave I 2021 ST TXLA Speedo Southern Sectionals 7/22/21 LAC NT 958
2 400 FR LCM 16 3:54.00 2020 Olympic Trials Wave II 2021 ST TXLA Speedo Southern Sectionals 7/24/21 LAC NT 952
3 200 FL SCY 16 1:44.94 2022 Summer Nationals (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/11/21 LAC NT 985
3 200 IM LCM 16 2:03.90 2020 Olympic Trials Wave I 2021 ST TXLA Speedo Southern Sectionals 7/25/21 LAC NT 987
7 200 FR SCY 16 1:36.43 2021 Winter US Open (LCM) 2021 West Speedo Winter Junior 12/10/21 LAC NT 932
7 800 FR LCM 15 8:16.95 2021 Winter US Open (LCM) 2021-NT- MAC North Texas Senior Me 5/16/21 LAC NT 941

Past Winners

Year 15-16 Girl 15-16 Boy
2021 Claire Curzan Daniel Diehl
2020 Claire Curzan Liam Custer
2019 Torri Huske Josh Matheny
2018 Regan Smith Gianluca Urlando
2017 Regan Smith Carson Foster
2016 Eva Merrell Drew Kibler
2015 Courtney Harnish Michael Andrew
2014 Katie Drabot Sean Grieshop
2013 Katie Ledecky Andrew Seliskar
2012 Katie Ledecky Caeleb Dressel

 

In This Story

9
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
9 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
TeamRegan
5 months ago

I think Claire Tuggle should be included too. Great 200/400/800 (1:58.2/4:07.8/8:37). World Juniors Gold Medalist at 15.

turk men I stan
Reply to  TeamRegan
5 months ago

You think Claire Tuggle should be included based on times and awards she achieved in 2019?

Sam B
Reply to  TeamRegan
5 months ago

isn’t she 17?

Sam B
Reply to  Sam B
5 months ago

she is 17 so I have no idea what the downvote is for.

Swim fan
5 months ago

Curzan’s stellar performance at Short Course Worlds this month shows her incredible versatility and success isn’t just at the TAC pool. Well deserved award for an incredible swimmer.

Bob Belcher
5 months ago

Why is Claire Curzan’s LCM 50 Free not a NAG?

Admin
Reply to  Bob Belcher
5 months ago

We’re looking into that. USA Swimming hasn’t updated it on their site. FINA never recognized it as the WJR either, I assume because she wasn’t drug tested (it was at a local spring invitational meet).

stemesak
5 months ago

Interesting observation: all of Claire’s Top 10 ranked times on the article are from a TAC meet

John
Reply to  stemesak
5 months ago

You’re out of your league here junior

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 …

Read More »