Claire Curzan is a competitive swimmer who competes for the TAC Titans in North Carolina. Curzan started making headlines at the age of 12 when she broke Regan Smith’s National Age Group record in the 11-12 100 yard fly. Since then, things have just gotten faster.
A few short months later in February, Curzan not only re-broke her NAG in the 100 fly (from 54.57 to 54.38), but also broke the NAG in the 50 fly with her opening split of the race. She continued to progress an dropped a 53.99 at the end of May to break the record once again. That would be the mark she aged up with.
As a 13-14 year-old, Curzan kept improving. At her first North Carolina State Championships, she once again broke Regan Smith’s 100 fly NAG, which had stood at 51.73. Curzan touched at 51.60 to take home the state title along with her first 13-14 NAG record and State record.
2019 North Carolina Age Group Swimming Championships
Curzan had a sensational meet in Cary, breaking her teammate Charlotte Hooks 13-14 NAG in the 200 fly by registering a 1:55.64. She was also part of the TAC Titans relays that broke not one, not two, but three relay NAG’s in one weekend (they got under a 4th, but another team beat them to the punch).
2019 Cary Sectionals
Only two weeks later, Curzan was in even better form, delivering another dazzling performance in Cary. This one was highlighted by her 100 fly, which toppled her old record clocked less than a month prior. Racing Regan Smith, Curzan touched 2nd at the wall, but stopped the clock at 50.64, nearly a full second faster than her previous best. That wasn’t Curzan’s only NAG on the weekend, however. On the last day of competition, she swam the 100 free, touching in 47.67 to wipe out Missy Franklin’s 9-year-old record of 47.94.
First 14-Under Sub-22 50y Free
One week after Curzan swam at the Cary Sectionals, she competed at the ESSZ Age Group Champs in Atlanta, Georgia. She continued her phenomenal spring by becoming the youngest female to ever break 22 seconds in the 50 yard freestyle, stopping the clock at 21.89. That swim also put her as the 2nd fastest 16-under female in the 50 free all-time, only behind Gretchen Walsh who had been 21.89 (at age 16).
First 14-Under Sub-59 100m Fly
Fourteen-year-old Claire Curzan became the youngest woman in American history to break 59 seconds in the long course meters 100 fly on April 11, 2019, in Richmond at the Pro Swim Series stop. After breaking the 10-year-old NAG by going 59.00 in prelims, she lowered it even further in finals, touching at 58.61 to take almost a full second off of the previous 13-14 record held by Kendyl Stewart from 2009.
2019 National Championships
Curzan continued to record best time at the 2019 national champs, placing 2nd in the 100 back (1:00.39) and 5th in the 100 fly (57.87). Her time in the 100 fly was under the old 15-16 NAG, but Torri Huske (16-years-old) was also under that time in the same heat, touching .07 faster at 57.80.
Curzan finished as the 1st or 2nd fastest eligible Jr in both races, qualifying her to swim both at the 2019 World Jr Champs, as well as the 50 fly and back.
2019 World Junior Championships
In her 1st event of the meet, Curzan earned a silver medal in the 100 back, touching behind Canada’s Jade Hannah in a new personal best of 1:00.00.
After swimming the prelims of the 50 back, Curzan scratched out of semis to focus on the final of the 50 fly, which paid off, netting Curzan a bronze medal with a time of 25.81.
Curzan swam the 100 fly on the final night of the meet, earning another bronze with a time of 58.37. Curzan finished her program in the 4×100 medley relay, leading off in a time of 1:00.75 to help the USA win gold.
2019 Swammy Awards
After breaking so many age group barriers in a single year, Claire Curzan earned the Age Group Swimmer of the Year (13-14) Swammy Award.
2020 North Carolina State Championships
At her 2nd state championships, as a sophomore, 15 year-old Claire Curzan set a new personal best time, as well as a new 15-16 National Age Group record, a North Carolina High School Athletic Association record, and an overall National High School record in the 100 fly, touching at 50.35. Curzan also won the 100 back in 51.38, just off her personal bet of 51.23.
2020 NAG Siege
After four months of pandemic-induced shutdown, she went to work on the record books beginning in July at a TAC intrasquad meet. With times of 21.51 in the 50 free, 47.23 in the 100 free, 51.01 in the 100 back, 50.03 in the 100 fly, and 1:53.59 in the 200 fly, she went under the NAG record times in the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 fly. In August, at another TAC-sponsored meet, she became the youngest American woman to break 50 seconds in the 100 fly, going 49.73 to lower the NAG Record.
In November, competing at U.S. Open in Greensboro, Curzan took a huge, .87-second bite out of the 15-16 NAG Record in the 100m fly and became the 3rd-fastest American of all-time with 56.61. Finally, in December, at the TAC Blizzard Blitz, she downed Regan Smith’s 100 back NAG Record with 50.18, taking a full .83 off her previous best time and nearly cracking the 50-second barrier.
2020 Swammy Awards
For all of the NAGs broken during the latter part of 2020, Curzan earned the 2020 Swammy Award for 15-16 Female of the Year.
2021 Olympic Trials
On the second night of Olympic Trials in the 100 fly final in a tight battle for second, Curzan had to fend off a strong push from Kate Douglass and Kelsi Dahlia, but got the job done at the age of 16, touching in 56.43 to earn an Olympic berth.