Claire Curzan Breaks Gretchen Walsh’s 15-16 NAG With 24.45 In 50m Free

16-year-old Claire Curzan smashed a 24.45 in the 50-meter freestyle this morning, breaking a National Age Group (NAG) record.

The TAC Titans standout is competing this week at the 2021 TAC Titans Spring Invitational Meet in Cary, North Carolina. Full results are available on Meet Mobile, and we will have daily recaps of all the meet’s top results.

In this morning’s prelims, Curzan wasted no time in etching her name further into the USA Swimming age group record books. Curzan is already the NAG record-holder in the short course yards 50 free – she broke a Gretchen Walsh NAG record back in December and then again in March with a 21.50.

Curzan erased Walsh’s name from the long course meters record this morning, going 24.45. That’s a whopping three-tenths of a second better than Walsh was in this age group, and also moves Curzan up past World/Olympic champ Simone Manuel, who is now #3 in age group history:

Top Performers All-Time, USA Swimming 15-16s, 50 LCM Free

  1. Claire Curzan – 24.45 (2021)
  2. Gretchen Walsh – 24.71 (2019)
  3. Simone Manuel – 24.80 (2013)
  4. Anya Goeders – 24.85 (2016)
  5. Marta Ciesla – 25.07 (2015)

Disregarding age groups, Curzan is now the #7 American of all-time in the event. Manuel holds the American record at 23.97.

Top Performers All-Time, USA Swimming 50 LCM Free

  1. Simone Manuel – 23.97 (2017)
  2. Dara Torres – 24.07 (2008)
  3. Amanda Weir – 24.23 (2009)
  4. Abbey Weitzeil – 24.28 (2016)
  5. Madison Kennedy – 24.39 (2016)
  6. Torri Huske – 24.44 (2021)
  7. Claire Curzan – 24.45 (2021)
  8. Jessica Hardy – 24.48 (2008)
  9. Lara Jackson – 24.50 (2008)
  10. Erika Brown – 24.57 (2020)

Curzan will have a chance to go even faster in tonight’s final, though she could have a busy schedule. Curzan also qualified first in the 100 fly (58.09) this morning. The two races are back-to-back, with only the boys 100 fly in between. Curzan is already the 15-16 NAG record-holder in that 100 fly with a 56.20 she put up earlier this year.

The 16-year-old Curzan now owns 15-16 NAG records in the 50m free, 100m fly, 50y free, 100y free, 100y back and 100y fly. We recently named her the #1 recruit in the country among current high school juniors, and she has not yet publicly committed to a college.

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SwimJon
1 year ago

How does she compare to C1, C2, Emma McK, Rikako Ikee and Sarah Sjostrom at that age? I know SS and C1 competed supersuited, but the underwaters since then is the game changer

Last edited 1 year ago by SwimJon
Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  SwimJon
1 year ago

The world junior record stands at 24.33 by Rikako Ikee dated 17 Sep 2017. Such a shame Rikako Ikee contracted leukemia.

Anonymoose
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
1 year ago

contracted?

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Anonymoose
1 year ago

How about was diagnosed with instead?

Swimfan
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
1 year ago

Claire just swam a 24.17 in finals!

Dee
Reply to  SwimJon
1 year ago

Aussie 15yo record is 24.13 by C1 in 2008, with the worst start ever. Emma Mckeon came to sprinting a lot later, and so did Sjostrom (to a lesser degree).

SwimJon
Reply to  Dee
1 year ago

Lesser degree? World record holder and lesser degree? Yeah sure the super suits were tossed out and swimming technique changed/took time to adapt… but to a lesser degree? Don’t get the comment, but hey may be language/reference… McKeon is very much developing all the time whilst not burning out too early

ArtVanDeLegh10
Reply to  SwimJon
1 year ago

Started focusing on sprinting later in their careers.

Dee
Reply to  SwimJon
1 year ago

Sjostrom was touted as a 100/200 swimmer in her early days, and started to focus on sprinting a little later; She seldom swam 50 freestyles until 2011, and didn’t break 24.5 until 2014, 5 years after she set her first WR. Her 50fl PB was 25.5 the day before she set the WR (24.4).

My point is that she started to focus on sprinting a bit later, and her 50s technique changed enormously in 2014. By “lesser degree” I meant that her focus shifted later, but not quite as late as Emma McKeon.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dee
Hswimmer
1 year ago

I’m scared

LaBlom
1 year ago

Things are getting interesting!

Swimfan
1 year ago

I wonder what she’s capable in the 100 free.. I hate to be that person but I was kind of bummed that she only went 54.4 last month compared to Tori Huske 53.4, with her being a world-class backstroker and butterflyer one would think she should be able to put up a world class 100 free

Pez
Reply to  Swimfan
1 year ago

“only went 54.4” man come on… shes 16

Swimfan
Reply to  Pez
1 year ago

Yes It was premature on my part my bad. Fanatics swimmer all around can’t wait to see was the future holds for her

Swimmy
Reply to  Swimfan
1 year ago

I get what you are saying: As a swim fan, she is super talented, so we want to see her be right there fighting for a top 2-3 100 freestyler slot too

Swimfan
Reply to  Swimmy
1 year ago

Now with her going 24.17 I have absolute confidence that she can go under 53 in the 100, The real question is when she fully tapers can she challenge the world record in the 100 back

Honest Observer
1 year ago

Curzan and Huske and Smith and the Walshes (and others) are going to give us great entertainment for years to come. The golden age of female age group swimming in the US has turned out the way we’d hoped.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
1 year ago

That girl is on fire!

PFA
1 year ago

She sacrificed that 15m+ underwater to 14.9m to only lose .01 off her DSQ time. Not too shabby.

Dee
1 year ago

This girl is obscenely talented.

The womens 50fr at US trials has quietly become extremely competitive if all swim. Manuel & Weitzeil the definite top two on past & PBs, but these young girls are flying and you wouldn’t be surprised to see one (or more?) of them throw a spanner in the works.

Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Dee
1 year ago

Curzan and Huske battling Weitzeil for the second entrant in the women’s 50 meter freestyle. As for Simone Manuel, the record speaks for itself:

2016 – silver
2017 – bronze
2018 – silver
2019 – gold

Ben
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
1 year ago

Simone’s record also speaks for itself that she has been underwhelming in the qualifying meets. Cant afford that here.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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