Claire Curzan Undercuts 50 Free National Age Group Record, But Will It Count?

TAC Titans Intrasquad Time Trial

  • July 17-19, 2020
  • Triangle Aquatic Center, Cary, North Carolina
  • 25y (SCY) pool
  • Live Stream
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “TAC TITANS July Intrasquad Meet”

Confirmed Tokyo 2020 (2021) US Olympian Ashley Twichell and National Age Group Record holder Claire Curzan led the highlights on the first night of racing at the TAC Titans Intrasquad Time Trial on Friday evening.

The top finisher in the women’s 50 free was 16-year old Junior National Teamer Claire Curzan in 21.51. That’s a new lifetime best for her, and clears her own National Age Group Record of 21.77 set last year.

That time ranks her as the 4th-fastest junior (18 and under) in US history:

  1. Simone Manuel, 21.32 – 2015
  2. Abbey Weitzeil, 21.49 – 2014
  3. Gretchen Walsh, 21.50 – 2020
  4. Claire Curzan, 21.51 – 2020
  5. Kate Douglass, 21.53 – 2019

USA Swimming return-to-competition rules aren’t allowing times swum in the month of July to count for anything beyond LSC-level meet qualifying marks. We’ve reached out to USA Swimming to ask if records swum during July will count.

There is another confounding factor in play: she raced against male swimmers in her heat. While USA Swimming rules do say that “lead-off legs/initial distances of mixed gender relays shall not count for American or U.S. Open records,” the rules don’t address what happens in mixed gender heats of individual events. The rules specific to National Age Group Records also don’t mention any restrictions on records set in mixed gender events, individual or relay.

Curzan swam her race from lane 1 in a heat with 7 male swimmers. The swimmer next to her swam 22.00.

Curzan was the 4th-best finisher overall in the race, behind the top male finisher, 19-year old Michael Ivy, in 20.79.

Curzan is scheduled to swim the 100 fly, 100 back, 100 free, and 200 fly later in the meet. She already holds the 15-16 National Age Group Record in the 100 fly at a 50.35 set earlier this year.

Curzan trained in a backyard pool, on a tether, in a wetsuit, until her team was able to return to the water.

Twichell, who has already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in the open water 10km event, kicked her weekend off with a 4:44.49 in the 500 free.

At her last meet before the quarantine shutdown, the 2020 Cary Sectional Championships in this same pool in early March, she swam 4:43.09.

Other Top Finishers from Friday:

  • 16-year old Lance Norris won the boys’ 500 free in 4:24.19. That crushes his previous best time of 4:27.61 that was set at a high school regional championship meet on February 1. 17-year old Michael Cotter was 2nd in 4:25.11, which was a best time for him as well, by almost 4 seconds.
  • Shortly after that swim, Cotter very-nearly went another best time in the 200 IM, swimming 1:50.11. Norris was 2nd in that same event in 1:50.81, which is his lifetime best.

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11 months ago

Congratulations to her, and all the swimmers who went best times! She just keeps getting better, and I can’t wait to see what she can throw down in the remaining events. Hope she gets an official go at the record soon!

Honest Observer
11 months ago

Fantastic time from a fantastic swimmer. Does anyone know what the times of the boys in the lanes next to her were? (I’m guessing the record won’t be ratified, given everything, but if the swimmers next to her weren’t significantly faster, we fans will know her time was legit.)

Inclusive Parent
Reply to  Honest Observer
11 months ago

Top four: 20.79 / 21.24 / 21.32 and Claire at 21.51.

Honest Observer
Reply to  Braden Keith
11 months ago

Thank you for that. That’s awesome, means her 21.51 was completely legit, even if it doesn’t get ratified.

Reply to  Braden Keith
11 months ago

in canada, National records aren’t approved for mixed-gender races.

is there anything in the USAS rule books that may reflect that?

11 months ago

please correct typo, says CC trained on a “teacher” should be “tether”. Great article. Interesting question.

tea rex
Reply to  Swammer
11 months ago

That’s a great ad for resistance training!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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