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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swimfan210_
1 year 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
1 year 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
1 year ago

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

Honest Observer
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

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

John
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

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

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

Swammer
1 year ago

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

tea rex
Reply to  Swammer
1 year ago

That’s a great ad for resistance training!

tea rex
1 year ago

“Curzan trained in a backyard pool, on a teacher, in a wetsuit”.

This is a hard time for teachers across the country, do we have to put them in dunk tanks too?

Virtus
Reply to  tea rex
1 year ago

I think I read it over 10 times

Eugene
1 year ago

21.5 to 20.7? How to embarrass older guys…

CoastalCarolina
1 year ago

No it shouldn’t count! Rules don’t really matter to TAC, so I’m sure they’ll fight for the exception. This is a program that relabeled itself a camp to skirt the rules for reopening, so it’s no surprise that they ran a meet despite the ban from USA Swimming. They are boasting their “no positive cases in 2 weeks” on their website as a sign of progress. I guess safety of their swimmers matters as much as rules.

Questionable
Reply to  CoastalCarolina
1 year ago

Someone sounds like theyve spent too much time at Wrightsville Beach and have a bit too much salt in them right now.

swimgeek
Reply to  CoastalCarolina
1 year ago

want some cheese with that wine?

CoastalCaroline
1 year ago

No it shouldn’t count! But anyone in NC knows that rules don’t matter to TAC so I’m sure they’ll fight for the exception. This is a program that relabeled itself a camp so that they could skirt rules for reopening, so of course they held a meet despite the ban from USA Swimming. They’re boasting “no new positive Corona cases in 2 weeks” on their website so safety matters to this team about as much as rules.

DB Cooper
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

There are a number of LSC’s that made the decision not to sanction meets. Teams are trying to have small meets and are being told too bad. They can still run the meet, but times won’t count. It’s something, but looks bad that the LSCs are working in the opposite direction of USAS.

swimapologist
Reply to  CoastalCaroline
1 year ago

NC Swimming coaches/parents are always so petty in these comments. Their favorite target used to be SwimMAC, now it appears they’ve moved on to TAC. Always desperate to take down the teams who are doing well

NCSwimFan
Reply to  swimapologist
1 year ago

Yeah the above thought from Coastal is one I absolutely disagree with. I know I’ve been guilty of being petty toward other NC teams in the past, but TAC is doing everything by the book here, operating well below their maximum capacity and maintaining social distancing policies all across the deck and stands. So many teams have labeled themselves as a camp to resume operations, they are not alone if that is what they are doing! Not my favorite team in the world by any means but to insinuate they’re breaking rules to run a meet now is absurd and wrong.

Tommy
Reply to  NCSwimFan
1 year ago

Interesting if you look at the video, you’ll see groups of coaches standing right next to each other, no masks. Swimmers coming up to talk to them closely after races. Doesn’t look like appropriate social distancing to me.

Swim&PoloDad
Reply to  CoastalCaroline
1 year ago

Pretty much every year round, rec and water polo team in CA relabeled themselves a camp. Anything to get kids in the water, and they’re doing it safely, too.

HeadTimer
Reply to  Swim&PoloDad
1 year ago

True. All the teams in the Raleigh area were doing the same.

TJones
1 year ago

Great job Claire! You would look great in an NC STATE swim cap!

swimswimswim
Reply to  TJones
1 year ago

not sure she is going to go anywhere where she would have all of the school records from day one

NCSwimDad
Reply to  swimswimswim
1 year ago

She’d have two records for NC State with her current times.

AuggieBuschFan
Reply to  swimswimswim
1 year ago

By the time she graduates high school she will probably have multiple races faster than any University’s record…..

Pvdh
Reply to  TJones
1 year ago

I’m sure she would look great at even more prestigious swim schools like Stanford or Berkeley. not to mention th slight academic advantage those schools have over bc state

Justin Thompson
Reply to  Pvdh
1 year ago

Berkely education is overrated, good swim program though.😄

SwimmerTX
Reply to  Justin Thompson
1 year ago

How is Berkeley education overrated? As one of the top public universities consistently at the top in so many fields (STEM, business etc), I’d like to hear your rationale.

anon
Reply to  TJones
1 year ago

uva or Stanford for sure w her talent

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. 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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