Competitor Coach of the Month is a recurring SwimSwam feature shedding light on a U.S.-based coach who has risen above the competition. As with any item of recognition, Competitor Coach of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one coach whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a coach who was clearly in the limelight, or one whose work fell through the cracks a bit more among other stories. If your favorite coach wasn’t selected, feel free to respectfully recognize them in our comment section.
Clubs across the United States are first and foremost limited by how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting pool availability and youth sports gathering rules. And while every state, city, and club has its own landscape to address, it’s clear that the TAC Titans are making the most of their opportunities.
Coach Bruce Marchionda‘s TAC Titans competed several times in the month of August, with some very headline-grabbing results.
16-year-old Claire Curzan was the show-stealer, as she often is. The rising high school junior (ranked #1 in the nation for her recruiting class) blasted a 49.73 in the 100-yard butterfly, becoming the youngest woman ever to break 50 seconds in the race. The teenager sits #5 in history in that event, where just six women have broken 50 seconds.
That swim was one of four for Curzan at the TAC Titans Invite from August 6-9. She also went 21.61 in the 50 free, 47.76 in the 100 free, and 51.42 in the 100 back. Curzan has previously been a tick faster in those three races (21.51/47.23 in free; 51.01 in back), but her August times are still elite-level times for 16-year-olds.
17-year-old Lance Norris (also a rising junior ranked inside the top 20 nationally for his recruiting class) also had a number of big swims. Norris swam some distance races at the TAC Titans Invite, going 4:23.80 in the 500 free, 3:51.57 in the 400 IM and 15:05.89 in the 1650 free. That included a 16-second drop in the mile and a 1.3-second drop in the IM.
A week later, Norris competed again at the TAC Titans Challenge. Taking on a much more sprint-based lineup, Norris hit personal-bests in the 200 free (1:39.34), 100 free (46.37), 50 free (21.41), 100 back (49.38) and 200 IM (1:48.68). That included his first-ever 200 IM under 1:50 (a four-second drop) and his first-ever 200 free under 1:40.
Yet another star junior, Charlotte Hook, swam at both meets as well. At the TAC Titans Invite, Hook dropped almost five seconds off her 500 free, going 4:41.83 to challenge Claire Tuggle for the top 500 free time in the nation for the recruiting class of 2022. In that same meet, Hook improved her 200 fly, which already led all class of 2022 recruits, from 1:53.70 to 1:53.49.
That came in a busy meet lineup with six swims. And within a week, Hook was back at the TAC Titans Challenge, going 1:53.93 in the 200 fly to once again challenge her best time. Hook also came within a tenth of improving her lifetime-best in the 50 free (she was 22.93).
Those were just three of the many TAC Titans to shine in the month of August.
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