Curzan Approaches Regan Smith’s 17-18 100 Back NAG With #2 Swim All-Time

by Ben Dornan 8

January 20th, 2022 Club, National, News, Previews & Recaps

TAC Titans Polar Plunge

  • Jan 14 – 18, 2022
  • Triangle Aquatics Centre
  • Cary, NC
  • Short Course Yards (SCY)
  • Results via Meet Mobile – “2022 TAC Titans Polar Plunge Meet”

Claire Curzan threw down a pair of solid in-season swims at the 2022 TAC Titans Polar Plunge meet last weekend, including a 50.27 in the 100 backstroke and a 1:43.79 200 freestyle.

That 100 backstroke swim for Curzan is the second-fastest swim in history from a 17-18-year-old in the 100 backstroke, trailing Regan Smith‘s leading time of 49.66. Curzan only turned 17 in June 2021, meaning that she has until June of 2023 to shave off another half second and crack that Smith NAG.

Notably, while the swim was the #2 time in the 17-18 age group, Curzan has actually been faster in the past and holds a PB of 50.03 from last year. That time for Curzan is an NAG in that age group. Curzan overtook Smith’s 50.58 record during her 15-16 days. Curzan’s 50.03 PB from age 16 gets her within half a second of Smith’s 17-18 record.

Curzan improved upon her 200 freestyle PB at the meet with a 1:43.79 to narrowly defeat her 1:43.82 from November 2020. The 200 freestyle NAG in the 200 freestyle is a little further out of reach for Curzan, sitting at a 1:40.31 from Missy Franklin.

The 100 backstroke and 200 freestyle and not the first events most people think of when they hear the name Claire Curzan considering her prowess in the sprint freestyle and butterflies. Curzan holds the 15-16 NAGs in the 50 freestyle, 100 freestyle, and 100 butterflies and the world junior record in the 100 butterfly.

Curzan placed 10th in the 100 butterfly at the Tokyo Games and won silver for her prelims swim on the 4×100 medley relay. Curzan recently won 6 medals at Short Course Worlds including individual bronze in the 50 and 100 butterflies.

Michael Cotter of TAC Titans also picked up two golds, swimming a 49.97 for 1st place in the 100 butterfly and a 1:36.62 in the 200 freestyle. Cotter, who will join the NC State Wolf Pack next season, also placed 2nd in the 500 freestyle with a 4:21.26 to Lance Norris‘ 4:20.34.

Norris is also heading to NC State next year. He and Cotter were the first two men to commit to a school from SwimSwam’s top 20 rankings from the high school class of 2022.

Jerry Fox won the 50 freestyle in the 15 & over age group with a 20.36 and was the only one in the field to crack 21 seconds. He touched ahead of second-place finisher David Greeley and improved upon his former PB of 20.77 from December 2021. Other winners amongst the 15 & overs boys included Grayson Nye in the 200 breast (2:02.05), Will Thompson in the 100 back (48.79), and Brooke Zettel took the girls 200 breast in a 2:16.31.

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1 year ago

Not sure when swimswam will put an article out but Claire Weinstein tied Sippy’s 200 NAG record from 78’

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

I didn’t even check any swimming news yesterday, thank you for the link Braden

1 year ago

Few things

1. NCAA A final times in events she probably won’t even swim.

2. The Stanford 800 free relay of Ruck, Huske, Smith/Curzan/Nordman will be untouchable

3. Does Stanford have any breaststroke prospects? Because with some combindation of Smith, Huske, Ruck and Curzan on the other three legs, even a 27 and 59 breaststroker will probably put them miles ahead of everyone else, but once Raab graduates (who split 26.2 on a DQ’d relay at mid-season), it doesn’t seem like they have anyone else. But on that note, their medleys this year even without Curzan will be right up there with UVA and NC State, if not better.

4. I can’t wait to see what comes out of this… Read more »

Circle swim
Reply to  Swimmerj
1 year ago

On point 3, you forgot to mention Alabama, Michigan and Texas… NCAA will be extremely competitive. Any of those teams could have a shot at winning the Medley relays.

1 year ago

Missy’s time in 200 free will be hard to break. I wonder sometime what Missy could achieve if her career was not cut short by injuries

Swim fan
1 year ago

Wonder what Curzan will swim in high school state meet? Looks like she has her choosing-Incredible versatility!

Reply to  Swim fan
1 year ago

She has swum the 100 fly and 100 back the last 3 years.