Curzan Closes Out TAC Blizzard Blitz With 1:49 200 Back, #2 in 15-16 Age Group

by Robert Gibbs 12

December 13th, 2020 Club, National, News, Previews & Recaps


  • December 10-13, 2020
  • Cary, NC
  • SCY
  • Results on Meet Mobile as “2020 TAC Titans Blizzard Blitz Meet”

Claire Curzan closed out the TAC Titans Blizzard Blitz with a blitz of her own, moving up to #2 all-time among 15-16 girls in the 200 back with a big lifetime best and rattling her lifetime best in another event tonight.

Curzan, who earned her 5th National Age Group record in the 15-16 age group last night with a 50.18 in the 100 back, lopped nearly 3.5s off of her 200 back time tonight. She came into the meet with a personal best of 1:52.76 from March of 2019. She took a big chunk off of the mark with a 1:51.06 in prelims, then really lowered the hammer in finals with a 1:49.35, winning by nearly 10 seconds.

With that time, Curzan became only the second 15-16 girl ever to crack 1:50 in this event, and actually now has the only 1:49 ever in 15-16 age group history. NAG holder Regan Smith went 1:48.30 in March of 2018 as a 16 year-old, and went 1:47 as a 17 year-old, but has never actually swam a 1:49. Curzan’s time tonight moves her into a tie with Courtney Bartholomew as the 13th-fastest woman of any age ever in the event.

Curzan returned just a few heats later to swim the 100 free, and despite the tight turnaround, she won by over second with a time of 47.51, just 0.28s away from her personal best of 47.23.

In other results, fellow 16 year-old TAC Titan Charlotte Hook won her 3rd event of the meet with a 1:56.52 in the 200 IM. Hook won the 200 free and the 200 fly earlier this week.

While this was primarily a meet for the 18 and under crowd, TAC has a few older swimmers who’ve swum here as well, and tonight, 31 year-old veteran Ashley Twichell won the 500 free with a time of 4:39.85, after going 4:39.52 in prelims. Today marked the first time Twichell has been under 4:40 since 2017, and those times are her 3rd- and 6th-fastest ever. Twichell only competed in one other event this week, the 1000 free, which she won on Thursday.

The runner-up behind Twichell both Thursday and tonight was 17 year-old Caroline Pennington of TAC. Pennington, a UVA commit, hit a three-second lifetime best today in the 500 free, coming in with a best of 4:46.76 and swimming a 4:43.97 in prelims before hitting in 4:43.46 in finals.

Michael Cotter and Lance Norris have been the big name on the boys’ side all week, and they both wrapped up the meets with big wins today.

Cotter knocked nearly two seconds off of his lifetime best today as he won the 200 IM in 1:46.52. Cotter earned victories, and lifetime bests, earlier this meet in the 200 free and the 50 free. Cotter dominated this event tonight, winning by over five seconds, with no one else finishing under 1:51.

Norris won the 200 back tonight with a time of 1:44.83, setting a new personal best time after coming into today with a best of 1:45.87. Norris won the 1000 free and the 400 IM earlier this meet.

19 year-old Michael Ivy of TAC won the 100 free with a new personal best of 44.33, lowering his best by 0.32. Ivy was the runner up in the 50 free last night.

UVA commit Braeden Haughey closed out the meet with a 4:25.76 victory in the 500 free. Haughey took 2nd to Norris in the 1000 free, 400 IM, and 200 back earlier this week, and he had the top prelims time in the 100 back, although we still haven’t seen final results for that event.

Times from the four-day meet will count towards USA Swimming’s 18&U Winter Championships, for those swimmers who are eligible.

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3 years ago

The extra year before Tokyo is going to change the Olympic results in many ways. It appears that one of the athletes who will benefit most is Claire Curzan. She is a MUCH faster athlete than she was a year ago – wow

Coach Mike 1952
3 years ago

What a wonderful swimmer & great swims. As her dad said publicly, she describes herself as “part aquatic mammal”. Have to agree.

Last edited 3 years ago by Coach Mike 1952
3 years ago


3 years ago

Wow, what a stud. With elite times in three strokes, and some endurance from 200s of BK/FL, I think she could put on a great 200 IM.

Reply to  swimfan210_
3 years ago

Ouch, that hurts 🙁

Reply to  swimfan210_
3 years ago

Seem most studs who are good at free/fly/black never swim breaststroke. Unless your Caeleb Dressel, that dude is an exception of the exceptions…

Reply to  monsterbasher
3 years ago

That’s what made Seliskar so unique. To win 2IM, 2free, and 2breast at NCAAs his senior year – an event combo we’ve probably never seen before

Swim nerd
Reply to  monsterbasher
3 years ago

I wonder if it’s just due to the amount of racing they would have to do and that those are their top 3 strokes, or is there something that makes breaststroke very different from the other 3 strokes which is causing them to be worse at it

Reply to  swimfan210_
3 years ago

Women’s 200 IM gold is also somewhat up for grabs after years of Hosszu dominance.

3 years ago

I bet she goes professional instead of swimming in college. Not many talents like her

Reply to  Swimfan
3 years ago

She would be huge in isl

Reply to  MX4x50relay
3 years ago

50,100,200 fly, back, 50,100 free

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