David Curtiss’ First Races Since Leaving NC State Highlight TAC Big Southern Classic

by Jack McCormick 11

November 19th, 2023 Club, News, Previews & Recaps

2023 TAC Titans Big Southern Classic

  • November 10-12, 2023
  • Triangle Aquatic Center, Cary, North Carolina
  • Short Course Yards (SCY)
  • Results on MeetMobile: “2023 TAC TITANS Big Southern Classic Meet”


Just days after being added to the US National Team for the coming year, Pan Am Games medalist and NCAA champion David Curtiss made his first appearance competing for the TAC Titans since leaving NC State last spring.

Curtiss contested three events, the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 fly. While Curtiss won the 50 free and 100 free by a wide margin, he finished well off of his lifetime bests in both events. In the 50, he won the event by over a second, touching in 19.59 while he claimed the title in the 100 free in 44.06. His best times in both events come from during his time at NC State, where he set personal bests of 18.74 and 42.44, respectively.

In the 13-14 age group, it was 14-year-old Diego Ramos of Arlington Aquatic Club who made a mark at the meet, sweeping the breaststroke events with a pair of massive lifetime bests.

In the 100 breast, Ramos entered the meet with a lifetime best of 57.61, a time that was fast enough to earn him second at the NCSA Age Group Championships in March. After cruising through prelims of the event, Ramos took over a second and a half off of his lifetime best, touching in 56.02. That performance makes him the seventh fastest performer in the event all-time for his age group and second fastest this year.

His performance in the 200 breast was equally impressive. After shaving two seconds off of his lifetime best during prelims of the event, he was two seconds faster still during finals, touching in 2:02.07. He now ranks as the fifteenth fastest performer in the event for the 13-14 age group all-time.

On the girl’s side of the meet, Jillian Crooks continued her rapid improvement curve since committing to Tennessee’s class of 2024 two years ago. When Crooks committed to the Volunteers, she held a lifetime best of 23.06 in the 100 free. At the Big Southern Classic, she finished a full second faster than that, posting a lifetime best of 22.07 to win the event. She also added a new lifetime best in the 100 back (51.87). Both of those times would have been fast enough to qualify for the A-finals at last year’s SEC Swimming and Diving Championships.

Other Notable Performances

  • 14-year old Jenna Fernstrom of Aces Aquatic Club (CO) swept the sprint freestyle events for her age group, hitting lifetime bests in all three events. She won the 50 free in 23.44, the 100 free in 50.31, and the 200 free in 1:51.98.
  • Emma Thomas, a 15-year old from TAC Titans, dropped four seconds in the 200 breast to win the event. Entering the meet with a best time of 2:18.46, Thomas claimed the top spot in finals with a time of 2:14.82.
  • After competing for the University of Georgia for part of last season, Zach Kohm posted the top time in both the 200 free (1:40.73), 500 free (4:29.91), and 200 fly (1:49.87).

In This Story

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3 months ago

Why did he sell out the Wolfpack like that?

3 months ago

His first race under the TAC Titan Coaches was Pan American Games where he won GOLD in 21.85

Vt Womens team
3 months ago

The difference between Diego Ramos prelims and finals swim seems awfully fraudulent. He probably doesn’t train hard enough to swim multiple races in a day

Diego Fraudmost
3 months ago

Diego ramos went 15.2 25 breast before going 56.0 100 breast!

Long Strokes
3 months ago

I hope David is happy! Must have been a lot going on for him to leave NC State.

Vt Womens team
Reply to  Long Strokes
3 months ago

Rumor has it he got spread by a 17 year old in fly at this meet

Popovici 1:39.99
3 months ago

I believe it was Zach Kohm you meant to mention at the end of the article, not his younger brother Sam.

Reply to  Popovici 1:39.99
3 months ago

Good catch, updated!

3 months ago

Should’ve left NCS (right decision) but should not have joined TAC

Vt Womens team
Reply to  Andrew
3 months ago

odd for a grown man to be training around HS’ers. Creepy creepy stuff

Reply to  Vt Womens team
3 months ago

he trains with their pro group and alone with the coaches