After just one season at Stanford University, NCAA champion Claire Curzan is transferring to the University of Virginia, where she’ll be eligible for the three-time defending champion Cavaliers next fall after an Olympic redshirt year.
Curzan announced her Olympic redshirt along with Torri Huske back in April. She was hospitalized with severe illness prior to U.S. Trials a month ago and nearly scratched out of the meet, but still placed 3rd in the 50 butterfly (25.74), 100 backstroke (58.59), and 200 back (2:06.35). However, she missed qualifying for the U.S. International Team after picking up a silver medal at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics (women’s 4×100 medley relay) and five medals at the 2022 World Championships (two golds and three bronzes, including an individual bronze in the 100 back).
A couple weeks after U.S. Trials ended, the 19-year-old North Carolina native entered the NCAA transfer portal. Even if she wanted to change her mind about her Olympic redshirt, she wouldn’t be eligible to compete for UVA until the 2024-25 season because she entered the portal after the women’s swimming transfer window closed on April 30. She’s expected to enroll in classes this fall while preparing for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
Coming into her freshman season at Stanford, Curzan was the No. 1 high school recruit in the country by a long shot. She dropped nearly two seconds en route to a national title in the 200 back (1:47.43), but was 3rd and 4th at NCAAs in the 100 back (50.08) and 100 fly (50.09), respectively. She saw a .06-second drop in her best 100 back time in college, but did not improve her 100 fly.
With the loss of Curzan, Huske’s redshirt, and the departures of fifth year seniors Taylor Ruck and Morgan Tankersley, Stanford will be losing 123 of their 183 individual points from NCAAs this past season.
Meanwhile in Charlottesville, the rich get richer as Curzan will join four top-10 recruits in the high school class of 2024 who are committed to UVA next fall: Leah Hayes, Anna Moesch, Katie Christopherson, and Bailey Hartman. The Cavaliers may struggle slightly by their standards next season without Kate Douglass — and depending on whether the Walsh sisters elect to take an Olympic redshirt as well — but major reinforcements are on the way.