Olympic gold medalist Brooks Curry bid farewell to LSU on Monday, closing the book on a legendary college career in Baton Rouge highlighted by NCAA titles last year in the 50-yard freestyle and 100 free — the Tigers’ first national crowns in the pool since 1988.
Curry confirmed to SwimSwam that it was goodbye for good as he has plans to train elsewhere in a pro group “for several more years” instead of using his COVID-19 fifth year, but he didn’t share his next destination yet. However, his sister, Peyton — who transferred from LSU to South Carolina this offseason — may have offered a hint in the comments with bear emojis.
The 22-year-old Georgia native is in Irvine this week competing at the TYR Pro Championships, where he qualified first in the 50-meter freestyle prelims this morning with a 22.07. Last month, Curry clocked a nation-leading mark in the 100 free (48.42) at LSU’s Tristan Vessel Invite before failing to make any A-finals a few weeks later in the 50, 100, and 200 free at U.S. Trials, missing out on his second World Championships appearance in a row.
As a senior at the NCAA Championships this past spring, Curry couldn’t defend his national titles in the 50 free and 100 free, placing 4th (18.76) and 5th (41.03), respectively. He added a personal-best 1:31.30 in the 200 free en route to a fourth-place finish.
At last year’s World Championships, Curry posted a personal-best 47.90 in the 100 free semis before placing 5th in the final (48.00), within a few tenths of the podium. He also collected a gold medal in the men’s 4×100 free relay, silver in the men’s 4×100 medley relay, and bronze in the mixed 4×100 free relay in Budapest, Hungary.
His winning times from the 2022 NCAA Championships, an 18.56 50 free and 40.84 100 free, will be some tough school records to break for future LSU swimmers.
At the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, Curry raced in the men’s 4×100 free relay heats with Zach Apple, Bowe Becker, and Blake Pieroni before being subbed out for Caeleb Dressel in the final, where their U.S. squad captured gold. He became the first Tiger swimmer ever to claim Olympic gold.