2021 NC TAC Big Southern Classic
- November 12-14, 2021
- Triangle Aquatic Center, Cary, NC
- SCY (25y)
Current TAC Titans and future Stanford teammates Claire Curzan and Charlotte Hook faced off in several events at the NC TAC Big Southern Classic from Nov. 12-14 at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, NC.
Hook and Olympian Curzan started the meet going 1-2 in the 400 IM. Curzan took the race out fast with a 54.11 split in the fly (she swam the 100m fly at Tokyo) and was almost 7 seconds ahead of Hook after the back. Hook almost caught Curzan on the breast (Hook’s breast split was a 1:12.06 to Curzan’s 1:20.18) leg and pulled away to win the race in the free. Hook’s 4:10.29 was a few seconds off her best time, while Curzan had a best time touching at 4:11.98. Only Mission Viejo’s Justina Kozan, committed to USC, has been faster this year in the 17-18 age group (4:09.16).
The pair also raced in the prelims of the 200 fly. Hook, the fastest 17-year-old in the history of the event, finished in a time of 1:55.93, three seconds off of her best. In the finals, Curzan finished first with a 1:54.55. This time makes Curzan the fastest in the 17-18 age group in the event this season, and was less than a second off her best time.
Curzan also won the 100 free in a time of 47.81, just off of her best time (47.23). She also set a best time in the 200 free, dropping 3 seconds and finishing in 1:43.82. Her 200 free was the 10th fastest by a 17-year-old ever.
200y Free All Time Top 10 17-year-olds:
- Katie Ledecky – 1:41.55 (2015)
- Missy Franklin – 1:41. 81 (2013)
- Dagny Knutson – 1:42.61 (2009)
- Simone Manuel – 1:43.00 (2014)
- Katie McLaughlin – 1:43.01 (2015)
- Torri Huske – 1:43.23 (2020)
- Kathleen Baker – 1:43.61 (2014)
- Lilly Nordmann – 1:43.62 (2020)
- Gretchen Walsh – 1:43.75 (2020)
- Claire Curzan – 1:43.82 (2021)
Hook also won a close race in the 100 back over Georgia Coastal Aquatics’ Gaby Van Brunt. Hook won the race in a time of 53.33, while Van Brunt was just behind in 53.64. 16-year-old Van Brunt is committed to the University of Alabama. Her time would make her the second fastest in the event for Alabama this season (Olympian Rhyan White went 53.27 against LSU). Van Brunt also competed in the 200 back and won in a personal best time of 1:58.51. This would also put her at number two for Alabama this season (White was 1:55.68 against LSU).
The meet also exhibited strong backstroke events on the men’s side. TAC Titan and University of Virginia commit Will Thompson (16) and Arlington Aquatics’ Nolan Dunkel (15) produced the top two times of the year in the 15-16 age group in the 100 back, going 48.30 and 49.00, respectively. Dunkel moves ahead of Bolles’ Carter Lancaster (49.10) to be the fastest 15-year-old of the year so far.
Dunkel won the 100 fly, finishing in a best time of 48.69. This is the fastest time by a 15-year-old this season.
Thompson also had a best time in the 200 back, finishing second with a time of 1:46.37 (number two in the 15-16 age group this season). TAC Titans teammate and North Carolina State commit Lance Norris won the event in a best time of 1:44.00. Norris swam a well-paced race, splitting 24.68/26.16/26.72/26.44. Norris’s time would be the second fastest of the year for NC State, just behind Polish national champion Kacper Stokowski (1:43.83).
TAC Titans also had a top swim from Michael Cotter in the 200 free. The NC State commit won the race in 1:35.53, the fastest age group time in USA Swimming this season. He was just off his best time of 1:34.35, which he swam at the Speedo Sectionals in March. The time would put him only behind Luke Miller (1:34.95) on NC State’s roster this season.