Claire Curzan Breaks 100 Butterfly American Record and 100 Back High School Record at North Carolina High School State Meet

Claire Curzan -- Photo Courtesy: Mark Curzan

Claire Curzan Breaks 100 Butterfly American Record and 100 Back High School Record at North Carolina High School State Meet

Competing in her final high school state championship meet Thursday evening, Claire Curzan lowered the American record in the women’s 100-yard butterfly. Curzan swam a 49.24 in the event to beat the previous mark of 49.38 set by Erika Brown at the 2020 SEC Championships. With the performance, Curzan became the second-fastest performer in history, behind only Maggie Mac Neil’s 48.89 from last year’s NCAA Championships.

In addition to breaking the American record, Curzan lowered her own 17-18 National Age Group record of 49.51 set last March. She also demolished the National Independent School record of 50.35 that she set last February.

Later on in the session, Curzan took down the National Independent School record in the 100 backstroke. She swam a time of 49.61 to crush her own record of 50.47, and Curzan also became the third-fastest performer ever in the event. Only Regan Smith (49.16) and Beata Nelson (49.18) have ever swum quicker times. Previously Curzan broke Phoebe Bacon’s previous record at her final high school regional meet last weekend, but she annihilated that time at the state meet. Curzan’s backstroke time made her only the third woman in history to break 50 seconds in both the 100 fly and 100 back, joining Mac Neil and Smith.

Additionally, Curzan anchored the Cardinal Gibbons 200 freestyle relay to a victory with a 21.40 split, and she concluded the meet by anchoring her team’s 400 free relay in 46.76, making up almost four seconds on the team from W.A. Hough as Cardinal Gibbons barely won the event, 3:25.61 to 3:25.79.

Curzan has broken out as a significant force in American swimming over the past 12 months. Along with her improvements in yards, Curzan became a threat to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics last spring when she repeatedly swam 100-meter fly performances in the 56-low range. Curzan ended up qualifying for the Games by finishing second in the 100 fly at Olympic Trials behind fellow teenager Torri Huske. Curzan was later a semifinalist in the 100 fly in Tokyo, and she won a silver medal as part of the U.S. women’s 400 medley relay squad after competing in prelims.

In the fall, Curzan announced her verbal commitment to swim for Stanford next season, and in the pool, she earned six medals at the FINA Short Course World Championships in Abu Dhabi, including a pair of relay golds and individual bronzes in the 50 fly and 100 fly, both in world-junior-record time.

Full meet information for the state meet is available here.

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