Claire Curzan Crashes Through 59-Second Barrier in 100 Backstroke; Breaks NAG Record of Regan Smith

claire-curzan-

Claire Curzan Crashes Through 59-Second Barrier in 100 Backstroke; Breaks NAG Record of Regan Smith

When Claire Curzan fired off a pair of scorching performances in the 100-meter butterfly and 50 freestyle on the first day of the TAC Titans Spring Invitational on Friday, it meant a personal-best time was likely on the way in the 100 backstroke. On Saturday night, Curzan came through, as she crashed through the 59-second barrier with a performance of 58.82. Curzan will be a factor in a number of events at next month’s United States Olympic Trials.

In the 100 backstroke, which is loaded in the United States, the 16-year-old Curzan went out in 28.78 and came home in 30.04. Her sub-59 showing was one of four around the country on Saturday, as Olivia Smoliga (58.31), Rhyan White (58.43) and Regan Smith (58.77) also accomplished the feat.

Curzan’s time also set a National Age Group record in the 15-16 classification, as she clipped .01 off the previous standard, set by Smith in 2018.

Curzan has been sensational at the meet in her home North Carolina. On Friday night, she went 56.43 in the 100 butterfly and 24.17 in the 50 freestyle, which was good for a world junior record. Curzan will race the 100 freestyle on Sunday and another personal best seems to be a formality.

Heading into the Olympic Trials, Curzan might be the most-interesting storyline, due to her wide-ranging talent and rapid rise at the best of times – and Olympic year.

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