Claire Curzan Swims 1:50 200 Fly for NAG Record in Cary; Coleman Stewart Scorches 43.70 100 Back

Claire Curzan -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Claire Curzan Swims 1:50 200 Fly for NAG Record in Cary; Coleman Stewart Scorches 43.70 100 Back

Within the past 18 months, teenager Claire Curzan has become one of the best in the nation in the sprint butterfly races. She qualified for the U.S. Olympic team in the 100-meter fly, and just last month, she broke the American record in the short course 100-yard fly. Now, she has shown off some skills in the 200-yard butterfly as well, as she swam a time of 1:50.85 in the event at a Sectionals meet in Cary, N.C.

Curzan was out in 52.37 at the halfway point, which was more than a second faster than Ella Eastin’s American-record pace (53.51). The 17-year-old Curzan remained more than a half-second up on record pace with 50 yards to go, but she fell off slightly down the stretch. She ended up finishing with a mark that made her the seventh-fastest woman in history, trailing the decorated group of Eastin, Regan SmithElaine BreedenLouise HanssonKelsi Dahlia and Grace Oglesby. Curzan also broke Eastin’s National Age Group record of 1:51.04 that she set in 2016.

Curzan has largely avoided the 200 fly in any format, and Curzan admitted last year, “Any race that I swim, I tell myself that it’s not the 200 fly, and it just makes it better.” But as she showed Saturday evening, she still possesses some serious skills in that eight-length race.

A few races later in Cary, Coleman Stewart popped off in the men’s 100 backstroke. Stewart, the world-record holder in the short course meters 100 back, delivered a time of 43.70 to easily win the event. Stewart was less than a tenth off his lifetime-best mark of 43.62, which he swam in his final year of college swimming at NC State. Stewart missed a chance to challenge Ryan Murphy’s American record of 43.49 when the 2020 NCAA Championships were cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he remains the second-fastest swimmer ever in the event.

Saturday night’s efforts were not the first quick times from Curzan and Stewart at this Sectionals as Curzan improved her best time in the 100 back, where she ranks fourth all-time, Friday night, while Stewart was impressive in the 100 fly.

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2 years ago

She’s amazing!

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