Tokyo Olympian Claire Curzan Announces Verbal Commitment to Swim at Stanford

Jul 24, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Claire Curzan (USA) during the women's 100m butterfly heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Network
Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher -- USA Today Sports

NEW COMMIT: The No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2022 has made her college decision: Tokyo Olympic semifinalist and U.S. National Teamer Claire Curzan has announced her verbal commitment to Stanford. She will join a group that includes two of her teammates from the U.S. Olympic team, Regan Smith and fellow 100 butterflyer Torri Huske.

Curzan will provide a huge boost to coach Greg Meehan’s group that is looking to get back on top of the national rankings after winning three straight NCAA titles in 2017, 2018 and 2019. The Cardinal ended up ninth at the 2021 championships but figure to vault back up the rankings even this year before Curzan arrives in September 2022.

Curzan is coming off a phenomenal summer where she finished 10th in the semifinals of the 100 butterfly at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. She also swam the fly leg during prelims of the 400 medley relay, helping Team USA secure a spot in finals to go on to earn the silver medal.

In an Instagram post announcing her decision, Curzan said, “I am thrilled to finally announce my verbal commitment to continue my academic and athletic career at Stanford University! I could not of done this without my amazing coaches, teammates, and educators, and the endless support from my family and friends. I’m truly blessed and can’t wait to join the farm!!”

A native of Cary, North Carolina, she earned her Olympic berth after finishing second in the 100 butterfly at Trials in Omaha, where she also advanced to the semifinals of the 50 and 100 freestyle.

Her best 100 fly time of 56.20 was done at the TAC Titans Long Course Premier Meet in April 2021. That time broke the world junior record held by Canada’s Penny Oleksiak at 56.46, which was set back in 2016 with a silver medal winning swim from the Rio Olympics.

Curzan is no stranger to the record books and is the owner of 13 National Age Group records:

Jul 24, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Claire Curzan (USA) during the women's 100m butterfly heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Network

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher — USA Today Sports

  • 11-12 50 fly – 24.39
  • 11-12 50 fly (LCM) – 27.91
  • 11-12 100 fly – 53.95
  • 13-14 50 free – 21.89
  • 13-14 100 free – 47.67
  • 13-14 100 fly – 50.64
  • 13-14 100 fly (LCM) – 58.61
  • 13-14 4×50 free relay – 1:33.30
  • 13-14 4×50 medley relay – 1:41.87
  • 15-16 50 free – 21.51
  • 15-16 100 free – 47.23
  • 15-16 100 fly – 49.73
  • 15-16 100 fly (LCM) – 56.20

At the Richmond Pro Swim Series in April 2019, the then 14-year-old became the youngest woman in U.S. history to go under 59-seconds in the 100 fly. She also became the youngest female ever to break the 22-second barrier in the 50 freestyle at the ESSZ Age Group Championships a week later.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic putting a halt on competitive meets, Curzan continued to make headlines by posting three NAG records at the TAC Titans’ intrasquad meet in July 2019. Her new marks in the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 fly have since been officially ratified by USA Swimming, and her time in the 100 fly was just 0.35 off Erika Brown’s American record and moved her up to No. 5 all-time in the event.

Curzan first gained international experience at the 7th FINA World Junior Championships where she earned silver in the 100 back and bronze in both the 50 fly and 100 fly. She also led off the 400 medley relay that went on to win gold with a split of 1:00.75.

She earned herself a spot on Team USA’s World Junior squad after a stellar performance at Phillips 66 Nationals by securing the runner-up spot in the 100 back and taking fifth in the 100 fly. Curzan, who does her club swimming with TAC Titans under head coach Bruce Marchionda, won five gold medals at Juniors East in December 2019 and won the 100 fly and 200 back at that meet in 2018.

In SCY, her best times include:

claire-curzan-

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

  • 50 fly – 24.03
  • 100 fly – 49.51
  • 200 fly – 1:53.59
  • 50 back – 24.53
  • 100 back – 50.03
  • 200 back – 1:49.35
  • 50 free – 21.50
  • 100 free – 47.23
  • 200 free – 1:45.47
  • 200 IM – 1:58.87

In LCM, her best times include:

  • 50 fly – 25.81
  • 100 fly – 56.20
  • 200 fly – 2:15.43
  • 50 back – 28.58
  • 100 back – 58.82
  • 200 back – 2:10.16
  • 50 free – 24.17
  • 100 free – 53.55
  • 200 free – 2:02.27

Curzan has also had a stellar career competing for Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh where she is currently in her senior year. She owns the North Carolina 4A and overall state record in both the 100 back and 100 fly and has twice been named the meet’s Most Outstanding Swimmer.

As a freshman, she made headlines by breaking Regan Smith’s 13-14 NAG record in the 100 fly. During her sophomore season, she broke Torri Huske’s National High School record while lowering her own NAG record in the 100 fly and crushed Olivia Smoliga’s National High School mark in the 100 back. She the matched the 100 fly mark in 2021 as a junior.

It’s no doubt that Curzan will make an immediate impact when she suits up for the Cardinal. At the 2021 NCAA Championships, she would’ve scored in the A-final of the 50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, 200 fly, 100 back, and 200 back. Had she raced the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 fly, her current best times would’ve given Stanford 47 individual points.

If you have a commitment to share, please send a photo and quote via email to hs@swimmingworld.com.

3 comments

  1. avatar
    John

    I thought Stanford was one of your more academically challenging universities? ‘Could not of done’ instead of ‘could not have done’? Jeesh! Thank goodness she is a brilliant swimmer!

    • avatar
      RCP

      Perhaps a scrivener’s error.

    • avatar
      Robert Major

      Give her a break. She is going to the university with the lowest admission rate in the US. Stanford is THE dream school these days.

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