Claire Curzan Starts Double with 200 Back Best Time at TYR Pro Swim Series Prelims

claire-curzan-
Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Claire Curzan Starts Double with 200 Back Best Time at TYR Pro Swim Series Prelims

Claire Curzan had a busy morning at the TYR Pro Swim Series stop in Westmont, setting a best time in the 200 backstroke before grabbing the second seed in the 100 butterfly.

Curzan clocked in at 2:09.95 to set the pace in the women’s 200 back, more than three seconds ahead of Olivia Smoliga in a limited field. It’s a best time for Curzan, who had gone 2:11.82 at the TAC Titans spring invitational last May. The time would’ve finished eighth at U.S. Olympic Trials last year, which for a swimmer with no shortage of options for her program opens yet another frontier.

Later in the morning session, Curzan finished second in the 100 fly, going 58.34 in an event where the Stanford commit holds the unratified world junior record at 56.20. She’s second to Kelsi Dahlia, who went 58.08.

The women’s side is replete with Olympians and staples of the American program, concentrated in the 200 free and 100 fly. The latter event includes Beata Nelson in third in 58.71. Natalie Hinds was also under a minute, with Linnea Mack and Mallory Comerford also making the final.

The 200 free that opened the session was led by Paige Madden, who went 1:57.67. She finished ahead of fellow Virginia grad Leah Smith, who was second in 1:58.71, with 16-year-old Leah Hayes also under two minutes. Erika Brown, Abbey Weitzeil, Melanie Margalis, Nelson and Gabby DeLoof round out a loaded top eight.

Katie Ledecky was also in the water again Friday morning in the 400 individual medley. She posted the second-quickest time in the event, going 4:42.20. It’s about four seconds slower than her best time of 4:38.16 from 2017. She finished second to Emma Weyant, who went 4:42.01. Four swimmers clocked in at 4:42, with Smith third and Hayes fourth.

The men’s session, which finished with the 100 fly, contained a slight surprise, with Caeleb Dressel fifth in the morning in 52.95. That’s exactly 3.5 seconds off his world record.

The swimmers were bunched up around him, though. Northwestern’s Federico Burdisso set the pace, the Italian Olympian going 52.14. Shaine Casas was second in 52.37, with Ryan Murphy (52.76) in third a hundredth ahead of Michael Andrew.

Michigan’s Patrick Callan led the way in the 200 free in 1:50.58, 13 hundredths up on Marwan El Kamash. Jake Mitchell, Zane Grothe and Maxime Rooney followed that duo.

Landon Driggers set the pace in the 200 back at 2:02.46. Casas and Murphy, on the front end of their 200 back/100 fly double, finished fourth and fifth, respectively. (With just eight swimmers, there was no great crunch to qualify for finals.)

Charlie Swanson led the way with a 4:26.64 400 IM. Driggers was fourth with Will Licon fifth.