A teen in North Carolina will soon have the experience of a lifetime representing Team USA after qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.
Claire Curzan, a 16-year-old girl from Cary, is already considered one of the best high school swimmers in North Carolina, ABC 11 reports, recently winning her third straight state championship in the 100-meter butterfly. Since establishing herself as the one to beat at the state-level, she is now hoping to make her mark internationally.
On Monday (June 14), Curzan swam in the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials, which determines who will represent Team USA at the 2021 summer Olympic games in Tokyo next month. According to HighSchoolOT, the teen qualified for the national team, finishing second in the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 56.43 seconds, coming just short of Torri Huske's first-place time of 55.66.
She hopes to also qualify for the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter freestyle, 100-meter backstroke and 200-meter backstroke in upcoming trials.
During the lead up to the Olympics, Curzan has set multiple records. She set a U.S. Open record in the 100-meter butterfly in April with a time of 56.20. Back in 2019, she also became the first 14-and-under female to break 22 seconds in the 50-meter freestyle, HighSchoolOT reports.
While Curzan's second-place finish in the 100-meter butterfly has ensured her spot on Team USA, the News & Observer reports that her name won't be added to the Olympic roster until the end of the trials, due to several USA Swimming rules.