David Heron is an American open water swimmer born on March 26, 1995. Heron was born in Long Beach, Calif., but he grew up in Mission Viejo, Calif. His parents, Chris and Helga, are both geologists, and his mom actually was the one to get him into swimming when he was 7 years old.
Heron is a bit of an adventurist, and he loves to be outdoors. He enjoys mountain bike riding, body boarding, off roading, hiking and he’s a big fan of triathlons and downhill riding. Heron has also mentioned that he doesn’t need a big taper to swim fast — training around 16,000 meters a day, and he just needs a little rest.
In 2012 Heron qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 1500-meter freestyle. At Trials, he came in 22nd overall.
After graduating from Mission Viejo High School in 2013, Heron decided to swim collegiately at the University of Tennessee. The distance freestyle swimmer earned an All-American honor as a red-shirt freshman, finishing eighth in the 1,650 free. He also received the Gordon J. Wilder Scholarship Endowment.
Since 2011 Heron has really focused on Open Water swimming, where he first finished fifth in the 5K race. Over the years Heron stayed as a driving force in men’s Open Water swimming, winning the 5K in 2012, and he took fourth in the 10K and second in the 5K in 2015. Prior to college swimming, Heron also was the 2012 Junior Pan Pacific Champion in the 10K.
Heron’s second and fourth-place finishes at the 2015 Open Water Nationals, and was moved to further international rosters. He competed in the Pan Am Games in Toronto, where he came home with a silver medal. Heron also was named to the 2015 World Championships roster in both Open Water events.
2018 U.S. Open Water National Championships
Heron defended his 5,000 meter open water title (54:29.921), overtaking his Tennessee Aquatics teammate Taylor Abbott heading into the final lap.
2018 U.S. National Championships
Heron finished 17th in the 1500 freestyle at the Phillips 66 National Championships in Irvine, California (15:26.89)