Josh Matheny is a competitive swimmer who represents the United States internationally. Matheny first appeared on SwimSwam in July 2014, when as an 11-year-old he went 2:53.37 in the 200m breast – 30.5 seconds faster than he had gone 1 year prior.
Matheny continued to turn heads at the 2019 Pennsylvania AAA state championship meet, where he broke Brendan Hansen’s 19-year-old meet record in the 100 breast by over 1 second, clocking a 52.52 to break the old record of 53.67.
Matheny didn’t stop there, making great improvements through the summer of 2019, earning him the #4 rank in SwimSwam’s Way Too Early NCAA Recruit Rankings Boys’ Class of 2021.
2018 Junior National Championships – East
Jr nationals was a breakout meet for Matheny, where to took wins in the 100 and 200 breast. In the 100, he touched 1st in a time of 52.89, while in the 200 he touched at 1:55.27. He also placed 21st in the 200 IM, finishing in 1:50.32 after a 1:49.94 prelims showing.
2019 National Championships
At the 2019 nationals, Matheny placed 12th in the 100 breast (1:00.91) and 3rd in the 200 breast (2:11.02), the latter of which broke Reece Whitley’s 15-16 NAG (who coincidently won the event). These finishes qualified Matheny to swim the 50/100/200 breast individually at the 2019 World Junior Championships.
2019 World Junior Championships
Matheny wasted no time in Budapest, registering a best time as well as breaking Michael Andrew’s 15-16 NAG in the 100 breast prelims. Matheny touched in 1:00.66, just touching out Andrew’s old record of 1:00.68. In the first of 2 semi finals, Matheny touched 1st, lowering the NAG once again in a time of 1:00.32.
In finals, Matheny once again lowered his NAG, touching at 1:00.17 to earn a silver medal. Later in that same session, Matheny split 59.31 on the mixed medley relay to help Team USA to not only a gold in the event, but a world record as well.
Matheny kept his momentum going in the 200 breast, capturing a come-from-behind victory with a huge lifetime best of 2:09.40, just .16 ahead of 2nd place. That breaks his own 15-16 NAG in the event as well.
Matheny finished on the last day of competition, first earning 4th in the 50 breast with a personal best of 27.92. He finished with a silver in the 4×100 medley relay, splitting 59.55 on the breaststroke leg.
2019 Swammy Awards
For his accomplishments in 2019, Matheny earned the Age Group Swimmer of the Year (15-16) Swammy Award.
2020 Swammy Awards
Of the four 17-18 NAG Records that were broken in 2020, only one was swum by an age-grouper; the other three performances came from 18-year-old college students David Johnston (University of Texas, 1000y free), Luca Urlando (University of Georgia, 200y fly), and Carson Foster (University of Texas, 400y IM). Matheny took just over 7/10 off his personal best time in the 200y breast at 18&U Winter Championships in Carlisle, PA to win in 1:51.35. That was .05 under the NAG mark set by Reece Whitley in 2017.
For this performance, Matheny earned the 2020 Swammy Award for 17-18 Male of the Year.