Maximus Williamson

View Current photo via Jon Reiter

Maximus Williamson is an American Swimmer. Noted for his versatility, he won 6 golds and a silver at the 2023 World Junior Championships. He also set numerous NAG records.

Junior Swimming

2021 SC TAGS (Shenandoah, Texas)

Williamson first made some noise when he demolished his lifetime bests and won all seven events he raced at 2021 TAGS. In the 200 back, he posted a 1:47.85, the #13 time in the 13-14 NAG ranks. He also put up a 1:51.64 200 IM that ties him for #25 all-time in the 13-14 NAG rankings. His other races included a sweep of the 50 through 500 free events with times of 21.21, 45.98, 1:40.03, and 4:30.57 across the 4 distances respectively. He also won the 100 back in 50.63

2021 LC TAGS (Arlington, Texas)

In the 200 IM, Williamson dropped over 4 seconds to a 2:06.36. The time makes him the 3rd fastest in the 13-14 NAG. Similarly, in the 100 free, he dropped a second and became the #2 swimmer in the 13-14 NAG with a 51.25. And these swims were in just one night. The next day he sliced .04 seconds off the 200 free 13-14 NAG with a 1:53.26. Williamson was much more aggressive in his first 100 meters than Dare Rose, opening the race in 53.44. Rose, by comparison, was faster on the back half of his swim.

On his 3rd night, he won the 200 back with a 2:04.11. He dropped 3.46 seconds and vaulted to #9 all-time in the age group. Next, Williamson took nearly 6 seconds off his previous best time in the 400 free, going 4:00.52 to become the 8th-fastest 13-14-year-old in history. Both times qualified him for Summer Juniors. He closed out his meet with a 57.19 100 back and now ranking No. 5 all-time in the 13-14 age group history, passing the 13-14 age group bests of Ryan Murphy (57.76) and Aaron Peirsol (57.99). Finally, he broke 24 seconds after scaring that barrier on a relay and in prelims with a 23.87, ranking No. 13 all-time.

2021 Futures Championships (West Fargo, North Dakota)

Just under a week after TAGS, Williamson cracked a massive new personal best to win the men’s 400 IM. He finished in 4:27.53, dropping 14 seconds from his previous best time. The swim makes Williamson the 4th-fastest in the 13-14 NAG, sitting not too far off Michael Phelps’ NAG record of 4:24.77. He then won the 200 back with a new PB of 2:03.69, moving up one spot in the 13-14 NAG rankings to #8. He then further lowered his 200 free PB to 1:53.04, also undercutting his NAG Record. In the 50, he was just off his PB with a 24.01 in prelims and a 24.10 in finals. That was good for 8th. In the 100, he was similarly off his PB with a 52.03 for 4th in the final, just .01 off his prelims swims. Williamson was well off his form in the 400 free final with a 4:08.42 after leading the prelims with a 4:03.91. He also led-off the 400 medley relay in 57.85, just off his relay time. 

2021 LAC Fall Classic (Lewisville, Kentucky)

In his first meet since his summer tear, Williamson had some massive PBs. In his first race, the 200 free, Williamson sliced over 3 seconds off of his PB  with a 1:37.09. His time ranks as the 8th fastest performance in history for a 15-year-old, in the US. Later, Williamson followed that up with a 100 free PB in a time of 44.28. His time ranked him as the 11th fastest 15-year-old in history. Williamson swept the IMs. In the 200 IM, his time of 1:47.88 was a PB, making him the 14th fastest 15-year-old in history. He also became the 12th fastest 15-year-old in the 400 IM, with a  3:52.07. He knocked over 17 seconds off of his PB. Williamson also posted personal best times across the 100 backstroke (50.24) and 50 freestyle (20.63) over the course of the weekend. 

2021 Winter Juniors–West (Austin, Texas)

Williamson had the fastest leadoff in the 800 free relay with a 1:35.70. That was the 2nd-fastest time ever by a 15-year-old, behind only Jack Walker’s 1:33.73. Williamson’s time moved him up to #15 all-time in the 15-16 age group. Just 14 hours later, Williamson clocked the quickest 200 IM for 15-year-olds in prelims with a wicked-fast 1:44.75. If that time was not good enough, Williamson dropped a 1:43.16 in the final courtesy of time drops on every split. That made him the fastest 15-year-old ever by roughly 2.5 seconds and sat him at #3 all-time in the age group.

The next night, Williamson, still 15, rattled Michael Phelp’s 19-year-old 15-16 NAG record in the 400 IM. Williamson’s 3:42.22 was just off Phelp’s mark of 3:42.08. The GOAT’s fastest recorded time as a 15-year-old was 3:50.20, which he hit on two separate occasions. Granted, Phelps was already an Olympian and more focused on long course by that point. Plenty of swimmers would be content to cool down and call it a night after a 3:42 400 IM, but Williamson was just getting started. He swam in the A-final of the 200 free, finishing 6th with a 1:36.15, and then in the A-final of the 100 back, where he finished 6th again with a 48.14. Neither was a PB. Williamson produced a 100 back PB of 47.62 in a swim-off earlier in the day. He ended with a 20.77 50 free leadoff on the 200 free relay. 

On the final day, Williamson won 43.78 in the 100 free prelims and ended up 8th in the final with a 44.34. His final add was probably because he went 1:44.02 in the 200 back final just an event before. Also, Williamson, in perhaps his worst stork, still produced an impressive 54.98 100 breast split in the 400 medley relay. 

2022 Texas High School Boys’ State Swimming and Diving Championships (Austin, Texas)

Competing for the Southlake Carroll, which won 9 consecutive Texas High School State Championships from 2011 through 2019, Williamson cracked 3 state records as just a freshman and led his team to a team title. First,  he swam 1:43.70 in the 200 IM. That time cut 1.2 seconds off the old State Record that was set by Gray Umbach in 2012. It was also about .5 seconds faster than his previous PB from 2021 Winter Juniors. Later in the session, Williamson won the 100 back in 48.36. Williamson slipped off the start and had to make up about a body length on the field, still coming back for the win. 

Williamson also swam on a pair of title-winning relays. In the 200 free relay, he split 19.87 on the leadoff and combined with Andrew Zettle (20.06), Mason Edmund (20.52), and Blake Bullard (20.96) to set a State Record of 1:21.41. He then led off Southlake Carroll’s 400 free relay in 42.98, a PB. He combined with Edmund, Max Hatcher, and Zettle for a 2:58.10, under the State Record of 2:59.39. 

2022 Speedo Sectionals–Gulf (College Station, Texas)

 Williamson dropped a big best time of 47.14 in the 100-back. The time ranks as the 18th fastest ever in the 15-16 age group

2022 Speedo Sectionals (Austin, Texas)

Williamson put up a PB in the 200 free with a 1:50.56. He also neared his 100 free PB with a 50.70, just .01 off his best. 

2022 Futures Championships (Colleges Station, Texas)

Williamson swam a 4:20.41, just off his PB of 4:20.01 from 2022 trials. Similarly, Williamson neared his 200 IM best of 2:01.45 with a 2:01.74. Similar to his PB, he came home sub-28 with a 27.95. He scored a PB in the 400 free with a 3:58.20. In the 100 free, he scored a solid PB in the 100 free with a 50.14 and was just off his best form in the 200 free with a 1:50.98. In the 50 free, Williamson also went a PB in 50 free with a 23.41. Swimming an off-event, Williamson swam a 1:06.75, still quite quick for a 15-year-old despite being one of his weakest events. 

Switching clubs and high schools

A rift between North Texas Nadadores, Williamson’s club team, and Southlake Carroll, his high school and the owners of NTN, developed. What began with complaints about low pay and mistreatment by Carroll High School coaches escalated this spring when all but one NTN coach tendered their resignations. A recent poolside dispute between incoming head coach Travis Kiser and acting head coach Dan Balint left the club searching for answers in the wake of both their resignations. 

Things came to a head at Futures as the team scrambled to find coaches and coaches were kicked off the deck. Williamson and the other six NTN swimmers at the meet made themselves unattached and turned their swim caps inside out following the incident amid concerns that they might be scratched from races without their consent. Balint continued to coach Williamson through Junior Pan Pacs.

At the club level, Williamson moved to Lakeside Aquatic Club, where he became eligible to compete for them following the 120-day waiting period. At the high school level, Williamson transferred down the road to nearby Keller for his sophomore year, forming a super team including fellow U.S. National Junior Team member Cooper Lucas, and Lubbock transfer River Paulk.

2022 Junior Pan Pacific Championships (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Williamson took on a big schedule with the 50/200 free, 100/200 back, and the 200/400 IM plus the 800 free relay. 

Williamson was full steam ahead from the first session. In the 200 free prelims, he posted a big PB of 1:48.45. That knocked about 2 seconds off his best time and ranked him #3 all-time in the 15-16 NAG despite only being 15. 

Williamson doubled down in finals with a 1:48.21, good for 2nd behind Flynn Southam (1:47.11). Southam and Williamson were tied at the 50m turn, then Williamson opened up a lead on the 2nd 50, flipping at the 100m mark in the lead by a few tenths of a second. Williamson wasn’t able to hold off Flynn in the back half of the race. His new best time also moved him up one spot in the 15-16 NAG Rangaings, passing Henry McFadden. On the same day, Williamson also dropped to 55.83 in the 100 back but missed the ‘A’ final despite placing 4th because 1st through 3rd were also Americans. He scratched the event for finals. 

In the 400 IM, Williamson was off his best in prelims with a 4:24.09 but still made the final in 6th. In the final, Williamson dropped nearly 3 seconds from his best time to take 2nd thanks to his closing speed. Williamson’s 4:17 made him just the 2nd American 15-year-old under 4:20 IM behind the GOAT Michael Phelps who crushed a 4:15.20 back at the 2001 Spring Nationals. Just a few minutes later, Williamson anchored the 800 free relay in 1:49.68, enough to keep the Americans in 2nd behind Australia.  

The next morning, Willamson had an off 2:02.46 200 back and found himself in the ‘B’ final. He made the most of it and improved to a 1:59.95 in the finals, still a bit off his best of 1:58.75 from trials. On day 4, Williamson swam very relaxed in the 200 IM prelims but still netted the top spot and a PB with a 2:00.90. In the finals, Williamson destroyed the field with a 1:59.01, shaving off time on all 4 50s. 

2022 Winter Juniors–West (Austin, Texas)

Just as he had a year prior, Williamson had an unfathomable Winter Juniors. On the relay only night 1, Williamson broke the 15-16 NAG record in the 200 free leading off in the 800 free relay. Dropping nearly 2 seconds, Williamson clipped Drew Kibler’s NAG record of 1:33.10 by .03 with a 1:33.07. Williamson closed in a stunning 23.88. If that lead-off was not enough, his teammates from Lakeside Aquatic Club followed through, breaking the 15-18 NAG. Williamson, Cooper Lucas (1:34.13), Max Hatcher (1:37.44), and River Paulk (1:38.19) sliced .36 seconds off of the Mason Manta Rays’ record on 6:23.14 with a 6:22.78. Just before all this, Willamson led off Lakeside’s 2nd place 200 medley relay with a 22.02 50 back. 

The next morning, Williamson relaxed through the 200 IM prelims with a 1:44.09. He also put up a solid 19.99 50 free. Both swims qualified him for the A final. In the 200 IM final, Williamson blasted an otherworldly 1:42.07 200 IM. Unfortunately for Williamson, he just missed Thomas Heilman’s hour-old 15-16 NAG Record set at the east site. Both Williamson and Heilman (1:41.71) were well under Michael Andrew’s prior mark of 1:42.77. Not long after, Williamson dropped a 19.82 50 free PB, good for 5th. To cap off his session, Williamson popped 47.12 100 back leading off Lakeside’s 4th place 400 medley relay. 

Already the meet record holder in the 400 IM from 2021, Willamson was just under 3 seconds off his best with a 3:45.08 to lead prelims by a comfortable 3 seconds. Not long after, Williamson again topped the prelims, this time with a 1:34.71 200 free. He wrapped his morning with a 47.56 100 back, good for lane 5 in the final. 

In the finals, Willamson dropped an absurd 3:39.83 400 IM. Not too far behind him was his teammate Cooper Lucas who pushed the pace early on for Willamson and ended up with a 3:42.09. With his swim, Willamson obliterated Michael Phelps’ 20-year-old 15-16 NAG record of 3:42.08. That record was Phelps’ last remaining SCY NAG record (He still has several LCM records in the 13-14, 15-16, and 17-18 age groups). That swim might have tired Williamson out because he was a bit off in the 200 free just half an hour later. Being “off” for Williamson still meant he nearly broke the meet and 15-16 NAG record, both set by him leading off the 800 free relay earlier in the meet. Willamson was in a tight race with Rex Mauer, sitting over half a second back of Mauer at the 100 but storming home in 47.05, nearly faster than his 46.55 opening 100, to top Mauer by .09 with a 1:33.60. 

Williamson’s session was far from over though. After resting for another three-quarters of an hour, he was back in the pool competing in the final of the 100 back. Williamson won his third race of the night and his second come-from-behind thriller, going 46.90 to touch out Luke Logue of Aquajets (46.96) by .06. Williamson capped off the night with a relay split of 19.46 on the second leg of Lakeside’s 4×50 free relay. It was the fastest flying-start split of the night. Lakeside placed 2nd. 

On the final day, Williamson claimed 3rd place in the prelims of the 200 back with a 1:43.77. Ahead of Williamson was Keaton Jones who set a meet record with a 1:40.32. Williamson returned a bit later with a 43.45 100 free, good to make the ‘A’ final in 4th. In the final, Williamson opened his tough double with a remarkable 1:40.88. That time, while not a meet record, beat out Jones for the win and claimed the 15-16 NAG record, a 1:40.90 that eventual Olympic gold medalist Ryan Murphy set back in 2011.

Barely 20 minutes after his 200 back, Williamson continued his run of domination by clocking a 42.61 in the 100 free. That would have been a new NAG record a month, ago, but Kaii Winkler broke it back in November at the Florida High School State Championships, and then reset it this morning over the East site. Williamson’s previous best time was 42.98. Then, with a little more recovery time, Williamson dropped his 100 free best time to 42.49 leading off Lakeside’s 400 free relay as they took the win.

2023 Southern Premier (Nashville, Tennessee)

Williamson wrapped up his SCY season at the 2023 Southern Premier. He took on some off events and some of his prime events. In the 50 free, Williamson put up a new best times in the 50 and 500 frees with 19.65 and 4:16.84 respectively. That 500 free was a huge improvement and moved him to #4 all-time in the 15-16 NAG. However, in the 100 and 200 free, he just missed his best times with still impressive times of 42.73 and 1:33.36 respectively. In the 200 back, Williamson was about 3 seconds off his best time with a 1:43.99. Williamson was able to further prove his versatility with times of 1:57.70 and 1:44.84 in the 200 bread and fly events respectively. Those times would be good for any high schooler but are especially impressive given Williamson they are not even a top-5 event for him.  

2023 Pro Swim Series (Mission Viejo)

Williamson had a slew of season bests and 1 personal best at the Mission Viejo PSS. The sole PB came in the form of a 50.17 100 free. His other notable results included a 56.32 100 back, a 2:03.44 200 IM, and a 4:28.01 400 IM. 

2023 Summer Junior Nationals (Irvine, California)

Despite only swimming 3 individual events, Willimason stole the show with his relay performances. On night 2, he stunned with a 1:47.29 leadoff in the 800 free relay. That was a new 15-16 NAG record, downing his own mark of 1:47.62 set in June. Williamson’s improvement came on his back 150. If a NAG record on the leadoff want good enough, Lakeside clocked a new 15-18 NAG record with Willimason, Cooper Lucas (1:48.95), River Paulk (1:54.19), and Max Hatcher (1:51.00) combining for a 7:21.43.

Another day came and another 15-18 NAG relay record went at the hands of Lakeside. This time, Williamson (22.89), Paulk (22.43), Lucas (23.13), and Keaton Rice (22.64) smashed Dynamo’s NAG and meet record set a year prior by 1.17 seconds with a 1:31.09. Lakeside had 3 swimmers swim splits/leadoffs under 23 seconds versus Dynamo’s 2.

Breaking 15-18 NAG record in both the shorter and longer relays, it came as no surprise when Lakeside destroyed the 400 free relay meet record by about 4.5 second and the NAG record by just under 2 seconds. Williamson led off in a 48.84, a mere .03 seconds off Kaii Winkler’s 15-16 NAG record. He was followed by Lucas with a 49.79, Paulk with a 50.77, and Rice with a 50.69 anchor. Their final time was 3:20.09.

Individually, Williamson went PBs in the 50 free (22.87), 100 fly (54.11), and 200 fly (2:02.32). In those events, he placed 5th, 8th, and 20th respectively. 

2023 World Junior Championships (Netanya, Israel)

Team USA’s boys ended the first night of finals at the 2023 World Junior Swimming Championships with a bang. In the 400 freestyle relay, Daniel Diehl (49.93), Williamson (47.78), Hudson Williams (49.14), and Jason Zhao (48.64) set a new world junior record with a blistering 3:15.49. Williamson’s split made the difference for this record-setting team. He was the fastest in the field by a wide margin, as he was the only one to break the 48-second barrier. 

The next morning, Williamson cruised through the 200 IM prelims with a 2:01.11 for the 3rd seed. Clocking the top time of the morning was Tomoyuki Matsushita with a new championship record of 1:58.42. In the final, it was all Williamson as he led wire to wire. He was out just .16 seconds off his PB pace with a 25.29/29.72 but found significant gains on breast with a 35.02 split and crushed a 27.26 final 50 to destroy the championship record and his PB with a 1:57.29. The swim made Williamson the fastest 17-year-old, despite turning 17 a day prior, surpassing Kosuke Hagino‘s previous “17-year-old record” time of 1:57.35 from the 2012 Olympics. Third, it moves Williamson up to #2 all-time in the U.S. 17-18 age group, only behind Michael Phelps. Had Williamson clocked this 1:57.29 at U.S. Nationals earlier this summer, he would have surpassed Shaine Casas’ second-place time of 1:57.47 and qualified for the 2023 World Championships.

Only about 15 minutes post-200 IM, Williamson, brought home the Americans in the 400 mixed medley relay in a final split of 47.74. That represented the quickest free split in the field and netted the Gold. The next night, Williamson splashed his way to a new best time of 48.38. That time made him the fastest 18-and-under American in history, surpassing 18-year-old Jonny Kulow‘s mark of 48.47 from 2023 U.S. Nationals. The US took silver to Australia in that race. 

Williamson put up another PB, leading of the 800 free relay in 1:47.11, making him the #8 performer in his new NAG. The rest of the squad widened the leef to over 4 seconds as they dominated the race and took gold. 

Williamson moved through the 100 free prelims with ease in 4th  via a 50.07. In the semis, he took the top seed with a 49.38. In the final, Williamson dominated from start to finish with a 48.45. His time was just off his PB but represented the only time in the final under 49 seconds. Williamson put an exclamation point on his meet by firing off a 47.57 anchor on the 400 medley relay as the US took gold.

As a whole, Williamson netted 2 individual golds: the 100 free and 200 IM, 4 relay golds: all relays except the mixed 400 free relay, and a silver: the mixed 400 free relay. SwimSwam declared his 200 IM as the swim of the meet and Williamson as swimmer of the meet

College Swimming

Williamson was ranked #2 in SwimSwam’s “Way Too Early Rankings” of the class of 2026. While this might seem low, Williamson has the misfortune of being in the same high school class as a 16-year-old swimmer who nearly medalled at the World Championships. At the time, Williamson boasted class-leading times in the 100/200/500 free, 100/200 back, and 400 IM. In addition, he also had the 2nd fastest 50 free, 200 IM, and 200 fly times in the class behind Heilman and had more leading times than Heilman.

National/International Swimming

2022 U.S. International Team Trials (Greensboro, North Carolina)

Williamson was incredible to win the ‘B’ final of the men’s 200 back with a blistering 1:58.75. He was great on the front half of the swim, splitting 57.41 on the first 100. The time makes Williamson the #6 15-16 the NAG rankings in the event, and the #2 15-year-old all-time. In the 200 IM, Williamson had a massive time drop, going from a seed of 2:06.36 to 2:03.34 in prelims for 20th to 2:01.45 to win the ‘C’ final. In the finals swim, Williamson came home in 27.73, the fastest freestyle split of anyone in any final. With the swim, Williamson became the fastest 15-year-old American of all time.

Williamson placed 22nd in the 100 back with a 56.57 after scoring a PB of 56.16 in prelims. Williamson’s 2nd highest finish in the 400 IM. He nailed a 4:20.01 for 10th. Williamson was also 1:50.65 in his 200 free and 50.69 in his 100 free. All of his swims were PBs. 

Williamson was selected for the 200/400 IMs for Junior Pan Pacs. 

2023 U.S. International Team Trials ( Indianapolis, Indiana)

Williamson opened the meet with a fantastic 49.00 in the 100 free prelims to become the second-fastest American boy all-time in the 15-16 NAG. He improved that PB further to a 48.91 in the final, good for 14th. The next morning, Willamson clocked a new 200 free 15-16 NAG with a 1:47.62. That broke Luca Urlando‘s previous record of 1:47.73. Williamson opened over half a second faster than Urlando. The swim qualified him for the “B” final. In that final, Williamson was quite a bit off his best with a 1:49.40 for 16th. Williamson was similarly off the next morning in the 200 back with a 2:04.07. 

In the 400 IM, Williamson posted a season-best 4:21.36, good for 17th in prelims, just out of the “B” final. He scratched the final. With just one event left, Williamson was looking to end his meet on a high note and he did just that. He qualified for his only “A” final with a 1:59.32 in the 200 IM prelims before scorching a new PB of 1:58.65 for 6th. He and Destin Lasco shared the same closing split of 27.40, the fastest free leg in the final which vaulted him to 6th. His new PB broke his own 15-16 NAG record of 1:59.01 which he set at 2022 Jr Pan Pacs.

Williamson qualified for World Juniors. 

This biography was originally developed by Lucas Caswell

International Medals

Place Event Year Meet
Gold 100 Free 2023 World Junior Championships
Gold 200 I.M. 2023 World Junior Championships
Gold 400 Freestyle Relay 2023 World Junior Championships
Gold 800 Freestyle Relay 2023 World Junior Championships
Gold 800 Medley Relay 2023 World Junior Championships
Gold 800 Mixed Medley Relay 2023 World Junior Championships
Silver 800 Mixed Free Relay 2023 World Junior Championships

Best Times

Course Event Time Date Meet
lcm 50 Free 22.87 08/04/23 2023 Summer Junior Nationals
Irvine, California
lcm 100 Free 48.38 09/06/23 2023 World Aquatics Junior Championships
Netanya, Israel
lcm 200 Free 1:47.11 09/07/23 2023 World Aquatics Junior Championships
Netanya, Israel
lcm 200 Back 1:58.75 04/27/22 2022 U.S. International Team Trials
Greensboro, North Carolina
lcm 200 IM 1:57.29 09/05/23 2023 World Aquatics Junior Championships
Netanya, Israel
lcm 400 IM 4:17.58 08/25/22 2022 Junior Pan Pacific Championships
Honolulu, Hawaii
scy 50 Free 19.65 03/04/23 2023 Southern Premier
Nashville, Tennessee
scy 100 Free 42.24 12/10/22 2022 Winter Junior Nationals
Austin, Texas
scy 200 Free 1:33.07 12/07/22 2022 Winter Junior Nationals
Austin, Texas
scy 500 Free 4:16.84 03/04/23 2023 Southern Premier
Nashville, Tennessee
scy 100 Back 46.90 12/09/22 2022 Winter Junior Nationals
Austin, Texas
scy 200 Back 1:40.88 12/10/22 2022 Winter Junior Nationals
Austin, Texas
scy 200 IM 1:42.07 12/08/22 2022 Winter Junior Nationals
Austin, Texas
scy 400 IM 3:39.83 12/09/22 2022 Winter Junior Nationals
Austin, Texas