Heilman, Davis & Sim Highlight 14&U Performers Halfway Through Winter Juniors


We’re now through the first weekend of USA Swimming’s 18 & Under Winter Championships, a revised version of the annual Winter Junior Championships, and a handful of swimmers aged 14 & under rank near the top of the results despite being at an age disadvantage.

The virtual meet allows any registered swimmer that had previously qualified have their swims count toward official results, with the window opening December 1 and running through the 13th.

13-year-old Thomas Heilman, who set multiple long course 13-14 National Age Group Records in November, is the only male swimmer with multiple swims ranked inside the top-25 through the meet’s opening weekend with four, while his 14-year-old Cavalier Aquatics teammate Grey Davis leads all female athletes with four as well.

Heilman reeled off five best times at the Cavalier Aquatics – Piedmont Family YMCA dual with Lynchburg YMCA in Charlottesville, with three of those swims ranking inside the top-25 for the 18 & Under Championships. Heilman currently sits 12th in the 100 fly (48.04), 13th in the 50 free (20.52) and 19th in the 100 free (45.19), improving his respective previous bests of 48.81, 20.54 and 45.66, all set in August. He also sits 18th in the 200 fly in 1:48.55, an event in which he became the fastest 13-year-old ever in last month (1:47.93). Additional bests came in the 200 (1:52.80) and 400 IM (3:58.73).

Davis’ four top-25 ranked swims were all personal bests: ninth in the 100 fly (53.64), 13th in the 500 free (4:53.91), 15th in the 200 IM (2:01.49) and 24th in the 200 fly (2:00.90). Not only were all significant drops, but her previous bests had also been set earlier this year, including all but the 100 fly coming in November.

14-year-old Levenia Sim, who competes for TNT Swimming, holds the highest place currently among 14 & unders with her fourth-place ranking in the women’s 100 back. Sim clocked 53.17 on Saturday to improve on her previous best of 53.42, set just a day earlier at a high school meet.

Sim also ranks 13th in the 100 fly (54.18) and 14th in the 200 fly (2:00.05), both ranking as her second-fastest swims ever.

In addition to Sim’s 100 back, the only other performances to rank inside the top-eight are Empire KC Swim Club’s Avery Karl in the women’s 50 free (sixth, 22.72) and Manchester Makos Swim Team’s Isaac Lee in the men’s 1650 free (seventh, 15:38.13).

York YMCA’s Emily Way joins Heilman, Grey and Sim with multiple top-25 swims, sitting 17th in the women’s 50 free (23.13) and 20th in the 100 free (50.43).

Also making their way into the top-25 on the women’s side were 13-year-olds Emily Hamill, Avery Klamfoth and 14-year-old Sophie Phelps, while NCAP’s Simon Bermudez also did so on the men’s side.

Top-25 Ranked 14 & Under Swimmers, U.S. 18 & Under Winter Championships (Through December 6)


  • Avery Karl (14), Empire KC Swim Club: 6th – 50 freestyle (22.72)
  • Emily Way (14), York YMCA: 17th – 50 freestyle (23.13), 20th – 100 freestyle (50.43)
  • Grey Davis (14), Cavalier Aquatics/Piedmont Family YMCA: 9th – 100 butterfly (53.64), 13th – 500 freestyle, 15th – 200 IM (2:01.49), 24th –200 butterfly (2:00.90)
  • Levenia Sim (14), TNT Swimming: 4th – 100 backstroke (53.17), 13th – 100 butterfly (54.18), 14th – 200 butterfly (2:00.05)
  • Sophie Phelps (14), Nantucket Swimming: 17th – 1650 freestyle (17:12.43)
  • Emily Hamill (13), Upper Main Line YMCA: 21st – 1650 freestyle (17:20.30)
  • Avery Klamfoth (13), SwimMAC Carolina: 22nd – 200 breaststroke (2:17.16)


  • Thomas Heilman (13), Cavalier Aquatics/Piedmont Family YMCA: 12th – 100 butterfly (48.04), 13th – 50 freestyle (20.52), 18th – 200 butterfly (1:48.55), 19th – 100 freestyle (45.19)
  • Isaac Lee (14), Manchester Makos Swim Team: 7th – 1650 freestyle (15:38.13)
  • Simon Bermudez (14), Nation’s Capital Swim Club: 24th – 400 IM (4:00.31)

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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