The hype has finally been revealed. Just three days ago, Virginia posted “The Entire Swimming World Just Turned Upside-Down!!” and now we all know what it means.
The Virginia men had five commitment announcements from the high school boys class of 2025, including four from the top 20 ranked recruits.
So, what does this all mean? What just happened?
Between Heilman and Williamson alone, the two hold the top times in the class in 10 out of the 14 events, with the exceptions being the 1000 and 1650 freestyles as well as the 100 and 200 breaststrokes.
Heilman is the best butterflier in the class, Williamson the best backstroke and mid-distance freestyle, but the excitement does not stop there. #8 Thomas Mercer, #12 Josh Howat, and Grant Murphy also announced their commitments today.
Mercer is one of the top IMers in the class and will be able to train alongside the top IMers in the class as Heilman has the top 200 IM in the class and Williamson has the fastest 400 IM in the class. Murphy is also an IMer and will be able to train alongside Mercer (and Heilman/Williamson).
Howat is a sprint freestyle who surely will be key to continuing the team’s momentum in the sprint freestyle event, especially on the men’s side. It is important for us to remember that the Virginia men are the American record holders in the 200 freestyle relay after setting that record at the 2022 ACC Championships.
Not only are these commitments big at the NCAA level, but they also are big at the international level. Heilman already competed at Senior Worlds this summer for the US while Williamson won two individual events at Junior Worlds. This group has the potential to be the future of the Olympic team.
The Virginia men finished 15th at NCAAs this past year, but have the momentum in the right direction. They brought in the #8 recruiting class in the high school class of 2023 which are now competing as freshmen. They also already have two top 20 ranked recruits in the class of 2024 as well as one best-of-the-rest commit. Now, they have four top 20s in 2025.