Thomas Heilman Becomes First American 15-Year-Old to Break 50 Seconds in LCM 100FR

by Spencer Penland 11

August 02nd, 2022 News, Previews & Recaps



  • World Junior Record: 47.13, David Popovici (2022)
  • Meet Record: 49.06, Vlad Morozov/Andrei Minakov (2010)
  • 13-14 NAG: 51.12, Thomas Heilman (2021)
  • 15-16 NAG: 49.28, Caeleb Dressel (2013)
  • 17-18 NAG: 48.69, Jack Alexy (2021)

Top 8 finishers:

  1. Thomas Heilman (Cavalier Aquatics): 49.67
  2. Henry McFadden (Jersey Wahoos): 49.72
  3. Will Mogdlin (Zionsville): 49.97
  4. Chase Mueller (Foothills): 50.13
  5. Nate Germonprez (iNspire): 50.30
  6. Brendan Whitfield (Lynchburg Y): 50.48
  7. Lucca Battaglini (East Carolina): 50.53
  8. Roman Jones (Jersey Flyers): 50.76

Rising star Thomas Heilman (Cavalier Aquatics) continues to shed time late into the summer, swimming a blistering 49.67 to win the Junior National title in the men’s 100 free tonight. Heilman dropped nearly a full second from his previous best over the course of today’s racing. He entered the meet with a personal best of 50.58, then clipped that in prelims with a 50.34 to take the 3rd seed for finals. Tonight, Heilman was on top of his game, splitting 24.00 on the first 50, then coming home in a speedy 25.67.

With the performance tonight, Heilman no ties for 3rd all-time in the 15-16 boys age group among Americans. Importantly, runner-up Henry McFadden out of Jersey Wahoos is also 16. McFadden swam a 49.72, blowing away his previous best as well, and rising to #7 all-time in the 15-16 rankings.

Here is the updated list of all-time performers in the 15-16 LCM 100 free:

Rank Time Swimmer Meet
1 49.28 Caeleb Dressel 2013 Summer Junior Nats
2 49.40 Destin Lasco 2018 Summer Nationals
T-3 49.67 Jack Alexy 2019 Summer Nationals
T-3 49.67 Thomas Heilman 2022 Summer Junior Nats
5 49.68 Kaii Winkler International Team Trials
6 49.71 Daniel Diehl 2022 NI EZ Speedo Sectional (LCM) Buffalo
7 49.72 Henry McFadden 2022 Summer Junior Nats
8 49.95 Adam Chaney 2018 Summer Nationals
9 49.97 Luca Urlando 2019 Sectionals – College Station
10 50.01 Danny Krueger 2015 World JR Champs

We have to keep in mind, however, that Heilman is only 15, giving him plenty of time to chase after Caeleb Dressel’s NAG of 49.28. As far as 15-year-olds go historically, Heilman is now the fastest ever by a wide margin. Kaii Winkler was previously the fastest 15-year-old all-time in the event, having posted a 50.24 early this year when he was still 15. That makes Heilman the first 15-year-old in American history to crack 50 seconds in the LCM 100 free. Moreover, Heilman and McFadden are just the 8th and 9th American 15-16s to break 50 seconds in the event.


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1 year ago

Is it me or does he look like a young Zach Apple?

Dom Tean
1 year ago

Smells like Popovici spirit

1 year ago

Should be a fun race to see who can break the NAG first and I think we’re going to see that Jr Pan Pacs. Exciting young talent especially with 4 of the 10 fastest ever in the age group are just from this season alone.

1 year ago

He looks much older than 15 in that photo.

Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

he looks 19 or 20. He muscled up young …. Most of the males I know often don’t look like that until they are 22

1 year ago

Anybody know what the fastest 15 year old 100 free is worldwide?

Reply to  DMacNCheez
1 year ago

49.55 by Flynn Southam.

Reply to  DMacNCheez
1 year ago

Flynn Southam 49.55 but probably Popovici would’ve been if not for the pandemic because he was already 49.82 at 14.

Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

popovici is currently that in the first 100 of his 200

Reply to  DMacNCheez
1 year ago

Wang Haoyu of China went 49.51 at Chinese Nationals last year, which is faster than Popovici and Southam.

Reply to  DMacNCheez
1 year ago

Popovici, 49.26, March 2020 Romanian Nationals