Thomas Heilman Becomes Youngest Swimmer Sub-51 in 100 Yard Fly

2020 CYAC Winter Invite

  • January 24th-26th, 2020
  • Brooks Family YMCA, Charlottesville, Virginia
  • 25y (SCY) Pool
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “CYAC Winter Invite”

A week after breaking the 11-12 National Age Group Record in the 100 yard fly, 12-year old Thomas Heilman has done so again at the CYAC Winter Invite. This is one of his final opportunities to race as a 12-year old: he ages up in February.

His latest swim is a 50.82, which makes him the youngest swimmer to ever go sub-51 seconds in the race.

Heilman first broke the record in November with a 51.44 to clear Chas Morton’s legendary 1984 record of 51.85. Then, last weekend, he swam 51.27, before bumping down to 50.82 this weekend. In total, that means he cut more than a second off a record that stood for 35 years.

Split Comparison:

New NAG Record Last Week’s NAG Record November NAG Record
1st 50 23.95 24.21 24.67
2nd 50 26.87 27.06 26.77
Final Time 50.82 51.27 51.44

While Heilman’s back-half splits haven’t changed that much, with improved confidence he’s been able to go out much faster as the record has progressed without sacrificing the back-half of his swim.

Heilman swam lifetime bests in all 4 of his timed-finals swims this week, dropping a second in the 200 back and about 2 seconds in each of the 200 IM and 500 free.

Besides the 100 fly record, he now ranks 13th all-time in the age group in the 500 free, 15th all-time in the 200 back, and 4th all-time in the 200 IM, just ahead of now-World Champion Michael Andrew.

Heilman’s full results from this weekend:

  • 100 fly – 50.82
  • 200 back – 2:01.49
  • 200 IM – 1:57.64
  • 500 free – 4:47.12

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3 years ago

Awesome swim! I know a lot of HS age swimmers that’d be stoked to go 50 point. Curious…how big (mature) is this kid? Meaning…does he look a lot older than 12 yrs old?

Reply to  Mac
3 years ago

…and, when does he age up to 13?

Reply to  Mac
2 years ago

in the article it states that he turned 13 in February.

Not that impressed
3 years ago

Hopefully the kid is still swimming when he is 18.

Reply to  Not that impressed
3 years ago

Go away

3 years ago

Can wait to see him swim in 13-14 yo category. He will crash it. Go Thomas!

It's Never Too Cold To Fire Up The Outdoor Grill
3 years ago

Most 12 year olds would give anything to go 50 point in the 100 yard free. But the fly? Uhhhhhh what?

3 years ago


Reply to  DEAN IS GOD
3 years ago


Reply to  Devin
3 years ago


3 years ago


Coach D
3 years ago

I know Chas is happy for Thomas. Kinda gives you perspective how good Chas really was. Chas wore a brief and didn’t have underwaters in 1984. If you watch him as he got older, Chas was an excellent kicker and underwater swimmer. Again, not taking anything away from this unbelievable swim, but Chas set the bar for so many young boys and they all have risen to it. Good job Thomas.

Reply to  Coach D
3 years ago

Chas is definitely slower than Heilman today…woud love to see a match race with both wearing tech suits!!!

Ken K
Reply to  Coach D
3 years ago

Agreed. Same could be said for Mary T. With today’s underwaters, training methods, nutrition and suit technology, she would have easily flirted with sub 2:00. And I remember seeing Chas at a meet when he was 12, he was “strong as bull” 🙂 Would have loved to see what outrageous performances he would have turned out with an underwater focus.

3 years ago

This is Heilman’s world and we’re all just living in it

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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