Thomas Heilman Blasts 22.99 50 Free At 14, Smashes Andrew’s NAG Record


Thomas Heilman made history on Thursday morning in Greensboro, becoming the first American aged 14 & under to break 23 seconds in the men’s 50 freestyle (LCM).

Competing at the 2021 US Open in Greensboro, the 14-year-old Heilman dropped a time of 22.99 in the 50 free, breaking Michael Andrew‘s 13-14 National Age Group Record of 23.19, set in 2014, by two-tenths of a second.

Heilman, who represents Cavalier Aquatics/Piedmont Family YMCA, came into the meet as the second-fastest swimmer in age group history with his best time of 23.23, set in May during the 18&U Spring Cup.

The fastest LCM 50 free time on record from a swimmer aged 14 & under, per USA Swimming’s database, is the 22.75 done by Singaporean Darren Lim back in 2013 at the age of 14.

Heilman is already the 13-14 NAG record holder in the LCM 100 free, clocking 51.20 in 2020, and also owns the age group’s all-time mark in the 100 fly (54.45).

In SCY, Heilman holds the 200 free 13-14 NAG in 1:36.25, while Andrew owns six of those records, including the 50 free (19.76).

Heilman notably finished his time in the 11-12 age group just .04 outside of the NAG held by Ronald Dalmacio (24.98) with a best of 25.02.

For his efforts, Heilman qualified for the ‘A’ final at the US Open in eighth place, and barring scratches will be the youngest swimmer in the field by five years (with 2002-born Adam Chaney the only other swimmer in the top-eight born after 2000). Heilman will also be two lanes over from Bruno Fratus, 18 years his elder.

Andrej Barna was the top qualifier for the final in 22.31.

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Big Mac #1
1 month ago

Sweet Jesus

Mr Piano
1 month ago

This kid eats his broccoli

Reply to  Mr Piano
1 month ago

And mine!

Jalen Stimes
1 month ago

What does this kid’s parents feed him everyday!!?

1 month ago

How, Just how

1 month ago

The beginning of possibly another assault on the record books both nationally and now potentially intentionally.

Reply to  PFA
1 month ago

even intentionally too??

Reply to  Anonymoose
1 month ago

Lol. International may be a bit of a stretch but you never know

Last edited 1 month ago by Swimmerfromjapananduk
1 month ago

rubberized Cielo shaking right now.

Mr Piano
Reply to  Swimfan
1 month ago

I mean you never know, he could specialize in the 200 free, he’s already a 1:36 in yards.

Reply to  Swimfan
1 month ago


just facts
Reply to  mds
1 month ago


1 month ago

Where is Darren Lim now? 22.75 at 14 is unfathomable

Reply to  Guy
1 month ago

The internet is your friend:

Reply to  Walter
1 month ago

Not on the roster this year. And I dont think he ever went faster. That’s gotta be frustrating.

Reply to  BearlyBreathing
1 month ago

If he’s 5’9″ as listed he probably stopped growing around then.

Ask me how I know…

Reply to  Drewbrewsbeer
1 month ago

When Lim swam 22.75 he was a pretty early developer in a programme that was well regarded and known for producing speedy youngsters here in the UK. Ruta Meilutyte and Ben Proud swam at the same club at the time and each had big breakouts at a similar time.

Reply to  Dee
1 month ago

Plymouth is a crazy programme over here in the uk. They dominate nationals alongside a few other programmes

James Beam
1 month ago

wonder how the college recruiting will go for Tommy with DeSorbo as his coach.

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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