Thomas Heilman Breaks 13-14 NAG with 1:36.25 in the 200 Free

by Robert Gibbs 15

April 09th, 2021 News, Previews & Recaps

2021 YMCA Swimming Festival – York

  • April 8th-11th, 2021
  • Graham Aquatic Center, York, PA
  • SCY
  • Results on Meet Mobile as “2021 YMCA Swimming Festival @ York YMCA”

While many swimmer across the US are switching over from short course yards to long course meters, the multi-site YMCA Swimming Festival is wrapping up across the country. The Swimming Festival, which was organized by several YMCA teams after the national body canceled the YMCA Nationals, is serving as a sort of unofficial YMCA championship this spring.

Today, at the York site, 14 year-old Thomas Heilman of Cavalier Aquatics knocked over 2.5s off of his lifetime best. He came into the meet with a best of 1:38.81 from November, which made him the fastest 13 year-old ever in the event. This morning, he lowered that time by over a second with a 1:37.62, then tonight, he knocked well over another second off of that time with a 1:36.25. Meet Mobile has Heilman listed as 13, but based on previous years’ results, it appears he in fact recently turned 14.

Heilman’s time came in exactly half a second faster than the previous NAG Record of 1:36.75, set by Daniel Diehl last year. In one of those fun quirks we see in swimming sometimes, Diehl was actually swimming two lanes over from Heilman tonight, and the 15 year-old Diehl won the race with a 1:35.99. Diehl’s previous lifetime best was that aforementioned 1:36.75, and tonight’s time moves Diehl into a three-way tie with Grant Shoults and Adam Chaney for 18th all-time in the 15-16 age group.

Per the USA Swimming database, Diehl and Heilman currently remain the only two boys under the age of 15 to have ever gone under 1:38 in the 200 free, let alone 1:37.

All-Time Rankings, Boys’ 13-14 200 Yard Free

  1. Thomas Heilman, 2021 – 1:36.25
  2. Daniel Diehl, 2020 – 1:36.75
  3. Destin Lasco, 2016 – 1:38.24
  4. Michael Andrew, 2014 – 1:38.31
  5. Maxime Rooney, 2012 – 1:38.42

Heilman also went 47.35 in the 100 fly today, which moves him past Andrei Minakov to #2 all-time in the age group.

All-Time Rankings, Boys’ 13-14 100 Yard Butterfly

  1. Michael Andrew, 2014 –46.95
  2. Thomas Heilman, 2021 – 47.35
  3. Andrei Minakov, 2016 – 47.78
  4. Aiden Hayes, 2017 – 48.33
  5. Will Hayon, 2019 – 48.81

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9 months ago

He just turned 14 and he is faster than some college swimmers. That is crazy. How tall is he?

9 months ago

He’s showing up 13 bc YMCA ages up dec 1st, so you swim whole season whatever age you are at beginning of dec. Kind of crazy it goes back that far, some kids are swimming 14 under that are almost 15 and half. Believe he has a Jan bday, so he was still 13 in December. Def 14 now, still ridiculous time for a young 14yo

Last edited 9 months ago by MAH
9 months ago

Holy s### that is fast. wow!!

9 months ago


9 months ago


X Glide
9 months ago

Imagine not knowing his age but only his times and asking him where he’s looking to swim in college and he hits you with “I’m still in middle school.”

Mr Piano
9 months ago

What the hell? 13????? This kid is FAST

Reply to  Robert Gibbs
9 months ago

He turned 14 pretty recently, has all of long course and next short course to break more nags.

9 months ago

I now believe heilman could get to within a second of the 15-16 NAG record before he ages up. I mean he’s already in the top 30 if he were in the 15-16 age group.