Thomas Heilman Breaks Chas Morton’s Last National Age Group Record in Yards

12-year old Thomas Heilman from the Piedmont Family YMCA in Virginia has broken the 11-12 National Age Group Record in the 100 yard butterfly on Sunday. Swimming at the CYAC November Invite, Heilman touched in 51.44, which breaks Chas Morton‘s 1984-set record of 51.85.

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That was the last yards record belonging to Morton, who was one of the great age group swimmers in US history. He still holds the 100 fly record for 11-12s in long course meters at 58.74, but all of his swims in yards have been erased. After his decorated age group career, Morton was part of an NCAA Championship team at Stanford in 1993.

Heilman’s previous best time was a 53.21 set in March of this year. He’s already been 59.89 in long course as well. He doesn’t age up until the new year, so he should have more opportunities to break records.

Heilman also swam a lifetime best of 48.35 in the 100 free this weekend, and a lifetime best of 4:20.91 in the 400 IM. The National Age Group Record in the 100 free is 47.89, so he’s now moved within half-a-second of that record as well.

Heilman’s other swims this week:

  • 500 free – 4:51.97
  • 100 breast – 1:03.72
  • 200 back – 2:05.20
  • 400 IM – 4:20.75
  • 100 free – 48.35
  • 200 breast – 2:21.15

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2 years ago


Bearly Breathing
2 years ago

I remember reading about Chas Morton’s seemingly monthly accomplishments in Swimming World magazine in the 80s. The paper, hold-in-your-hand kind. I was in awe that a kid younger than me could swim so fast. Sometimes I wondered if his times were typos. It’s a testament to his talent that his records lastest for decades. But as we all know, someone will always go faster – you sometimes just have to wait a while. Congratulations Mr Heilman.

2 years ago

I have been lucky to watch Thomas at swim meets. He is a special kid in and out of the pool with an incredibly supportive family. In addition to Thomas, there are numerous other talented age group swimmers being developed at Piedmont Y.

Reply to  Goldie
2 years ago

Agreed on both accounts. Great kid. Great family. Lot of talent in Cville

2 years ago

Chas was amazing

Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

I remember when 51 was a decent in-season time for college men.

Old sprinter
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

When I was in college it would have crushed the NCAA record

2 years ago

Knoxville legend.

Math Magician
Reply to  Rheu
2 years ago


Lane 8
2 years ago

Huge congratulations to Thomas! He definitely worked really hard for this. Swimswam did an article about the 10 oldest remaining NAGs in April. They said about this record: “This record looks about as safe as it gets.” But all records get broken eventually. Happy to see that swimming is getting faster.

Washed Up Parent
Reply to  Lane 8
2 years ago

That was the LCM record they said that about. The SCY one they called out Thomas and said he’d likely take it down. And, he still has at least four more months to better it. This kid is throwing down amazing swims every time he hits the water.
But since you bring up the 10 Oldest Record article… it points out that this was the oldest SCY record left in the NAG books. Hell of a great record to break. Huge statement to the caliber of both Chas’s and Thomas’s swims. Can’t wait to see how he keeps developing. Gonna be fun to watch.

2 years ago

I always wondered what the rest of Chas’s swimming career looked like. Just found this story which answered my questions

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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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