Thomas Heilman, Brendan Whitfield Combine to Set Six Different Class 4 VHSL Records

Virginia High School League Class 4 Swimming and Diving State Championships

  • February 16-18, 2023
  • SwimRVA, Richmond, Virginia
  • Short Course Yards (25 Yards)
  • Full Meet Results (PDF)

The VHSL Class 4 record books will look entirely different next season as both sides of the state championships set numerous records. On the boy’s side, Thomas Heilman and Brendan Whitfield were a part of three state records each, while three girls set individual records and Monacan High school set the 400 free relay record.

Boys Meet Recap

The boy’s meet came down to a battle of record-setting performances, as Thomas Heilman of Western Albemarle and Brendan Whitfield of Jefferson Forest went back and forth setting Class 4 and state records throughout the meet. By the end of the meet, all three relay records had been reset as well as the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 fly. This year was Western Albemarle’s final chance to set records at the Class 4 level as the school is slated to move to Class 3 next year.

The first of many state records fell in the 200 medley relay, with Western Albemarle shaving just over two-tenths of a second off of their Class 4 record from last season. The relay of Anthony Garono, Jack Smith, Thomas Heilman, and Richard Wang finished in 1:32.46, with Heilman splitting 20.46 on the fly leg of the relay.

Heilman wasn’t done with record-setting performances with the relay, as the sophomore went on to set a pair of individual records. After Brendan Whitfield of Jefferson Forest lowered the state record in the 50 free to 19.78 during prelims, Heilman lowered it even further to 19.69 during finals. That puts him just .02 off of the overall Virginia state record in the event. He followed that swim by resetting the Class 4 and overall state records in the 100 fly. While Heilman held the Class 4 record from last season, the overall state record stood at 46.13 from Andrew Seliskar in 2015. Heilman touched in 46.06 to lower both.

After Western Albemarle makes the move to Class 3 next season, Heilman will be well-situated to write his name over those record books as well. His time in the 50 free would have been nearly a second faster than the current Class 3 record and his 100 fly would have been nearly two and a half seconds faster than the current record.

While Heilman came out on top in the 50 free, Whitfield still left the meet with a state record. After setting both the Class 4 and overall state records in prelims of the 100 free, he lowered them both even further during finals, becoming the first Virginia high schooler to ever swim under 43.0 with a time of 42.77. A Virginia Tech commit, Whitfield was ranked as SwimSwam’s 12th best recruit in the class of 2023.

Like Heilman in the 200 medley relay, Whitfield helped Jefferson Forest set both the Class 4 and overall state records in both the 200 free relay and 400 free relays. After lowering both records in prelims, the team of Jack Mills, Schonfelder, Ryan Frasier, and Whitfield took another half of a second off the record in a time of 1:22.46. Jefferson Forest set the 400 free relay record twice as well, finishing in 3:04.21 during prelims before lowering it further to 3:03.81 during finals.

The final overall state record of the day to fall came in the 100 back, with 2024 Texas commit Kyle Peck lowering the Class 4 and overall state record. After finishing in 48.36 during prelims, Peck was over a second faster in finals, finishing in 47.21. The Class 4 record in the event was held by Khalil Fonder. Peck currently ranks as the 9th best recruit on SwimSwam’s “Way Too Early Recruit Ranks: Boys Class of 2024”.

Monacan’s Ryan Hufford took down the Class 4 200 free record on his way to gold. The defending state champion in the race, Hufford took almost three seconds off of his time from last season to win in 1:38.60. Hufford will head south in the fall, having committed to swim at the University of South Carolina.

After finishing as the runner-up in both the 200 IM and 100 breast as a junior last season, Western Albemarle’s Jack Smith returned as a senior to capture gold in both. In the 200 IM, he dropped over a second from last season to capture the win in 1:52.52. He followed that swim by winning in the 100 breast in 56.67.

Blacksburg was dominant on the diving board, sweeping the podium. The top spot went to Theo Vilanueva, who finished with a score of 405.10 for the win.

The 500 free state title was won by a freshman, with Western Albemarle’s Brayden King winning gold in his first high school state meet. King held off a charging Cooper Dillman (4:35.75) over the final 100 yards of the race, winning with a time of 4:34.59.

Team Scores

  1. Western Albemarle – 369
  2. Blacksburg – 276
  3. Jefferson Forest – 260
  4. Monacan – 153
  5. Jamestown – 146

Girls Meet Recap

The girls’ meet was highlighted by a trio of record-setting swims from Wyllo Hanson, Amanda Barnard, and Addy Heyward. All three set individual Class 4 records on their way to claiming state titles.

Hanson, a junior at Jamestown took over a second off of the previous Class 4 record in the 200 free. After dipping below the previous record during prelims, Hanson swam over a second faster in finals, touching in 1:47.15. She also added a second win in the 50 free later in the day, touching at 23.04. That time was less than a tenth off of her own state record that she set a year ago. Hanson is committed to join Auburn University after her graduation this spring.

Records continued falling as one event later Patrick Henry junior Amanda Barnard took down the Class 4 record in the 200 IM. Barnard took over two full seconds off of the previous record, set by Colby Hurt in 2018, touching in 1:59.63. Barnard added a second state title in the 500 free later in the meet, missing the record by just over a second. This is the second year that Barnard has claimed the state titles in the IM and 500 free. She’s committed to Virginia Tech for the fall of 2024.

The final record of the day to fall came in the 100 free, with Jamestown sophomore Addy Heyward breaking it. After finishing in 7th a year ago, Heyward dropped nearly three seconds from her freshman year time, touching at 51.02. Heyward will have two more years of high school to further lower that record before her graduation.

On the 1-meter board, it was Savanna Miller who picked up the state title. The Deep Creek senior, who was the defending champion in the event, finished with a score of 395.70 for gold.

After finishing second, and dipping below the previous state record, in the 200 IM, Monacan’s Emerson Callis returned in the 100 fly to claim her first state championship title. Only a freshman, Callis was dominant in the event, winning by nearly two seconds in 54.03.

Callis also helped Monacan to a pair of titles as a member of relays anchoring the schools 200 free relay (22.82) and 400 free relay (49.71). The team’s time of 3:27.60 in the 400 free relay took over three seconds off of the previous Class 4 state record, set by Jamestown in 2016. Monacan were also the state champions in the 200 medley relay, winning in 1:45.64.

Swimming a lifetime best on her way to the 100 back state title was Western Albemarle’s Julie Addison. The senior and College of William & Mary commit claimed her first career state title after finishing as the runner-up in two events a year ago. She touched in 55.90 for the gold.

The final individual title of the day went to sophomore Caroline Agee, who won the 100 breast by over a second. Agee touched in 1:03.60 for first.

Team Scores

  1. Monacan – 336
  2. Western Albemarle – 280
  3. Jamestown – 212
  4. Kettle Run – 198
  5. Blacksburg – 176

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3 months ago

Correction, please: Kyle Peck’s 47.21 100 back was NOT an all-class VA state record. That’s Anthony Grimm’s 46.63 from 2019.

3 months ago

College of William & Mary, rather than University.

Golden Doug
3 months ago

Amanda Beard is back.

Demarrit Steenbergen
Reply to  Golden Doug
3 months ago


Reply to  Demarrit Steenbergen
3 months ago

Typo in the article called Amanda Barnard “Amanda Beard”

3 months ago

Whitfield also split 19.1 on his 200 free relay

VA Swim Fan
3 months ago

Also Western Albamarle’s relay time was actually 1:32.46.

3 months ago

Could that boy’s 200 Medley relay record be 1:34.46 not 1:43.46. Given the breast and fly legs and the other times discussed, that 1:43 is way too slow.

VA Swim Fan
Reply to  Oldmanswimmer
3 months ago

It was actually 1:32.46. I’m sure they’ll correct it.

VA Swim Fan
3 months ago

Jefferson Forest 400 Free Relay : Jack Mills, Owen Widsiz, Max Schonfelder and Brendan Whitfield.


3 months ago

i love this article

any article with the almighty holy daddy Seliskar’s name are S tier articles