Thomas Heilman, Only 15, Gets Third 15-16 NAG Record This Week With 1:40.86 200 Fly

by Robert Gibbs 1

December 10th, 2022 National, News, Previews & Recaps


We get it. You shouldn’t expect a 15 year-old kid to break a National Age Group record every time he swims, but it’s tough to blame swim fans for at least having the idea in the back of their heads each time Thomas Heilman dives off the blocks.

Sure enough, the Cavalier Aquatics’ swimmer broke his third National Age Group record of the meet tonight with a 1:40.86 in the 200 fly. That time moves him up to #1 all-time in the 15-16 age group, ahead of Luca Urlando’s 1:40.91 from 2018.

All-Time Rankings Boys 15-16 200 Yard Fly

  1. Thomas Heilman, 1:40.86 – 2022
  2. Luca Urlando, 1:40.91 – 2018
  3. Aiden Hayes, 1:41.34 – 2019
  4. Michael Phelps, 1:42.10 – 2002
  5. Ilya Kharun, 1:42.39 – 20121

Heilman came into today with a lifetime best of 1:44.14, before going 1:42.06 in prelims. That time was enough to rank him 4th all-time in the age group, ahead of a certain Michael Phelps. But tonight, he skipped over 1:41 completely, knocking another 1.20s off of his best time in the process and becoming only the second guy in the age group to go under 1:41.

The Virginia native has been on the national scene for a while now, having broken his first national age group record nearly five years ago. But he’s taken it to another level the last few days, having broken age group records in the 200 IM and the 100 fly by wide margins.

Despite being only 15, Heilman is in a realm where we’ve been contextualizing his swims by comparing them to NCAA Division I times. Tonight’s time would’ve just missed qualifying for the A-final at the 2022 NCAA Championships, ranking 10th in prelims. But it would’ve won the B-final and finished 7th in the A-final, further illustrating how Heilman is one of the youngest men in recent years to have NCAA scoring times in multiple events.

Soon after the 200 fly, Heilman capped off the night, and the meet, by leading off his team’s 400 free relay. His time of 42.96 moves him up to #5 all-time in the age group, displacing Drew Kibler’s 42.99.


  1. Kaii Winkler, 42.21 – 2022
  2. Maximus Williamson, 42.49 – 2022 (swum tonight leading off the 400 free relay)
  3. Ryan Hoffer, 42.67 – 2014
  4. Jack Alexy, 42.87 – 2019
  5. Thomas Heilman, 42.96 – 2016

Per the USA Swimming database, Heilman moved ahead of Williamson as the fastest 15 year-old ever in the 100 free. Williamson previously held the mark at 42.98 from earlier this year.

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5 months ago

Word on the street is that Thomas Heilman has been taking alien slurp juice administered by the boys of SMU in order to recruit him and boost his performance

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