Thomas Heilman Takes Half-a-Second Off Maximus Williamson’s NAG Record in the 200 Free


Thomas Heilman, one of the fastest high school swimmers in history, has skipped out on the open-age US Open the last few years to race Winter Juniors instead.

And every time, he does something ridiculous.

The latest head-turning result for the 16-year-old high school junior was a National Age Group Record-smashing 1:32.46 in the 200 yard free done on the leadoff leg of Cavalier Aquatics’ 800 free relay on Wednesday.

That takes more than half-a-second off the old record of 1:33.07 done by Maximus Williamson of the Lakeside Aquatic Club in Texas done at last year’s Winter Juniors – West meet. Heilman and Williamson are the top two recruits in the high school class of 2025 and are both part of a historically-ranked Virginia recruiting class.

That time for Heilman would rank him 10th in the NCAA so far this season – though he’s still 22 months away from his first collegiate meet for the Virginia Cavaliers in the fall of 2025.

Heilman Williamson Heilman
2023 Winter Juniors 2022 Winter Juniors Previous PB
50 21.26 21.51 21.98
100 44.59 (23.33) 45.05 (23.54) 46.02 (24.04)
150 1:08.40 (23.81) 1:09.19 (24.14) 1:10.11 (24.09)
200 1:32.46 (24.06) 1:33.07 (23.88) 1:34.10 (23.99)

Heilman’s previous best time was done on a relay leadoff at this meet last year in 1:34.10, meaning that his swim on Wednesday was a best time by more than 1.6 seconds.

While he closed about the same as in that previous swim, he really dropped time by being much more aggressive on the first 100 yards, abandoning the chase for a pretty, even-split race, and instead building a huge margin on the front-half to hold on to later, which he did successfully.

He combined with David King (1:34.00), Will Browne (1:37.04), and Will Charlton (1:41.06) for a winning time of 6:24.56 in the race, about five seconds ahead of Carmel’s 6:29.73. Carmel’s best split was a 1:34.33 leadoff from Gregg Enoch.

Cavalier Aquatics also finished 2nd in the 200 medley relay with a similar quartet. There, King split 21.83 on backstroke, Max Moore split 24.60 on breaststroke, Heilman split a field-leading 19.87 on fly, and Browne split 19.95 on free. Heilman was one of two sub-20 second fly splits along with Spencer Nicholas (19.97) on the winning Nashville Aquatic Club relay. NAC was 1:26.16, while Cavalier was just behind in 1:26.25, with both swimmers breaking the Winter Juniors Record.

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Juan Cena
2 months ago

Let it begin…

2 months ago

Swimming a 1:32 200 free in high school is unbelievable.

2 months ago

Mel Swim swam is the nick Thiery swim of old. Wow. Just continue to getterdone and fill those shoes.

Summer Love
Reply to  BillPark
2 months ago

RIP Nick Thierry.

His swimming database was unmatched.

Michael Schwartz
2 months ago

Heilman has served over to Williamson…and Williamson has returned…

2 months ago

These kids are getting way outta hand. A 1:32.47 from a 16 year old after becoming the youngest swimmer ever to split under 20 in a 50 fly split to then break a future teammates NAG record is crazy. Then said future teammate goes okay and drops a 1:32.00 a hour later and breaks an legendary NAG record. Thomas is gonna show up to ACC’s in 2026 and break multiple NAG records still for the final time

Edit: btw both guys are now capable of breaking Kaii Winkler’s national HS record.

Last edited 2 months ago by PFA
Reply to  PFA
2 months ago

While the overall level is continuing to improve…what we’re seeing with these two is starting to feel unprecedented. The separation they are hitting between themselves and everyone else, and previous greats is astounding. And they’re doing it in long course concurrently to a level that has not been seen for American males since….well you know. These guys seem like they’re going to be the faces of USA swimming sooner rather than later.

Reply to  Hegetisitsoneagain
2 months ago

They might be next year, one of them is the fastest swimmer in the country in the 2 fly and the fastest American since Michael Phelps the other is the fastest teen freestyler and fastest teen 2 IMer both are in a position to make the Olympic team in multiple events.

Reply to  Hegetisitsoneagain
2 months ago

agreed. And given the event profile they swim — this looks a lot like Phelps/Lochte

Last edited 2 months ago by swimgeek
Reply to  swimgeek
2 months ago

except don’t ask williamson to swim breaststroke lmao. his 4im hurts to watch when it gets to the br leg

2 months ago

Williamson: fine

*breaks the 17-18 NAG 30 minutes later

Texas fan
2 months ago

Then Maximus went 1:32.00

2 months ago

We might finally have some 200freestyle talent capable of breaking MPs American record.

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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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