Winter Junior Nationals: Thomas Heilman, Maximus Williamson Put on 200 Free Show at Separate Sites, Both Set NAG Records

Thomas Heilman of the United States of America prepares to compete in the 100m Butterfly Men Heats during the 20th World Aquatics Championships at the Marine Messe Hall A in Fukuoka (Japan), July 28th, 2023.
Thomas Heilman -- Photo Courtesy: Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Winter Junior Nationals: Thomas Heilman, Maximus Williamson Put on 200 Free Show at Separate Sites, Both Set NAG Records

A pair of future University of Virginia teammates, both regarded as future stars on the international scene, competed at the two different sites of U.S. Winter Junior Nationals to see who could lay down the more impressive performance in the 200-yard freestyle. Both Thomas Heilman and Maximus Williamson broke National Age Group records in the event leading off their respective team’s 800 free relays to launch what will surely be prolific meets for both men.

At the east site in Columbus, Ohio, Heilman led off Cavalier Aquatics’ relay in 1:32.46, crushing the previous NAG mark of 1:33.07 set by Williamson last year by six tenths. Heilman was joined by David KingWill Browne and Will Charlton on the way to a winning time of 6:24.56. Carmel’s team of Gregg EnochAndrew ShackellLewis Zhang and Michael Gorey finished second in 6:29.73, with SwimMAC Carolina’s Freddy KleinGranger BarteeSanti Alzate and Jack Haywood third in 6:30.19.


Maximus Williamson — Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

About one hour later in Westmont, Ill., Williamson had an even more impressive swim up his sleeve. He led off Lakeside Aquatic Club’s relay in 1:32.00, breaking Maxime Rooney’s prior NAG record of 1:32.18 from 2017. Williamson was followed by Cooper Lucas, who split 1:33.57, before Max Hatcher and River Paulk finished off the win in 6:20.34. That entire relay also set a NAG record, knocking almost three seconds off the Carmel’s time of 6:23.21 from 2019, with a relay team that included future U.S. Olympian Jake Mitchell.

Rose Bowl took second in 6:29.54 with Daniel LiLogan NoguchiRay Liu and Nathan Kim, followed by Irvine Novaquatics’ Andrew Maksymowski, Will ChenDerek Hitchens and Glen Santos in 6:33.05.

The Lakeside boys also grabbed a 200 medley relay win at the Westmont meet, albeit in a much closer race. Williamson led off with a 21.96 backstroke split before Lucas, Riccardo Osio and Paulk finished off a 1:27.41 win. In this race, the top three teams were split by less than two tenths. Aquajets’ Luke LogueJack HacklerMicah Davis and Conner Hogan placed second in 1:27.52, followed by FMC’s Szymon MieczkowskiBrady JohnsonJeffrey Hou and Dominic Mazurek in 1:27.58.

In Columbus, Nashville Aquatic Club edged out a Heilman-led Cavalier team for the relay win. Blake AmlickeGray AttmoreSpencer Nicholas and Mack Schumann clocked a mark of 1:26.16, winning by nine hundredths over Cavalier while also breaking the 17-18 NAG record of 1:26.43 set by Spartan Aquatic Club in 2020. Cavalier’s King, Max Moore, Heilman and Brown touched in 1:26.25, with Heilman blasting a 19.87 butterfly split, while Lakeside Swim Team’s Johnny CrushWilson YorkThomas Mercer and Alex Thiesing placed third (1:28.12).

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