U.S. Junior Nationals: Thomas Heilman Earns Victory in Quick 100 Freestyle Final

Thomas Heilman -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

U.S. Junior Nationals: Thomas Heilman Earns Victory in Quick 100 Freestyle Final

On the second night of U.S. Junior Nationals in Irvine, Calif., three swimmers went under the 50-second barrier for the first time in the men’s 100 freestyle. Leading the way was 15-year-old National-Age-Group-record-breaker Thomas Heilman, who went out in 24.00 and held off a late charge from 200 freestyle specialist Henry McFadden. Heilman, representing Cavalier Aquatics, already finished second in the 200 butterfly in Irvine, and here he touched in 49.67, while McFadden of the Jersey Wahoos finished in 49.72. Zionsville’s Will Modglin claimed third in 49.97.

In that race, Heilman tied with Jack Alexy to become the third-fastest 15-16 performer in U.S. history in the event. He sits behind only Caeleb Dressel, the future Olympic champion whose National Age Group record stands at 49.28, and Destin Lasco, and with more than a full year left to go before aging up, Heilman will definitely have a shot at this Dressel record. McFadden, meanwhile, moved to No. 7 all-time in the age group.

In the women’s 100 free, Tide Swimming’s Kayla Wilson took the win in 55.09 as she barely overtook Indiana’s Kristina Paegle, who took second in 55.15. Carmel’s Alex Shackell, already the 200 fly winner, placed third in 55.38.

Scarlet’s Chloe Kim won the women’s 400 IM in 4:43.45, while North Coast’s Kathryn Hazle finished strong to take second ahead of 14-year-old Avery Klamfoth from SwimMAC, 4:45.01 to 4:45.72. Tualatin Hills’ Diego Nosack got the win in the men’s 400 IM in 4:20.20, with Baylor’s Luke Hitchcock touching out Dynamo’s Owen McDonald for second place, 4:22.29 to 4:22.33.

The Carmel women placed first in the 800 free relay in 8:14.23 with Shackell, Lexie WardVivian Wilson and Molly Sweeney comprising the quartet. Longhorn Aquatics, with Manning HaskalDaniel LiMatthew Stephenson and Truman Armstrong, placed first in the men’s relay in 7:25.36.