Quantcast

Faster Than Phelps: Ten-Year-Old Thomas Heilman Breaks National Record

Posted: Updated:
10-year-old Thomas Heilman 10-year-old Thomas Heilman
Heilman set a national record in the boys 100-yard Fly Heilman set a national record in the boys 100-yard Fly
The Brownsville Elementary student practices four times a week at the Brooks Family YMCA in Charlottesville The Brownsville Elementary student practices four times a week at the Brooks Family YMCA in Charlottesville
CYAC head coach Alex Rayle CYAC head coach Alex Rayle
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Central Virginia has some talented swimmers.

Albemarle High School alum's Matt Lockman and Holly Harper competed at the U.S. Olympic trials in 2016.

UVa has a number of medal winners, with Leah Smith the latest to bring home Olympic gold.

Now there's a new kid on the block, with the emphasis on "Kid."

Ten-year-old Thomas Heilman won six races at the Winterfest Meet in College Park last month, including the 100-yard Fly.

"My favorite stroke is the Butterfly," says Heilman.  "I don't really like doing the short races, like the 50's.  I like having a little bit of time to get into the swim, so I like doing the one-hundred."

In the race in Maryland, the Brownsville Elementary student made his final turn before the rest of the field was halfway through its third lap.

When he touched the wall to take first place, Heilman was not only faster than every swimmer in the pool that day, he was faster than any 10-year-old who competed in the 100-yard Fly...ever.

Heilman says,  "I was just trying to have fun.  If I got the record, I got it.  If not, it was all fine."

'The Record' is the 10-and-under National Age Group Record in the 100-yard Fly.

His time of 58.36 seconds shattered the previous mark by over one second.

Heilman says, "I was trying to be cool, and not get too excited, because I still have lots of work to keep doing, and keep getting better."

"He's faster than Michael Phelps was at 10-years-old," says Charlottesville YMCA Aquatics Club (CYAC) head coach Alex Rayle.

Phelps held the national record in 1996 with a time of 1:08.54 seconds.

Alex Rayle has been coaching Heilman for two years, with the Crozet Gators, and with CYAC at the Brooks Family YMCA in Charlottesville.

"He's kind of got the whole package," says Rayle.  "He's big and strong for somebody his age.  He is dedicated, he's a hard worker, and he is also a great racer.  It's kind of hard to find all three in somebody who is so young."

With a sparkling resume, Heilman will eventually be flooded with college scholarship offers.

But at 10-years-old, he still has plenty of time to just be a kid.

"I haven't started thinking about that yet," says Heilman.  "I'm just living in the moment."

Thomas Heilman turns 11-years-old on February 7th.

He is already the Number-One ranked swimmer in the state in the boys 100-yard Fly at the 11&12 age group.