Kaii Winkler Breaks US 15-16 Age Group Record in the 100 Free, Top American This Season


By Braden Keith on SwimSwam


American 16-year-old Kaii Winkler leveled-up on Saturday morning at the Pro Swim Series stop in Fort Lauderdale when he became the youngest American ever under 49 seconds in the 100-meter freestyle.

Winkler’s swim broke the US 15-16 National Age Group Record in the 100-meter free that was previously set by Thomas Heilman at the 2022 Junior Pan Pac Championships. Winkler’s previous best of 49.45 from December’s US Open ranked him 4th all-time in the age group.

All-Time US 15-16 Rankings:

1 48.81 Kaii Winkler
2023 PSS – Ft Lauderdale
2 49.06 Thomas Heilman 2022 Jr Pan Pacs
3 49.28 Caeleb Dressel
2013 Summer Nationals
4 49.40 Destin Lasco
2018 Summer Nationals
5 49.67 Jack Alexy
2019 Summer Nationals

Splits Comparison:

SPLITS Kaii Winkler – New NAG Record THOMAS HEILMAN – #2 all-time Caeleb Dressel – #3 all-time Kaii Winkler – Previous PB
50m 23.55 23.61 23.15 23.71 23.85
100m 25.26 25.45 26.13 25.74 25.83
FINAL TIME 48.81 49.06 49.28 49.45 49.68

What’s really interesting about this list is that the top three times in age group history have all been done in prelims heats – besides Winkler, Heilman at the Junior Pan Pacs, and Dressel at the Junior National Championships both swam their best times in prelims.

Winkler’s swim was 3rd-best in the heats on Thursday morning and made him the top-seeded junior-aged swimmer by a whopping 34 spots. Canadian Aidan Norman was 37th in prelims in 51.47.

Winkler’s time is a US age group record for 15-16s, and while nobody keeps official global age records at that level, among other notable times around the world are Flynn Southam‘s Australian Record for 16-year-olds of 48.60, and David Popovici‘s global standard of 47.30 from a few months before his 17th birthday.

With the 2023 World Championship Trials and Paris 2024 Olympic Trials looming, Winkler is creeping into territory where he might get selected for one of the major international teams. That swim not only made him the top-finishing American in prelims of the 100 free, but the top American in the long course 100 free in the 2022-2023 season so far – though much of his main competition has yet to race this season.

He also ranks 7th in the world globally this season.

2022-2023 LCM Men 100 Free


2 Guilherme
BRA 47.82 12/09
3 Matthew
GBR 48.41 03/02
4 Andrej
SRB 48.45 12/03
5 Katsuhiro
JPN 48.76 01/21
6 Ruslan
CAN 48.78 03/02
7 Kaii
USA 48.81 03/02

View Top 26»

Winkler trains locally in Miami with Eagle Aquatics, a small club where the head coach is Adam Madarassy.

SwimSwam: Kaii Winkler Breaks US 15-16 Age Group Record in the 100 Free, Top American This Season

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