No. 1 Backstroker in Canada, Kyle Haas, Signs With University of Toronto

By Mike Thompson, Swimming World Canadian contributor

OAKVILLE, Ontario, Canada, October 16. KYLE Haas, the fastest backstroker in the current high school class in the 50 & 100m backstrokes (scm) has signed to swim with defending men’s national champions University of Toronto for the Fall of 2014.

“Obviously we are excited to attract a top athlete like Kyle to the University of Toronto,” said head coach Byron MacDonald. “He has natural speed and will make an immediate impact on our team as we continue to be in the hunt or the national team title.”

Haas, from Georgetown, Ontario swam for the Halton Hills Blue Fins until this season when he switched to Sean Baker’s program in Oakville.

Haas won the Eastern Canadian Championships in Montreal last season in the 50 & 100 backstrokes in times of 25.07 and 54.61 respectively (scm). Both times would place top 8 at last season’s CIS Championships and would add to the growing depth at the University of Toronto. Haas is also a fixture in the final of both events at Canadian National Championships and has strong results in sprint freestyle as well.

Haas will join third year Matt Myers for a formidable 1-2 punch in the backstroke events, although Meyers tends to perform better in the 200. Myers improved from nowhere to win the 200m backstroke national title last summer in the fastest time done by a Canadian all year.

Haas will be part of a powerful training group at the U of T pool. Staying close to home and training close to Ben Titley was important to Haas. Titley was the coach of world record holding backstroker Liam Tancock and now heads up the National Training Centre in Toronto. The depth of the training group at U of T also attracted him.

“On site there are more federally carded (world ranked) athletes than anywhere else in the country,” MacDonald said.

Haas is the first athlete to sign on to U of T for next season.

Mike Thompson, a Swimming World contributor from Canada, is the senior sprint coach at the vaunted Oakville Aquatic Club in Canada. He also hosts the Coach Mike Podcast, that includes interviews with some of the top Canadian talent.

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