Photo by Kristin Karkoska
PHOENIX, Arizona, August WHEN you look back on the USA Swimming junior nationals that just completed in Irvine, California, the name Townley Haas should almost come immediately to mind.
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The Nova of Virginia freestyler had already made a name for himself, breaking Michael Phelps’ national age group record in the 500 freestyle less than a year ago. But he’s definitely one to watch now after winning four freestyle events at juniors. He started with an impressive 50.12 in the 100 free, then switched over to distance gear the next day with a 3:52.01 in the 400 free. Win number three was a 1:48.75 in the 200 free in a close race, then he capped it all off with the 800 freestyle. Haas was pretty much unchallenged, taking the win in 8:01.82. While Haas left the meet with the award for the most points scored, he didn’t get any meet records, falling a cumulative two tenths of a second short across all three of his events. The most agonizing one was probably the 800 free, missing Chad La Tourette’s eight-year-old record by just seven hundredths of a second.
This is a major talent in the junior ranks, and we could see him improve steadily and make a name for himself at the senior level very soon. Congratulations, Townley. You’ve won the Speedo Performance of the Week.