Junior National Champ Townley Haas Picks University of Texas

Townley Haas

RICHMOND – The University of Texas men’s swim team got the last big recruit in this season, nabbing multiple junior national champion Townley Haas Tuesday evening.

Haas was the last holdout in this recruiting season, waiting until Christmas week to make his choice, while others had already signed National Letters of Intent last month. No matter the date, it gives the Longhorns plenty of reason to celebrate.

Haas was the standout at last summer’s junior nationals, winning the 100, 200, 400 and 800 freestyles. He nearly broke the 17-18 national age group records in three of the four events, ranking himself among the top athletes in the 17-18 age group. He’s just 17 years old, with plenty of potential ahead of him.

In short course yards, he made some big strides earlier this month at the USA Swimming nationals, nearly winning the 500 freestyle with a 4:14.19. He was also 10th in the 200 free with a 1:35.19, tying his lifetime best. With a personal best of 43.82 in the 100 free, it’s clear Haas will be a very key player in relay events for Eddie Reese.

The Nova of Virginia freestyler had already made a name for himself earning Swimming World’s Performance of the Week back in August and 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.