#2 Recruit in Class of 2015 Townley Haas, Last Top-20 Recruit in Class, Makes College Decision

Townley Haas is the defending long course Junior National Champion in four events

Townley Haas is the defending long course Junior National Champion in four events

Christmas came early for the Texas Longhorns men’s swim team, as after much deliberation, freestyle phenom Townley Haas has verbally committed to Eddie Reese’s squad. Haas, ranked #2 in the class of 2015, was the last of the SwimSwam top 20 recruits in the class of 2015, male or female, to announce his college decision, and is the last American likely to have an impact at the NCAA level as a freshman to publicly commit.

Haas is a rarified type of recruit who will immediately be an NCAA scoring threat at every distance from 50 yards to 1650 yards in the freestyle events, though it seems most likely that the 50 won’t be in his individual repertoire. Haas is one of the best all-around freestylers coming out of high school not only in his class, but in his generation.

In yards, Haas’ best times:

  • 50 free – 20.41 (done last week)
  • 100 free – 43.82
  • 200 free – 1:35.19
  • 500 free – 4:14.19
  • 1000 free – 8:53.31
  • 1650 free – 14:49.49
  • 100 fly – 49.86
  • 200 fly – 1:50.97

Haas, despite being on the younger end of the 17-18 age group, now ranks 24th all-time in the 200 free, 4th in the 500 free, 5th in the 1000 free, and 13th in the 1650 free.

And for all he’s done in yards, Haas has been even faster in long course, and seems to be on-track for a potential Olympic bid (leading many to speculate that part of the reason for his long decision-making period was toying with the idea of not participating in NCAA swimming until after the 2016 Olympic Trials).

Haas’ long course bests, and all-time 17-18 ranks by Americans:

  • 50 free – 23.13 (t-46th)
  • 100 free – 49.55 (8th)
  • 200 free – 1:48.29 (3rd)
  • 400 free – 3:52.01 (18th)
  • 800 free – 8:00.99 (11th)
  • 1500 free – 16:01.74

Haas joins a great Texas distance freestyle tradition that is heavy with a history of success, including names like Michael McBroom, Michael Klueh, Jackson Wilcox, and Matt Hooper. Haas’ best time would already rank him 5th, behind those 5 men, on Texas’ all-time rankings.

By the time Haas arrives in Austin, Clay Youngquist, Nick Munoz and Jake Ritter will be out of eligibility, but Haas will still have names like a season with Sam Lewis, a season with Matt Ellis, and the breakout sophomore sensation Clark Smith to train with across his wide range.

He’ll also most likely have some of the above as post-grads, plus Michael McBroom – the 2013 World Championships silver medalist in the 800 meter free, around. For a swimmer as good as Haas, it will take more than one swimmer to challenge him in practice across the freestyle distances, and the 2014 NCAA runners-up have the swimmers across that range to do so.

Haas, who swims for NOVA of Virginia and attends Benedictine High School, would have scored individually last year at NCAA’s in the 500 and 1650 frees. He’s a member of the USA Swimming Junior National Team and in long course is the defending USA Swimming Junior National Champion in the 100, 200, 400, and 800 meter freestyles.

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Teammate
7 years ago

Townleys has been on my summer team, Church Run, as long as I can remember! He is going to do great things and I cannot wait to see him in the Olympics! I’ll be rooting for you Townley!!!!!!!

tgm
7 years ago

Great technique. Not everybody can kick that well and have a fast, easy turnover.

pwb
7 years ago

Awesome, awesome news and a most excellent choice.

PsychoDad
7 years ago

Great Christmas gift for all Longhorn fans. Hook’em.

bobo gigi
7 years ago

Hopefully he will continue to improve there to reach the international level in the next years.
Clay Youngquist was very promising (1.48 in the 200 free LCM in 2010) and didn’t improve since then.
Mr Haas has the great mix of speed and endurance to become a 200/400 free international contender.
And about 2016 his best shot is the 4X200 free relay in my opinion. If he can swim 1.46 low then he can qualify for Rio. USA needs new talents on that distance. Haas, Conger (I still believe in him for the 200 free, but does he want it?), Rooney and Malone are these new talents. And of course Lasco in 5/6 years. 🙂
Big pick for Texas.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  bobo gigi
7 years ago

Defenetly one of the best freestylers i have seen in Usa this year ! very promising relay team mate for RIO along With Malone and Rooney As U mentioned very well .

Pool swam
7 years ago

????? 16:01 mile LCM for some one of that speed is trash. 14:49 SCY is insanely fast, something must be wrong.

duckduckgoose
Reply to  Braden Keith
7 years ago

Any insight into what the hold up on committing was? Sort of thought he was waiting to see how things played out with Bauerle at Georgia, but he didn’t commit to the Dawgs.

SwimGAfan
Reply to  duckduckgoose
7 years ago

Had never even had the chance to speak with Bauerle, and he and family were surely waiting to do that. Couple that with effort Reese put forth recruiting and visiting his family, and that probably sealed the deal. All three of his college choices surely kept their offers on the table until he was ready to decide. But Bauerle not being able to participate in recruiting and talk to them until later in 2015 probably cost them. The timing of the NCAA’s decision related to him seems to be what ultimately pushed Texas to the top.

TheTroubleWithX
Reply to  Pool swam
7 years ago

I think it’s fairly safe to say he’s pretty well focused on 100/200/400 for long course. Based on this summer, his best shot at making the Olympic team in 2016 is almost certainly on the 4×200 relay.

Joel Lin
7 years ago

Agreed — Cal and Texas are looking ridiculously loaded for the next 3-5 years. That is going to develop into a great rivalry.

UVAfan
7 years ago

Texas could have at least ironed his shirt for the picture!

Proud Teammate
Reply to  UVAfan
7 years ago

I think he has more important things on his mind!!! Great job T!!!!

UVAFAN
Reply to  Proud Teammate
7 years ago

I was just kidding. I’m sure we will see Townley in a future olympics. Great snag for Texas. Congrats to Townley!

Reply to  UVAfan
7 years ago

18 year old boy? I’m 27 and I just learned how to iron and why it is important. Cut him some slack man! We’re both uva fans here!!!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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