Haley Anderson

View Current photo via Courtesy of Mike Lewis

Haley Anderson was born on Nov. 20, 1991 in Santa Clara, Calif. to parents, Randy and Colette. The Andersons, who reside in Granite Bay, California, are a swimming family: Mom, Colette, swam for the University of Hawaii, younger sister, Jordan, swims for the University of Utah, and older sister, Alyssa, swam for the University of Arizona, and was also a 2012 Olympian.

Youth swimming

Anderson grew up swimming for the Sierra Marlins Swim Team in Folsom. As an age grouper, she broke several Sierra Marlins team records and had a successful high school career. By 2008 she was showcasing her talents as a distance swimmer by finishing 2nd in the 400 meter free (4:13.90), 800 meter free (8:41.57) and the 1500 meter free (16:33.27) at the 2008 Speedo Junior Championships. Anderson did compete in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, but she did not make the team; she was 17th in the 400 IM, 20th in the 400 free, and 25th in the 800 free.

College (University of Southern California)

Out of high school Anderson chose to swim for Dave Salo at USC. During her freshman year at the University of Southern California, Anderson won the 1,650 yard free at the 2010 Pac-10 Championships with a best time of 16:02.53. She was USC’s first Pac-10 champion in the 1,650 since 2005. She was also part of USC’s Pac-10 winning 800 year free relay. At the 2010 NCAA Division 1 championships, Anderson lowered her best time in the 1650 to a 15:59.99 and earned All-America status by finishing 4th in that event.

Anderson’s sophomore year at USC was also impressive. She won the 500 free (4:38.78) and the 1,650 free (15:55.88) at the 2011 Pac-10 Championships. At the 2011 NCAA Division 1 championships she was third in the 1,650 with a USC school record time of 15:48.63. She also swam a personal best time of 4:37.92 in the prelims of the 500 free.

2012–Anderson’s junior year at USC–was another great one for the distance swimmer. At the 2012 Pac-10 Championships, Anderson won the 1650 for the third year in a row with a time of 15:41.52 and won the 500 for the second year in a row with a 4:36.52. These were both Pac-10 and USC records. She was 1st in the 500 free and 3rd in the 1,650 at the 2012 NCAA Division 1 championships. Her 500 free time of 4:34.84 was a USC school record. Anderson finished her college career with another win in the 500 free at the 2013 NCAA Division 1 championships with a time of 4:34.66, lowering her USC school record.

National/International swimming

Anderson was selected for the United States’ 2009 Junior Pan Pacific Championships team. At Junior Pan Pacs in Guam, she won the 800 meter free (8:38.54) and the 1500 meter free (16:30.81). Anderson graduated from Granite Bay High School in 2009 and competed in the 2009 US World Championship Trials that summer. At those Trials, she was 2nd in the 800 meter free with a time of 8:31.66. This second-place finish earned her a spot on the United States’ 2009 World Championship Team. At those Championships in Rome, Anderson was 28th in the 800 and 9th in the 1500 meter free.

Anderson was part of the United States’ 2010 Pan Pacific Championships Team. She began to show her talents as an open water swimmer at those Pan Pacs; she was 4th in the 10K, as well as 4th in the 1500 meter free and 8th in the 800 meter free.

But in 2010 open water swimming became Anderson’s forte–she was given a spot on the United States’ Open Water team after her very first open water race when she finished 6th in the 10K at the 2010 U.S. Open Water Championships. This accomplishment lead to Anderson finishing 4th in the 25K at the 2010 World Open Water Championships in Roberval, Canada.

She then represented the United States at the 2011 World University Games in Shenzen, China after her junior year, where she took home gold in the 1500 meter free and a silver in the 800 meter free. In the summer of 2011, Anderson continued competing as an open water swimmer, taking 4th in the 10K at the US Open Water Nationals.

2012 London Olympics

After the college season, Anderson qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games with a win in the 10K open water race at the FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier in Setubal, Portugal. She also competed at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, swimming the 800 free and the 400 IM. However, she took 3rd in the 800 and 8th in the 400 IM. Yet, the 2012 US Olympic Trials were special for the entire Anderson family, as Haley’s sister Alyssa also qualified for the United States’ Olympic team in the 4×200 free relay.

At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Anderson took home the silver medal in the 10K marathon swim with a time of 1:57:38.6. This was quite an accomplishment considering that Anderson’s first open water race was only two years earlier.

Open water dominance

She won the 5K and was 8th in the 10K at the 2013 U.S. Open Water Championships. Her 1st place finish in the 5K at nationals earned her a spot on the 2013 Open Water World Championships in Barcelona where Anderson took home gold in the 5K.

In early 2014 Anderson announced that she had signed a sponsorship with Dolfin swimwear. That year she finished second at the U.S. Nationals to earn a roster spot on the Pan Pac’s team. Anderson attacked the Pan Pac’s again–this time taking home gold in the 10K OW. She also jumped in the pool for a race, taking seventh overall in the 800 free.

A year later in 2015 Anderson won the 10K and finished second in the 5K at the 2015 U.S. Nationals to earn a roster spot on the World Championship Team in Kazan.

2015 World Championships

At the 2015 Worlds, Anderson placed 9th in the 10k and 1st in the 5k, successfully defending her world title in the event. With her 9th place finish in the 10k, Anderson qualified for her 2nd Olympics.

2016 Olympic Games

Anderson swam the 10k at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she finished 5th in a time of 1:57:20.2, just outside of the medals.

2017 World Championships

Anderson finished second in the team 5K, fifth in the individual 5K and sixth in the 10K at the 2017 World Champs.

2018 U.S. Open Water Championships

Anderson was the runnerup in the women’s 10K at U.S. Open Water Nationals (1:52.29.62), finishing behind winner Ashley Twichell.

2018 U.S. National Championships

Anderson earned the bronze medal in the 400 freestyle (4:07.21) and 800 freestyle (8:24.13) at the Phillips 66 National Championships, both personal bests. She also finished fourth in the 1500 freestyle (personal best 16:04.81) and 18th in the 200 butterfly (2:12.01).

2018 Pan Pacific Championships

Anderson successfully defended her 10k title at the 2018 Pan Pacs, placing 1st by over 1 second with a time of 2:08:24.8. She also lowered her best time in the pool, touching in 16:04.26 in the 1500 to place 5th overall in the timed finals, but as the 3rd fastest American she did not receive an official top 8 finish.

2019 World Championships

To start off the 2019 World Champs, Anderson placed 2nd in the 10k, earning not only a silver medal, but also a spot on her 3rd US Olympic team. She went on to win a bronze medal in the 5k mixed relay event as well.

Originally developed by Christina Wright.

International Medals

Place Event Year Meet
Silver 10000 Open Water 2012 Olympic Games
Gold 5000 Open Water 2013 World Championships
Gold 5000 Open Water 2015 World Championships
Silver 5000 Freestyle Relay 2017 World Championships
Silver 10000 Open Water 2019 World Championships
Bronze 5000 Freestyle Relay 2019 World Championships
Gold 10000 Open Water 2014 Pan Pacific Championships
Gold 10000 Open Water 2018 Pan Pacific Championships

Best Times

Course Event Time Date Meet
scy 500 Free 4:34.48 03/15/12 2012 Women's NCAA Championships
Auburn, Alabama
scy 1650 Free 15:41.52 02/22/12 2012 Women's Pac-12 Championships
Federal Way, Washington
lcm 400 Free 4:06.87 06/14/21 2021 Olympic Trials
Omaha, Nebraska
lcm 800 Free 8:24.13 07/25/18 2018 U.S. National Championship
Irvine, California
lcm 1500 Free 16:04.26 08/12/18 2018 Pan Pacific Championships
Tokyo, Japan
lcm 400 IM 4:43.00 08/02/19 2019 Summer Nationals
Palo Alto, California
Haley Anderson 2019 FINA World Championship Gwangju courtesy of Rafael Domeyko Haley Anderson (photo: Jack Spitser) Haley Anderson (photo: Mike Lewis) Haley Anderson (photo: Mike Lewis)