Townley Haas was born on December 13, 1996. He attended Benedictine High School in Richmond, Virginia before attending the University of Texas.
High School Swimming
At the 2013 Junior National Championships, Haas competed in the 100 free (5th, 50.62), 200 free (4th, 1:50.34), and the 400 free (1st, 3:51.99).
At the 2014 Junior National Championships, Townley Swept the 100m-800m Freestyle titles, taking the 100 (50.12), 200 (1:48.75), 400 (3:52.01), and the 800 (8:01.82). It was the first time someone had won 4 events at a summer Jr Nationals since 2009 (Kyle Whitaker).
Townley Haas definitely proved his worth as a freshman, winning the 500 freestyle at the 2016 Men’s NCAA Swimming Championships. While his 4:09.00 did not set any records, he was almost a full second ahead of second place finisher, Florida’s Mitch D’Arrigo. However, the next day he set an NCAA, American, Championship and Pool Record in the 200 Freestyle. His time of 1:30.46 bested the records by .8 seconds, and was well ahead of second place finisher Matias Koski of Georgia (1:31.54). Haas also placed 4th in the 1650 freestyle, proving he could swim distance and middle distance at the National level.
At his second NCAA Championships, Haas picked up a pair of golds and a pair of silvers. He defended his 200 yard freestyle title in 1:30.65. He had established the lead at the halfway point and didn’t let it go, finishing half a second ahead of silver medallists Dylan Carter and Blake Pieroni. Haas’ second gold came in the final race of the meet in the 400 yard freestyle relay. He teamed up with Brett Ringgold, Jack Conger and Joseph Schooling to set a new American and NCAA record in 2:45.39.
In the 500 yard freestyle, Haas wasn’t able to defend his title and had to settle for a silver behind his teammate Clark Smith. He managed to get to the wall in 4:08.92, 0.03 ahead of bronze medallist Felix Auboeck, the Michigan freshman.
In the 800 yard freestyle relay, Haas helped Texas to the silver medal along with Smith, Conger and Jeff Newkirk. Haas also swam the 100 yard freestyle, winning the consolation final in 41.96.
Haas had another successful season with the Longhorns as he won two individual titles and got 6th in the 100 freestyle. Haas was also a part of the 400 and 800 freestyle relays, and helped them place 4th and 3rd respectively. On Thursday night, he won the 500 freestyle with a new best of 5:08.60. The race remained close till the end but Haas managed to hold off Michigan’s Felix Auboeck and beat him by 0.43 seconds.
Haas entered his junior year as the favorite for the 200 freestyle but things took a turn after Blake Pieroni broke Haas’ American Record on Wednesday night. Haas embraced the challenge and broke the record two nights later and became the second swimmer to swim under 1:30 in the 200 freestyle. His time, 1:29.50 broke Pieroni’s record by 0.13 seconds.
Even though the competition was closer this year, the Longhorns managed to win their fourth consecutive title and they became the NCAA Champions once again.
2014 Jr Pan Pacific Championships
After a stellar Jr nationals in 2014, Haas went onto compete at the 2014 Jr Pan Pacific Championships in Maui, Hawaii. There he raced to a victory in the 200 Free (1:48.32), as well as winning the B final in the 100 free (49.55) and 400 free (3:52.67). The time he went to win that B final of the 100 free would have put him on top of the podium by nearly a second had he not been only the 3rd fastest American swimmer in prelims. He teamed up with Liam Egan, Blake Pieroni, and Andrew Seliskar to bring home a gold in the 4x200m Freestyle Relay, leading off with a split of 1:48.29, the fastest split of the field by well over a second. Later in the meet, he anchored USA’s 4x100m Freestyle relay to victory, splitting 49.03, again the fastest split of the field.
2016 U.S. Olympic Trials
Haas qualified for his first Olympic Games after a stunning performance in the 200 meter freestyle. Going into the meet, Haas was seeded 7th in a tough field. At the halfway point he was third behind Conor Dwyer and Ryan Lochte. As the race moved on his endurance showed as he crept up on the leaders. The race all came down to the touch and Haas was the first to the wall (1:45.66) by one hundredth of a second. He described the race as the best of his life.
Earlier in the meet, Haas just missed out on a spot in the 400 meter freestyle with a 3rd place finish (3:45.04).
2016 Rio Olympics
Haas won his first Olympic gold medal as a member of Team USA’s 800 meter freestyle relay. He teamed up with Conor Dwyer, Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps to win in 7:00.66. His split of 1:44.14 was the fastest of all swimmers, 7 tenths of a second faster than the next fastest time, James Guy’s of Great Britain, which was 1:44.85.
In his individual event, Haas finished 5th in the 200 meter freestyle in 1:45.58.
2017 World Championship Trials
At the 2017 Phillips 66 National Championships in Indianapolis, Haas booked his ticket to Budapest with a gold medal swim in the 200 meter freestyle (1:45.03) and a bronze in the 100 meter freestyle (48.20).
2017 FINA World Championships
Haas helped Team USA (Caeleb Dressel, Blake Pieroni & Nathan Adrian) to a gold medal performance in the 4×100 freestyle relay on day one of World Championships in a time of 3:10.06. Teammate Caeleb Dressel leadoff the relay in a new American record 100m freestyle – 47.26.
His second medal of the meet came in the 200 meter freestyle. Haas finished second behind Sun Yang of China in 1:45.04, just off his best time he set at the trials.
Haas added a bronze when he joined with Blake Pieroni, Jack Conger and Zane Grothe in the 4×200 meter freestyle relay. Going into the second leg, USA was in second position, but Haas’ 1:44.58 split moved Team USA up into first. However, Great Britain and Russia had saved their best swimmers for last and took over on the final leg.
On the final day Haas won a gold medal for his heat swim in the 4×100 meter medley relay. He was joined by Ryan Murphy, Cody Miller and Tim Phillips to qualify Team USA into the final seeded first. Matt Grevers, Kevin Cordes, Caeleb Dressel and Nathan Adrian took the gold in the final.