Townley Haas seals spot at Rio; 1st in 200 freestyle

Townley Haas (File Photo)
Townley Haas (File Photo)

OMAHA (KXAN) — A one thousandth of a second made the difference, but either way Townley Haas booked his spot on the US Olympic Swim Team Tuesday night. The Longhorn senior won the 200 meter freestyle final, out-touching Connor Dwyer for the first place finish.

A riveting race full of Longhorns and star-power, Haas beat Ryan Lochte, Dwyer and three of his Longhorn teammates for the top podium locale.

“I didn’t know until I looked up, even still. I was still in shock, I guess. I think I’m still a little in shock,” Haas said.

Haas is on to Rio with the Tuesday finish and his teammates, Jack Conger and Clark Smith, will likely join him. Conger finished third, Smith finished sixth. The 4×200 relay team will be comprised of six of the eight 200 freestyle finalists. Normally, the top six finishers which would add two more Longhorns to the 2016 Olympic class.

“It’s incredible. I mean, you know, you have the two greatest coaches in the world (at Texas), Eddie (Reese) and Kris (Kubik), training us, pushing us, and, you know, I swim next to or behind Clark every day and, you know, it’s just — I guess it’s just not that surprising, knowing how hard we work and how great of coaches they are and — but it’s just incredible for me and all three of us,” Haas said.

Haas’ 2016 trials aren’t complete. He’ll swim the 100 freestyle tomorrow with the hopes of making a second Olympic event.

“I think it’s more pressure off. I made the team tonight, so it would be awesome to make it again in another event, but, you know, at this point just having fun,” Haas said.

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