2012 & 2016 Olympian - United States
@SwimHaley - twitter & instagram
STATUS:RIO 2016 Olympic TEAM QUALIFIED/EARNED SPOT (Marathon Swimming)
2x WORLD CHAMPION. OLYMPIC MEDALIST. PAN PACIFIC CHAMPION. US NATIONAL CHAMPION. NCAA CHAMPION.
Haley grew up in Northern California and began swimming at age 4. Her and her siblings all loved to swim, something that they picked up from their mom Colette who swam at the NCAA level at the University of Hawaii. She and her older sister Alyssa swam with the Sierra Marlins Swim Team and much of time they seemed to be inseparable where folks thought that they were twins.
As Haley progressed primarily in her favorite stroke of Freestyle she began to attract attention as one of the next generation that could have the potential to be amongst the elite of USA Swimming. In between her junior and senior years of HS, she was invited to participate in the 2008 Olympic Trials in 4 disciplines. This experience of being able to go to Olympic Trials at the age of 15 would glean later for 2012. After graduating from Granite Bay HS, she qualified for the 2009 World Championships by finishing 2nd at the US World Championship Trials in the 800m freestyle. At the age of 17, Haley got a taste of the best of the best taking 9th in the 1500m and 28th in the 800m freestyle.
With great experiences from Olympic Trials to FINA Worlds in her back pocket, Haley competed for the US at the 2009 Jr Pan Pacs against competition her own age and she captured GOLD in the 800m & 1500m freestyle.
In the Fall of 2009, Haley enrolled at national swim power, the University of Southern California and her next journey began. In her freshman year, she earned 2x All-American honors, a 2010 Pac-10 Championship in the 1650y free & 800y free relay (beating her sister in the 3rd leg who was swimming for Arizona) and a 2nd place Pac-10 finish in the 500y free. At the completion of her collegiate season, Haley got her first taste of Open Water, by qualifying to compete at the 2010 World Open Water Championships by finishing 6th at the US trials. At the World Championships, she finished 4th in the 25k race.
Over the next two years at USC, Haley was able to add more hardware in conference and was rewarded to a trip to the World University Games in China where she brought home the GOLD for the US in the 1500m free. Additionally, Haley also won her 1st NCAA championship in the 500yd free in 2012.
Grander things lay ahead of Haley who had her eye on the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London and she earned her spot by capturing the FINA Olympic Marathon Swim Qualifier in Portugal in June of 2012 over Hungary's Eva Risztov. At the Summer Olympics, Haley was able to bring home the 1st (male or female) Open Water medal for the US winning the SILVER. She was 0.4 off the pace for the GOLD (1:57:38.6) in the 10k marathon swim event behind Ms Risztov (1:57:38.2) and finishing ahead of race favorites Martina Grimaldi of Italy (1:57:41.8) who finished 3rd and Keri-Anne Payne of Team GB (1:57:42.2) who finished 4th respectively.
Haley returned to USC for her senior year and graduated (May 2013) with a degree in Communications. She wrapped up her career at USC with 11x All American honors, 7x Pac-12 Conference Champion and 3 NCAA titles (500y - twice & 1650y free).
Haley had a choice to make after completing her course load at USC and that was to compete in 10K or go to commencement ceremonies. She opted to go to Nationals where honestly she didn't have a very good race in the 10K being torn between the two. She followed that performance up later that week where she won her first US National Championship in the 5k thus qualifying for the FINA World Championships.
“I didn’t walk at graduation and I didn’t do well in the 10K so it was a pretty tough day, But I knew if wanted to make the worlds team I had to win the 5K. There really was no other option. I had to put that race out of mind and just win the 5K. I went for it in that 5K to make the team and I’ve been focused on this 5K ever since then."
At the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Haley won the US’s first female GOLD in the 5k event edging a Brazilian by .02 seconds with a time of 56:34.2. Her win was the first by an American in Open Water since Chip Peterson in 2005 won the 10K.
In the summer of 2014, Haley added 2 more medals at the US Open Water championships in Castaic Lake, CA defending her championship in the 5k and adding her second Silver in the 10k event. She has now qualified herself for the prestigious Pan Pacs which are held every four years. A side note, her sister Jordan competed vs Haley in the 5k for the first time as well.
In August 2014, Haley competed in the Phillips 66 US National Championships in Irvine, CA. At this competition, Haley became the first US swimmer and likely the first US Olympic athlete (winter or summer) to have her twitter name used in competition. She has replaced her last name on her swim cap for @SwimHaley.
After this event, she was named officially to the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships team as a result of her Open Water performances in the summer. The Pan Pacs were held in Australia, but due to poor water quality, sharks and other environmental challenges the event was subsequently moved to Maui. With the move, didn't dent Haley's resolve and she ultimately won by .01 her first Pan Pacific Championship.
In the Fall of 2014, Haley and fellow Open Water swimmer Andrew Gemmell were awarded with the 2014 Golden Goggles award for Perseverance as it related to the struggles of being able to race at Pan Pacs ultimately on two continents and a trip back to Los Angeles in 10 days.
At the 2015 US Open Water Nationals in Miramar Lakes, FL, Haley added a 3rd US National Championship in the 5k, but the real challenge that she had was in the 10k race. The 10k race had additional meaning because it was serving as the qualifier for USA Swimming at the 2015 FINA World Championship in Kazan, Russia. Only the Top 2 winning competitors would gain a berth into that race. The importance of that race is that a Top 10 finish would guarantee you a spot in Rio 2016 and not have to rely upon the last chance qualifier that happens in the Spring of 2016. The United States can earn 2 spots in all for the women's discipline. In what was a tremendous finish, Haley ultimately finished 2nd (to Becca Mann) but punched her ticket to Kazan. The silver medal for Haley matched her result from 2014.
At the 2015 FINA World Championship, Haley won the first GOLD of the event with her 5k Open Water title, defending her 2013 title. The race itself she used as a tuneup for the all important 10k race referenced above which takes place on July 28th where she has the opportunity to clinch an Olympic berth. Her win gave the United States their 500th medal all time at the FINA World Championships.
In December of 2015 at the AT&T Winter Nationals outside of Seattle, Haley added Gold medals in the 800m Free & 200m Fly Silver medal in the 400m Free.
In Spring of 2016, USA Swimming invited the world's best to compete in historically a U.S. only event, the US National Open Water Championship. For foreign athletes it would be an opportunity to qualify athletes for the FINA Olympic Open Water (last chance) meet and bring together Olympic qualifiers to the United States in Miromar Lakes, FL. Haley added a Silver medal in the 5k race that was so close to Gold that it took event organizers over a half an hour to piece together the ending.
Haley will go to Omaha and try to qualify to compete in the Long Course pool events for the U.S. Swim Team in June/July 2016.
When not in the pool, Haley really enjoys reading (a huge fan of the Harry Potter series) and enjoying the company of her friends, getting out and experiencing the sounds and sights of Southern California going to sporting events from the LA Kings to the Lakers and the Dodgers along with her boyfriend Chase (who swam at USC as well, today a coach there). They reside together in Manhattan Beach.
Her goal is to capture the US’ first Olympic Gold in Open Water swimming at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games.