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Olympic gold medalist Townley Haas to throw out first pitch at The Diamond Saturday

The native Richmonder and gold medal-winning swimmer swam alongside Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Conor Dwyer in Rio.

Trevor Dickerson

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From the Richmond Flying Squirrels:

The Richmond Flying Squirrels are excited to announce that Richmond native Townley Haas will be throwing out the first pitch before Saturday night’s game against the Harrisburg Senators. Townley, who swam for nearby NOVA of Virginia Aquatics, will get an opportunity to show off his throwing arm after winning a gold medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay at the Rio Olympics. The 19-year-old Haas swam the second leg of the race alongside Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Conor Dwyer, claiming the fastest split of the entire field by 0.71 seconds.

“I’m really happy to be back in Richmond,” said Haas, shortly after arriving home with close to 75 people waiting for him at the airport. “It’s just been an incredible honor to represent my country and my family at the Olympics in Rio, and especially to be able to bring home a gold [to Richmond]. To celebrate with our hometown team by throwing a first pitch before a Flying Squirrels game will be an awesome memory.”

Haas grew up in Richmond and graduated from Benedictine College Prep. Before committing to the University of Texas, he swam for head coach Geoff Brown at NOVA of Virginia Aquatics. NOVA has been in Richmond since 1987, and has grown exponentially over the years from 90 swimmers to around 800. Haas is now the most famous alum of the program, which boasts an impressive list of past and present collegiate swimmers.

“We’re all excited to have Townley here on Saturday night,” said Flying Squirrels Vice President and COO Todd “Parney” Parnell. “He’s an inspiration for this city, and anybody that watched him swim in the gold medal race knows how special he is. We want Townley and his family to have a great time Saturday night.”

The Flying Squirrels will return home to The Diamond on Friday, August 19th for Grateful Dead Night & Happy Hour. The full promotional schedule can be viewed here. Tickets are available by visiting www.squirrelsbaseball.com.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.