USA Swimming Junior Nationals: Maxime Rooney Blasts 200 Free During Prelims

Editorial coverage for U.S. Junior Nationals proudly sponsored by Q Swimwear!

IRVINE, California, August 2. PLEASANTON’s Maxime Rooney had the swim of the morning as he put a hurting on his personal record with the top seed in the men’s 200-meter free.  Plenty of other fast swims also happened during day four prelims at USA Swimming Junior Nationals.

Scheduled Events

  • Women’s 100 back
  • Men’s 100 back
  • Women’s 200 free
  • Men’s 200 free
  • Women’s 200 breast
  • Men’s 200 breast




Women’s 100 back

Photo Courtesy: David Farr

Photo Courtesy: David Farr

Carmel Swim Club doesn’t seem to have a care in the world with the way its swimmers are dominating this meet. After demonstrating sprint freestyle superiority two nights ago, Carmel proved it has some sprint backstroke ability as well. Amy Bilquist (1:01.27) and Claire Adams (1:01.64) went 1-2 in the preliminary heats. That’s a personal best for both as they both have been in the 1:01 range, but not to this speed. Tonight, Carmel might just have a pair of swimmers break 1:01 for the first time.

T2’s Elise Haan raced her way to a third-seeded 1:02.16 as Paul Yetter is working his magic on age groupers after first getting T2 Aquatics notoriety with some more veteran swimmers like Erika Erndl and Justine Bowker.

BCH’s Abby Richter (1:02.57), Y-Sparta’s Danielle Galyer (1:02.68), SoCal’s Emily Eastin (1:02.87), CyFair’s Cameron McHugh (1:02.90) and Byron Center’s Taylor Garcia (1:02.92) made the A final. PASA’s Ally Howe also cleared 1:03, but just missed the top eight with a 1:02.96.

Men’s 100 back

Photo Courtesy: David Farr

Photo Courtesy: David Farr

Dynamo’s Michael Taylor, just 15, raced to the top of the pack out of prelims with a time of 55.83.  That’s not far off Vlad Morozov’s meet record of 55.46 from 2010, and that time should fall this evening when everyone is vying for a junior national title.  Tualatin’s Patrick Mulcare placed second in 56.34 to beat his lifetime best of 56.76, while 15-year-old pro Michael Andrew will need to turn on the jets to be the best at his age in the finale after clocking a third-place 56.36.  That’s still a personal best for Andrew, clearing his previous mark of 56.39 from the Charlotte stop of the Arena Grand Prix.

Andrew has a bit of a tough time when it comes to perception versus reality.  He’s been setting personal bests with regularity here at juniors, which would be phenomenal for any ordinary 15-year-old swimmer.  The point of a pinnacle meet is breaking your best times.

The problem for Andrew is that it used to be that every time he lowered a lifetime best, it was a national age group record before he aged up to 15 years old.  And, with a national age group record comes a separate report about the record in itself.  Right now, he’s battling against some unreal expectations.  He would have to beat Taylor as the top 15 year old in the heat and lower Ryan Murphy’s 15-16 age group record of 53.76 to get the same push from his swim as he would have when he was 14.

That’s a tough task.

Meanwhile, Badger’s Patrick Conaton (56.51), Roadrunner’s Brock Bonetti (56.74), FAST’s Joey Reilman (56.99) and Cheyenne Mountain’s Daniel Carr (57.06) qualified fourth through seventh.  Pleasanton’s Maxime Rooney and KING’s Thomas Andersen set up a swimoff for eighth with matching 57.10s. Rooney elected to scratch out of the swimoff to focus on his 200-meter freestyle tonight.

Women’s 200 free

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Roadrunner’s Stanzi Moseley, 16, and Scottsdale’s Taylor Ruck, 14, had some impressive swims this morning as both clocked in with 2:00 times to lead qualifying.  Moseley paced the field with a 2:00.37, bettering her 2:02.65 lifetime best from the Fran Crippen TYR Swim Meet of Champions.

Ruck, meanwhile, posted a 2:00.82 and is half-a-second back of her best 2:00.27 from sectionals. It’s doubtful that it would happen tonight, but if Ruck can have a similar time drop as Moseley just did, she could challenge Sippy Woodhead’s 1978 13-14 national age group record of 1:58.53.

Rockville-Montgomery’s Anna Kolanowski finished third in 2:01.12 with Pleasanton’s Erika Brown finishing fourth overall in 2:01.36.  Loveland’s Eryn Eddy and Waves of Bloomington’s Melissa Pish tied for fifth with matching 2:01.38s.  Saint Andrew’s Megan Moroney (2:01.56) and City of Mobile’s Paige Madden (2:01.69) rounded out the championship heat.  Marietta Marlins’ Stephanie Peters also broke 2:02, but missed out on the top eight with a 2:01.90.

Men’s 200 free

Photo Courtesy: Kristin Karkoska

Photo Courtesy: Kristin Karkoska

Heading into the morning, it might have been a foregone conclusion that NOVA of Virginia’s Townley Haas would charge his way to a third freestyle victory after already winning the 100 and 400 freestyles this week.  But, Pleasanton’s Maxime Rooney turned some heads with his swim in prelims.

Out of heat 13 of 19, Rooney blasted a ridiculously fast 1:49.70.  That’s a massive personal best for Rooney, battering his previous time of 1:54.41 from 2012.  Not only did he cut nearly five seconds from his 200, the 16-year-old moved to within a second of Caeleb Dressel’s 15-16 national age group record that also stands as the meet mark with a 1:48.64 from a year ago.  That’s also the third-fastest swim by anyone in the 15-16 age division.

AGUA’s Michael Domagala qualified second in 1:50.18 with Haas checking in with a third-place time of 1:50.75.  Both have been a bit faster, but are going to need some serious speed this evening if Rooney drops anymore time.

Dayton Raiders’ Brock Turner (1:51.40), Terrapins’ Michal Zyla (1:51.47), Tennessee’s Walker Higgins (1:51.57), Iowa Flyers’ Aidan Keen (1:51.76) and Machine’s James Murphy (1:52.08) also made their way into the championship finale.

Women’s 200 breast

Guess it was a good thing to be named some variation of Em this morning in the 200-meter breaststroke qualifying heats.  Aspen’s Emma Cain (2:30.40), Spokane Waves’ Emma Schanz (2:30.73) and Swim Fort Lauderdale’s Emily Kopas (2:31.98) went 1-2-3 in prelims, and each of them can go faster with lifetime bests of 2:29.17, 2:30.63 and 2:31.61, respectively.  Challenging Allie Szekely’s meet record of 2:26.35 from 2012 might be a tough ask, but we should see an exciting battle nonetheless.

Y-Sparta’s Savanna Faulconer (2:32.49), Nashville’s Tatum Wade (2:32.76), SwimMAC’s Maija Roses (2:32.86), Ozaukee’s Katie Drabot (2:33.21) and Livonia’s Miranda Tucker (2:33.36) picked up the rest of the transfer spots into the championship heat.

Men’s 200 breast

Photo Courtesy: Mike Comer/

Photo Courtesy: Mike Comer/

HEAT’s Ross Palazzo easily had the top swim of the morning with a 2:16.00. That’s a best by just more than half-a-second, downing his 2:16.69 from this meat a year ago.  Cardinal’s Todd Owen finished second in 2:17.17, while Arizona Marlins’ Matthew Anderson snared third in 2:17.29.

PASA’s Curtis Ogren and Xcel’s Ethan Browne posted matching times of 2:17.41 to tie for fourth, while Current’s Tommy Brewer finished sixth in 2:17.80.  SwimAtlanta’s Joseph Portillo picked up eighth in 2:18.95.

The big storyline to watch for in the finale is whether 14-year-old Reece Whitley of Penn Charter can take down his current 13-14 national age group record.  This morning, he cruised to a seventh-seeded 2:17.94.  He owns the record with a 2:16.48 from the Middle Atlantic Senior Championships just a few weeks ago.



  1. avatar

    Women’s 200 Free – Don’t know why it is so unlikely, as you suggest, that Ruck will have the same 2 second drop as Mosley. On the opening night she won the C final 200 Back with a 2:13, dropping from 2:17 in prelims, followed by winning the B final 100 Free at :55.79 (trailing only times by Bilquist and Mosely), dropping over a second from her :56.9x coming into the meet. Dropping over 4 seconds in a 200 and over a second in her 100 makes me not necessarily expect but puts me in a position to not be all that surprised is she drops 2 seconds from her 2:00.27 coming into the meet, thus making a shot at Sippy’s then (36 years ago) world record time not unreasonable. And unless there has been some change, this is the end of her season. As of the last version of Srs. psych sheet she is not entered in the meet.

    Go Taylor!

    • avatar

      You make a lot of sense, Duncan.

      I think as a writer it is one thing to write that someone is likely to take down a Ryan Murphy (more recent) record. But, it gets a bit sticky when talking about those Sippy records. They are soooo far ahead of their time that it is a bit tough to say “Yep, it is going down.” Unless someone is a lot closer.

      Would be awesome to see that fast of a time from Taylor though!

  2. avatar

    Sippy’s record has been untouched for a reason. Breaking the 2-minute barrier is one thing, but 1:58.5 is half a body length ahead of that. Never underestimate a 14 year old’s ability to drop huge chunks of time, though!

    Boys 200 Breaststroke: Who was the last 14 year old boy to win an event at Juniors? Does Reece Whitley have a chance to win??

    Looking forward to some great races tonight!

    • avatar

      Heck, look at Maxime’s drop, and he’s 16. So, I definitely agree with you there. Taylor could make a big drop and shock everyone. If Cassidy Bayer can take down a Mary T. Meagher record, I guess it is time to realize Sippy’s times could be ready to fall as well.

      Reece Whitley is a phenom. I think he has a chance to win nearly any race he swims. It is nice to see him step up on a grander stage like this though and not just be someone smashing records in regional meets.

Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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