PHOENIX, Arizona, April 9. PLEASANTON Aquatic's Maxime Rooney had an incredible 2013 Far Western Short Course Championship meet. The 14-year-old was the 13-14 boys individual high point award winner, along with earning a collection of individual titles and meet records.
On the first night of finals, Rooney took down the boy's 13-14 200 freestyle meet record (1:39.67) in an exciting race against PEAK's Benjamin Ho (1:39.98). The race kicked off the Ho and Rooney's meet-long event title swapping. Both are 13-14 NAG record holders: Rooney in the 200 freestyle, and Ho in the 200 backstroke.
Rooney talked to SwimmingWorld.TV at the conclusion of the Far Western Championships, right after winning titles (and setting meet records) in the boy's 13-14 400 IM and 200 butterfly:
Here's a re-cap of Ho and Rooney's spectacular swims from the 2013 Far Western SC Championships:
200 IM: Ho came away with the title, at a 1:50.95, under Nick Silverthorn's previous meet record. Rooney posted a 1:51.71 for the silver.
200 backstroke: Ho bettered Aidan Burns' 1:50.33 meet record, set in 2012 (1:48.10) in prelims. Ho won the event in a 1:48.11 in finals, off his best time (and NAG record) 1:45.73. Rooney took the silver with a 1:49.50.
500 freestyle: Rooney controlled the race from the start, winning with a very respectable 4:30.15 final time, just off Nick Silverthorn's 4:29.08 meet record.
400 IM: Probably the most exciting race of the meet, Rooney was nearly a second ahead of Ho after the butterfly, but Ho, the 200 backstroke NAG record holder, reclaimed the lead on the backstroke. The two went stroke-for-stoke in the breaststroke, then Rooney pulled out the win with a speedy 25.62 last 50 split, touching the wall at a 3:57.18 to Ho's 3:57.77. Both were under Nick Silverthorn's 2010 meet record (3:58.03). To put their times in perspective, 14-year-old Michael Phelps swam a 3:56.80 400IM, mere tenths faster than Rooney's final time.
200 butterfly: Rooney was on pace to break the meet record from the first 50, splitting a 24.59. His finals splits were 28.11, 28.65, 28.65 for a 1:50.00 winning time that was a remarkable 2.85 seconds under Ugur Taner's meet record, set in 1989.
This final Far Western title was enough to secure Rooney's high point status in the 13-14 boys category, at 73 points. Ho was a close second, at 71 points.
We're all eagerly anticipating what comes next for these two up-and-coming Pacific Swimming superstars.