16-year old Maxime Rooney of the Pleasanton Seahawks has confirmed on Sunday morning that his intent is to represent the United States internationally in competition.
Rooney is a dual citizen of the United States and the Philippines and has held multiple National Age Group Records in his career. The only requirement for National Age Group Records, however, is that a swimmer hold a U.S. passport, not that they necessarily are eligible to represent the United States in international competition.
Rooney’s success in yards has been well-documented, and the high school junior-to-be will be one of the top NCAA recruits in the class of 2014.
After this week at Junior Nationals, though, his international preference suddenly becomes immediately more relevant. He’s gone lifetime bests in long course meters in the 100 free (50.60), 200 free (1:49.54), 400 free (4:00.24), 100 backstroke (57.10), 100 fly (53.85), and 200 fly (1:59.26).
If he could repeat those times at Nationals next week, which is the selection competition, it would make him a probable invitee for the U.S. Junior Pan Pacs team that will travel to Hawaii from August 27th-30th. At that point, his sporting citizenship would be locked in unless he went to live in the Philippines for a year, according to FINA rules.
Rooney has another big schedule at U.S. Nationals next week, with 7 entries. He’s well underseeded in most of the events when his best times from Junior Nationals are considered, but will still have an opportunity to race for spots in A, B, or C finals.