An untapered Maxime Rooney has broken the National High School Record in the boys’ 200 yard freestyle at the 2016 North Coast Section Swimming & Diving Championships in California.
The senior at Granada High School, who is committed to swim for Florida next year, swam a 1:33.70 in Saturday’s final session, which won the race by 5 seconds. It was also faster than the old National High School Record of 1:33.83 that was swum by future NCAA and U.S. National Champion Tom Shields in 2009. Shields, also a native Californian, swam for Edison High School in the southern half of the state.
- Rooney ’16: 21.69/23.62/23.93/24.46 = 1:33.70
- Shields ’09: 21.93/23.61/23.97/24.32 = 1:33.83 (prelims)
In March of this year, Pennsylvanian Michael Jensen came within a tenth of Shields’ record at his state championship meet, Later this weekend, Stanford commit Grant Shoults of Santa Margarita Catholic will also be gunning for this record while racing at the same CIF-Southern Section Division I Championship meet where Shields swam his old standard. Shoults is the current National Independent High School Record with a 1:34.54 from his junior season.
Rooney is a member of the USA Swimming National Team as a result of being the 3rd-fastest American in the event in 2015 with a 1:47.10 in long course meters. Traditionally, the top 6 in the 200 free have made the U.S. Olympic Team, and with the U.S. Olympic Trials only 6 weeks away, many swimmers are not using a full-blown taper for their California championship meets.
Prior to the meet, both Rooney and his high school coach Julian Avilla both asserted that Rooney wasn’t tapered for this meet, with Avilla saying “he’s got bigger fish to fry.”
SwimSwam’s Dean Ottati, who’s at the meet, spoke to Rooney briefly after his race, and Rooney says that he “took Thursday morning off.”
California only added a state championship meet last year, and it’s been met enthusiastically by some, and bypassed by others. These Sectional Championships, even though they’re not a true state championship, are still considered to be the most important meets of the California High School season by many.