Maxime Rooney Scratches 200 Free to Focus on 100 Fly on Friday at PSS

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 12

March 05th, 2021 News


Maxime Rooney has dropped the 200 free in favor of the 100 fly and Caeleb Dressel, as expected, is done with racing as we enter the third day of competition at the Pro Swim Series meet in San Antonio, Texas.

Rooney, a first year pro who started his college career as Dressel’s teammate before finishing it at the University of Texas, is the top seed in the 100 fly after Dressel’s scratch.

To focus on that race, Rooney has dropped out of the 200 free, where he was due to be the 6th seed.

Which of those races Rooney will swim at the U.S. Olympic Trials is still uncertain, though he has a strong chance at qualifying for the Olympic Team in both events. In the 200 free, his best time of 1:46.78 will rank him 8th among Americans heading into Trials. If the U.S. takes the top 6 in that event, which they normally do, Blake Pieroni (who will swim the race on Friday) has a qualifying-period-best of 1:46.62 – less than two tenths better than Rooney.

In the 100 fly, meanwhile, Rooney has not only a chance to make the team, but to medal individually. His 50.68 from the 2019 U.S. Nationals was the #2 time in the world that season, behind only the aforementioned Dressel.

Rooney’s first swim of the meet saw him place 3rd in the 100 free on Thursday in 49.51.

As for Dressel, his Friday morning scratches confirm what he said on Instagram Live earlier in the week. He has left San Antonio to attend the wedding of his best friend, podcast partner, and former University of Florida teammate Ben Kennedy.

He was originally entered in the 200 free and 100 fly.

One of the big swims to look forward to on Friday is the 400 IM by Madisyn Cox. In early February, she swam a 3:58.55 in the 400 IM in yards, which was a new lifetime best for her.

Cox’s biggest international achievement was a 2017 World Championships bronze medal in the 200 IM, but that 200 IM field for Tokyo looks a lot more crowded with Kathleen Baker putting focus on the race and young swimmers like Kate Douglass and Alex Walsh rising up.

She won’t give up on that 200 IM though – just before pandemic quarantines hit, Cox swam a best time of 2:09.0 at the Des Moines Pro Swim Series stop which would have been this same week last year.

Cox’s best time in the long course 400 IM is a 4:37.94. Her biggest challenge to matching that time on Friday is that she’s currently entered in three events for Friday. If her schedule holds, she’ll start the day in the 200 free, then swim the 400 IM, then finish with the 100 free.

At present, she’s only seeded to make an A final in the 400 IM, though, so maybe we’ll see that race as a solo in finals. We saw that pattern from her on Thursday, anyway, when she held on to her A-final spot in the 100 breaststroke, placing 5th in 1:09.17 in finals, but dropped the 400 free B-final swim she also earned.

Other Noteworthy Scratches:

  • US National Teamer Bethany Galat has scratched the 400 IM. After not swimming Thursday, it looks more-and-more like she’s not swimming this weekend. Galat is based out of College Station, about 3 hours from San Antonio.
  • USC’s Harry Homans, one of the few Pac-12 swimmers to not scratch this meet pre-psych sheets, has dropped his only Friday event, the 200 back. He didn’t race Thursday either.

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6 months ago

Blake Pieroni went 1:45.9 2018 Nationals

6 months ago

Hope Galat is ok

Mr Piano
6 months ago

Back in 2015, who would have guessed that Rooney’s best event was the 100 fly instead of the 200 free?

6 months ago

Rooney is all in 100free and Fly.
I don’t see him making the 4×200, 4×100 train and 100fly potential medal.

Reply to  Skoorbnagol
6 months ago

He finished 2nd in the world in 2019 behind Dressel in the 1 Fly and has been 47.6 in the 1 Free, so I’d say if he’s close to his best come Trials, he’s got as good a shot as anyone not named Dressel to make the team. That 1 Fly time is absolutely in medal contention territory

Otherwise I’m not quite sure what point you were trying to make

Reply to  MonkeySeeMonkeyDooDoo
6 months ago

I think Skoorbnagol meant that he doesn’t see Rooney making the 4×200 relay and that he personally sees a spot on the 4×100 free relay and 100 fly medal potential from him.

Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
6 months ago

Ah fair enough, makes sense, my fault

Reply to  bobthebuilderrocks
6 months ago

Yeah that’s the one.
Wasn’t my best wording

Reply to  Skoorbnagol
6 months ago

Coming down in distance from 200 to 100 is probably giving him an edge in LCM over the pure 100 guys.

Ol’ Longhorn
6 months ago

I’m feeling a 52.3.

Troll Longhorn
Reply to  Ol’ Longhorn
6 months ago

Nice, that would be a great 50 free time for you, but what about Rooney in the 100 fly?

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Troll Longhorn
6 months ago

Give it a rest, Bronny.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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