SEC champion Maxime Rooney, who just finished his junior season at the University of Florida, announced Monday morning on Twitter that he will not be returning to the school for senior year. He has also entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal.
Update from Maxime Rooney. @swimswamnews @SwimmingWorld pic.twitter.com/qwGKF02dLh
— Maxime Rooney (@Maxime_Rooney) April 22, 2019
Rooney is a versatile multi-time NCAA qualifier. As a freshman, he qualified in the 400 free relay, 800 free relay, 100 free, 200 free, 500 free. As a sophomore, he went in the 400 medley relay, 800 free relay, 100 free, 200 free, 200 IM.
He showed off his butterfly at the 2019 SEC Championships when he won the 100 in 45.06; and was 2nd in the 200 in 1:40.87. He swam the 100 free at SECs as well and was 3rd in the 100 free in 41.74. This year thus marked a massive NCAA event shift, as he entered the 100 fly, 100 free, and 200 fly individually. He finished fourth in the 100 fly in Austin, as well as 30th in the 200 fly and 12th in the 100 free.
He anchored Florida’s fifth-place 800 free relay, going 1:31.60.
Florida men’s head coach Anthony Nesty, who took over the program from Gregg Troy this season, offered a statement on Twitter:
All of us at Florida certainly appreciate everything that @Maxime_Rooney has done for the Gators. He will be greatly missed, however we support him and wish him nothing but the best as he pursues his personal goals.
— Anthony Nesty (@Anthony_NestyUF) April 22, 2019
At the 2018 Phillips 66 National Championships last July, Rooney finished seventh in the 100 free and 10th in the 200. He was in line to make USA Swimming’s World University Games roster in the 100 free or 800 free relay, but appeared to decline his spot when final rosters were released without him listed.
Rooney is a former national high school record holder in the 200 free, and is the current 17-18 national age group record holder in the same event. He grew up swimming in California for the Pleasanton Seahawks, and is a dual citizen in the Philippines, meaning he could potentially represent the nation in the 2020 Olympics, provided Monday’s announcement is not the end of the road for his swim career.
SwimSwam has reached out to Rooney for more information.