SEC Champion Maxime Rooney Announces He’s Leaving Florida

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.

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:

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. 

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Wow, very interesting… not sure what he means by saying Florida cannot help him with his bold goals, he has a great group there, but to each his own. Wonder if he will end up at Cal? It is closer to home for him.


It may mean he is done with the sport of swimming (not to put words in his mouth because he definitely doesn’t use the word quit)

Michael Schwartz

If he was done with swimming then why would he enter his name in the NCAA transfer portal?

The Ready Room

Maybe he’s not sure if he wants to continue on and would like to leave the option open.


If he’s staying in swimming, it would seem Cal combines a very different training regime to Florida with being closer to home. He could take next year as an Olympic redshirt and still train there (with plenty of guys also focusing on the Olympics). An Olympic redshirt would also give Durden chance to get his scholarships sorted. The message is very cryptic, but it doesn’t even vaguely refer to any external events which would significantly alter his path (injury or family stuff), and it would be unusual for anyone, swimmer or not, to drop out of college after having got as far as summer of Junior year. Whatever his next steps, the best of luck to a kid who seems… Read more »


He didn’t say FLorida cannot help him with his bold goals.
He said he is now looking to expand his opportunities in bold pursuit of his goals.




Wish him the best of luck

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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