Why Philippines has to recruit Fil-am swimmer Maxime Rooney


Fil-am swimmer Maxime Rooney
Last month, Fil-am swimmer Maxime Rooney gave every reason why Philippine Swimming has to recruit him to don the Philippine colors.

At the Santa Clara leg of the Arena Grand Prix in USA, sixteen year-old Rooney broke Jessie Khing Lacuna’s 100m Butterfly Philippine national record of 55.08 set last Myanmar SEA Games.

Rooney clocked a record breaking time of 55.03 last June 20 at the preliminary swims of the said meet which earned him a slot at the evening “C” Finals. He failed to improve his prelim swim though in the evening finals, but still managed to clock 55.38 which is still considered the fastest time of any Filipino swimmer in the said event this year.

The following day, Rooney again showed his might in the 200m Backstroke event, registering a preliminary swim of 2:03.17 which breached the 2015 FINA World Swimming Championship qualifying B standard time of 2:03.36

This feat has made him the first Filipino swimmer to have registered a 2015 World Championship qualifying time.

Not just that, his 2:03.17 200m Backstroke clocking could also automatically clinched him a spot at the 2015 SEA Games, after it surpassed the 2013 SEA Games gold medal time of 2:03.44 set by Indonesia’s Ricky Anggawijaya.

Are those feats not yet enough? Then let me continue!

Had Rooney been sent to the SEA Age Group Swimming Championship this year in Singapore, his times at the Arena Grand Prix last month could have won him 3 gold and 3 bronze medals for the country.

His time of 23.71 in the 50m Freestyle event has equaled the gold medal time of Malaysia’s Alwyn Tan in the 16-18 age bracket, while his 100m Butterfly time of 55.03 has beaten Tan’s gold medal time of 55.91.

The third gold could have been in the 200m Backstroke event where reigning SEA Games gold medalist Ricky Anggawijaya only registered a time of 2:04.40 to clinch the SEA AG gold medal (Rooney’s time is 2:03.17).

His three bronze medals would be in the 200m Freestyle, 100m Backstroke and 200m Butterfly events.

Rooney’s 200m Freestyle time of 1:54.90 is faster than the 1:55.12 the bronze medal time of Singapore’s Benedict Boon Ji Chao; while his 100m Backstroke time of 59.26 has beaten Thailand’s Thanapoom Kruekamka’s bronze medal time of 59.81

His 2:05.46 200m Butterfly time is also way above the SEA AG bronze medal time of Vietnam’s Yen Phan Lam, 2:06.11

Really not yet convinced why Philippine swimming has to recruit Rooney? Then let’s compare his times to the 2nd Youth Olympic Games qualifying standard times.

His 100m Fly and 200m Back times have surpassed the QTA marks of the 2nd YOG; while his times in 50m Free, 100m Free, 200m Free, 100m Back, 50m Fly and 200m Fly have surpassed the 2nd YOG QTB.

Meaning, at age of 16 years old and two months (he just turned 16 last April), he has clocked eight (8) 2nd Youth Olympic Games qualifying marks – a feat none of our Youth swimmers have achieved since Youth Olympic Games started in 2010.

Still doubting if Maxime Rooney should be recruited? Then, let’s talk about the Philippine national records again.

Rooney’s times at the Arena Grand Prix last month have broken the 100m Back, 200m Back, 100m Fly and 200m Fly Philippine junior national records of the 16-18 boys age-group.

His 100m Backstroke time of 59.26 has surpassed Ryan Paolo Arabejo’s 16-18 Boys junior record of 59.38 set in 2007; while his 55.03 and 2:05.46 times in the 100m and 200m Fly have broken Enchong Dee’s 56.64 junior record set in 2006 and James Walsh 2:06.76 junior record set in 2004.

Most impressively, his 2:03.17 time in the 200m Backstroke has smashed the 21 year-old junior national record of Ryan Papa which is 2:05.79 set at the 17th SEA Games in Singapore.

Whew!!!! Impressive feats right?

But these feats mean nothing if Philippines won’t be able to recruit Maxime Rooney.

In 2012, Ronney’s uncle, Harry Radaza wrote to John Pages – a sports writer in Cebu – about Maxime Rooney.

Excerpt from the 2012 Sunstar news article : Why am I telling you all this about Maxime Rooney?” asked Harry Radaza. “Well, his father is my cousin. His father’s mom remarried that’s why he has a non-Filipino sounding last name. Maxime is half Filipino, of course. His grandmother is the sister of my uncle, Congressman Radaza. She grew up in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.”

Upon receipt of Harry Radaza’s email, John Pages forwarded the email to Guy Concepcion, 1988 Seoul, Korea Olympian, hoping that Concepcion will inform Philippine Swimming Incorporated about Rooney.

Pages also wrote a news article on Rooney’s impressive feats in 2012, but he has not been really known in the swimming community until this year.

A friend, Joey Santosi, was the one who mentioned Rooney’s name to me early this year, and he said that he has already told PSC Commissioner Akiko Thompson about Rooney and another Fil-Am swimmer, Prudence Rooker.

With this development, hopefully we will be able to see Rooney represent our country in the future international sporting events (so as Prudence Rooker).

We also hope that Rooney is still interested in representing our country, and that there will be no problems with his dual citizenship application.

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6 thoughts on “Why Philippines has to recruit Fil-am swimmer Maxime Rooney

  • July 17, 2014 at 8:47 am

    If he is Under 18 he should just be able to go and apply for a passport at the consulate in the United States, by having a late report of birth filed. After 18 is gets a bit more complicated.

    • September 22, 2014 at 12:22 am

      He is already a dual citizen Philippine/US.

  • July 26, 2014 at 7:17 am

    This is very interesting, and I support this article in recruiting Maxime Rooney to represent the Philippines. His father is a Filipino and he is currently one of the top age group swimmers in the US.

    Currently, I am applying for my daughters’ dual Citizenship. My daughters are 100% Filipinos born in the US. I am still a Filipino Citizen and their father, who is my ex-husband, was born in the Philippines.

    My daughters’ names are Czsarina Isleta (19, last June 10th) who is a Breaststroker and swims for Santa Clara Swim Club and a PAC-12 Athlete, swimming for Oregon State University; and Chloe Isleta (16, last May 14th) is a Backstroker and IM’er, currently a Junior at Presentation High School and swims for Peak Swimming.

    These are their Best Times:

    Czsarina Dawn Marie Isleta (19) – Breaststroker

    100 Breast 1:15.64 LCM | 200 Breast 2:38.70 LCM
    100 Breast 1:05.12 SCY | 200 Breast 2:20.47 SCY
    100 Fly 1:06.57 LCM

    Chloe Kennedy Anne Isleta (16) – Backstroker/IMer

    200 IM 2:18.47 LCM | 400 IM 4:56.87 LCM
    100 Back 1:05.39 LCM | 200 Back 2:19.20 LCM
    100 Fly 1:03.74 LCM | 200 Fly 2:24.83 LCM
    50 Free 27.32 LCM

    200 IM 2:01.37 SCY | 400 IM 4:15.87 SCY
    100 Back 55.01 SCY | 200 Back 1:56.94 SCY
    10O Fly. 55.06 SCY | 200 Fly 2:01.64 SCY
    50 Free 23.66 SCY

    My girls and their coaches have encouraged me to apply for their Filipino Citizenships hoping to represent the Philippines in swimming at all Asian Games.

    Any input of how complicated the process would be?

    Thank you!

    ~Cecille Doromal Waller, Swim Mom to the Isleta Girls

    • July 26, 2014 at 9:41 pm

      Hi Cecille! Thanks for your comment.

      I’m glad to know that you are now processing the dual citizenship of your two daughters. It’s would be a lot faster and easier for Chloe’s passport since she can do it via late registration. Not so sure with Czsarina’s case since she’s already 19. But i’m pretty sure our Philippine Embassy would be very helpful in the entire process.

      Just would like to inform you that your daughters can only be able to swim for PH when they have already acquired their passports. For the time being, you have to contact Philippine Swimming Incorporated to ask them to include the times of your daughters in their database so they will be part of the selection process of any up-coming international competitions.

      Next year, there is the Singapore SEA Games and the SEA Age Group Swimming Championship.

      I will be including your daughters time in the ranking.. I will also send you an email to orient you with the meets in the Philippines and the international meets that our local swimmers join..

    • September 22, 2014 at 12:24 am

      Easy! Check with Maxime’s dad, my son, Kennan Radaza Rooney.

      • September 22, 2014 at 12:41 am

        online news says that Maxime is suiting for USA as he has been named to the junior US team already.. really sad news for Philippines..


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