Letter From America On The Prospects Of Maxime Rooney & Co Beyond Singapore

Maxime Rooney - a prospect for Rio 2016

In Singapore at the World Junior Championships, there were mixed performances for the USA, strength and hope found in certain areas and weakness and concern found in others. Here’s a look at what emerged from the USA ranks from the past week at the youth showcase

Want to read more? Our Basic subscription package allows you to access
to all articles barring specific content for Premium and Business
members. Select which service best suits you. Thank you for your
support of independent journalism and quality coverage of world-class swimming.

Log In Register

In Singapore at the World Junior Championships, there were mixed performances for the USA, strength and hope found in certain areas and weakness and concern found in others. Here’s a look at what emerged from the USA ranks from the past week at the youth showcase


paolo rubbiani

Yes, far more differencies than similarities between Andrew and Phelps.

Andrew is a sprinter, a 50-specialist.
Young Phelps clearly wasn’t and had a solid base of endurance (he swam great times in1500 free as a child and his first WRs were in 200 fly and 400 im, where endurance counts a lot ).

Andrew trains with USRPT, short sessions and short yardage.
Young Phelps trained in a traditional way, with heavy sessions and great yardage.

Andrew (or Andrew’s family..) has been obsessed from Nag records. Before his 15th birthday he swam everywhere, every single week to obtain more Nags he could under his belt.
Phelps had zero interest in Nags, especially those in SC.

Andrew is more a SC-swimmer, Phelps is more a LC-swimmer.

Like appointed above, at 16 Andrew hasn’t yet significant results at a senior level, Phelps was already World Campion in 200 fly and two-times WR holder (200 fly and 400 im).

So, the true similarity among the two is the name: Michael.., and not to be wicked versus Andrew, just to note what, until now, is clear.

But it’s also clear that Andrew has great ability as a sprinter and, I think, a bright future.
He’s 16 years old and at these Junior Worlds has swum 22.36 in 50 free, 25.13 in 50 back and 23.66 in 50 fly.
Great speed in every stroke. That’s a gift absolutely unusual and could be translated, with appropriate training, in a great 200im.

But for Andrew (and Andrew’s family) is time to choose: which races to be focused and the training to do.


You can always count on accurate, fair, respectful and honest reporting when reading the articles on Swimvortex. I fail to see how anybody could take umbrage at this piece, Mr. Lohn. Thank you!

paolo rubbiani

In my opinion, Maxime Rooney and Taylor Ruck are two of the most interesting swimmers of the meet, looking at the future.

Rooney is an extremely promising 100-200 freer. He’s also a good flyier, and a fairly good backstroker too, but it’s in 100 and 200 free that he could become the “real deal”, surely for Usa swimming but not just for Usa swimming..

Last year, his PBs were 50.44 in 100 free and 1.49.54 in 200 free.
A year later, 48.87 in 100 free and 1.47.10 in 200 free.
Next years?
In my opinion it’s an easy bet that Rooney will be in next year Usa Olympic team both in 4×100 free and in 4×200 free. Too easy.., I think that Rooney could also be in some individual race: 100 free or 200 free or..both

Also Taylor Ruck is, like Rooney, a possible future star in 100 and 200 free. She’s very strong also in backstroke but I think that her latest improvements in freestyle should persuade her coach to keep the main focus on 100 and 200 free.
Tall and slim, for Ruck we have to wait that her physical structure complete.
Then, I think, she could become great, really great.

John Lohn

Thanks for the kind words, DJR. Much appreciated.


I agree with DJR.
John Lohn’s writing is always superb and balanced. He never tries to shamelessly promote particular young swimmers as greatest ever since sliced bread or greatest sprinters ever or something which actually put the young swimmers in question at the mercy of critical fans, like what other swimming websites have done.


Please allow me to add to the thanks & commendations. John’s balance, reason & rationality stand in stark contrast to oh so many other US swim pundits, and some from other nations as well.

Even when one may not be in full accord with John’s conclusions/calls; one can at least give due credence to the rationale he always provides.

The piece above is a virtual template for what ALL swim journalism should be.


I would not go so far as to call MA a 50 specialist.

His 50’s are great, but that 200 medley time that lurked in the background of a rather shady 200 IM final was also fantastic. I would go on to say that with the right schedule, he would have possibly broken 1:59.

From what I could analyse, i think he would have won the 100 breast, the 50 butterfly, and the 200 Medley, had the schedule been more accommodating.

Also, I could not agree more about the comparisons, the only person who could be compared to Phelps, is another Phelps.

Someone who breaks a WR at 15, collects more than 6 at the OG when he is 19, and has versatility over 3 or more strokes. A tough ask. The scary thing is, that is only the foot of the mountain.


Would have to disagree, Wez, re the 100brs. No one else was anywhere near Chupkov. Medal for MA with a saner schedule- that I could certainly agree with.

Win 200IM- yes I can agree with that. Breaking 1.59 ? Not too sure, the final leg of any IM is torture coming home.

Craig Lord

Would have, could have: swim history full of the stuff. Chip paper… on the 100m breaststroke, Wez, have to agree with cwombat: MA was not ready to go 1:00.1 this summer, Chupkov had a surge in the 100 no-one else in the race was capable of.


i like what i read here. please go on with the good work

John Lohn

Thank you for the kind words. Appreciate the back and forth and deep discussion we have here, where opinions may differ, but respect is maintained. Here’s to a terrific countdown to Rio, and many thanks to Craig for establishing such a great forum to go with his superb journalism.


You had me at “the brakes need to be placed on the coronation of Andrew”. Excellent, spot-on analysis.

People may react “with disdain and some people will take umbrage with this piece” but I suspect SwimVortex and Craig can take it.

Craig Lord

We’ll try our best, pegasus 🙂

Leave a comment

Post a comment with your SwimVortex Account. Don't have a SwimVortex Account, Sign Up?

(*) Fields are required!