Dominique Bouchard and Hilary Caldwell qualified for the 2015 Pan Am Games in the women’s 100 metre backstroke on day one of the 2015 Canadian Swim Trials Wednesday night.
Both swimmers were under the qualification time standards at 1:00.20 for Bouchard and 1:00.54 for Caldwell.
The women were pleasantly surprised to receive the good news so soon after the race.
“It feels awesome because this is my first time that I get the news right after the race,” said Bouchard, standing in the mix zone of the Toronto Pan Am Games Sports Centre and knowing officially that she will be back in July. “It is really exciting, and I can’t wait to compete here in Toronto and in Kazan, I think it is going to be awesome.”
With those times, the women also qualified for the World Championships in Kazan, Russia. The qualification standard for that event was 1:00.77.
Kylie Masse, the fastest swimmer during the morning preliminaries, finished with the bronze medal.
How events played out this year were much easier on Bouchard’s nerves. Last time, the North Bay native had to wait a little bit longer to find out if she had made Team Canada after the Pan Pacific trials.
At that event, she finished fourth, and only the top three made the team. However, one of the other swimmers could not compete, so Bouchard was in.
“Last year I found out that because one of the girls wasn’t going to Pan Pacific Championships, so I was added to the roster,” said Bouchard. “I had to wait until the very end to find out.”
Bouchard left Canada six years ago to train and go to school at the University of Missouri. There she is working on her Master’s and getting faster in the pool.
Over the past three years, Bouchard has continually been improving her personal bests. She had to go south of the border in order to take advantage of an amazing facility, but now there is one right in Toronto.
“This pool is amazing, it is the best facility in Canada by far,” said Bouchard. “It was definitely exciting to race in it tonight.”
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