Sandrine Manville moved away from her Montreal home in order to increase her training in preparation for the Pan Am Games in Toronto and FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia.
She knows this was the right move for her swimming career, but it was a difficult adjustment being away from friends and family.
“It is pretty different than Montreal, I am more alone here so I focus more on the work and the training I have to do,” said Mainville, after her final race of the 2015 Team Canada Trials. “I like it, but I am far away from my family and friends, but I know that it is good for me.”
Mainville is a part of a trio of female sprinters who train out of the new Toronto facility. Michelle Williams has been working with Mainville all year, and Chantal van Landeghem joined after completing the NCAA season two weeks ago.
At the trials, the three of them made the podium in both the 100 metre and 50m freestyle. Mainville finished in the bronze medal position in both races.
“I am a bit disappointed with two third place finishes, but I had two of my best times so I am happy with that,” said Mainville. “I have been training with … Michelle Williams and Chantal, so we make a good team.”
In the 100m freestyle, Mainville swam a 54.48, setting a new personal best time, a feat that she would repeat in the 50m freestyle by swimming a 25.12.
However, given the convoluted qualification rules, she did not find out she made team Canada until the end of the event Saturday night.
In order to qualify automatically, a swimmer must be under the qualification standard time and finish first or second. Mainville was under the standard times in both events, so she ended up making the team, but had to wait for a secondary selection process.
Even though Mainville was not sure if she had made the team after her 50m race, her teammate van Landeghem was confident that they would all be racing together in the summer.
“I love Sandy and Michelle, they are awesome,” said van Landeghem, after winning the 50m freestyle. “They are so fun to train with, so the fact that we went one, two, three, is really cool and I am excited to see what all three of us can do this summer.”
Last year, Mainville won two bronze medals with Williams and van Landeghem at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland as members of the relay team.
The three of them will be a part of the relay teams this summer at both the Pan Ams and World Championships.
Mainville hopes to build off of last year’s relay success and bring even more medals home. For her, the relay is just as much fun as the individual races.
“We showed that we were a really good team last year at Commonwealth,” said Mainville. “I really like racing individually, but I think we have a great chance to medal internationally in the relay, so I like both.”
Follow Leah Smith @leah8lms2smith