March 10th, 2015

It’s been an impressive year so far for Dominique Bouchard; with the twenty-three year old University of Missouri swimmer already posting best times leading up to Canadian Trials in Toronto, April 1-4. Bouchard, who is currently in her second year of grad school, continues to train regularly with the university team while working towards her masters degree.

Six years ago, Bouchard made the decision to head south below the border for university, after several years of racing for her home team in North Bay, ON. She chose to explore post-secondary options in the states for a change in scenery; with a new location and competitors, while tackling the challenge of learning an entirely new course. The impressive health science program, beautiful facilities and team atmosphere at the University of Missouri immediately made Bouchard feel at home during her recruiting visit, and the following year Bouchard made her debut as a Mizzou tiger.

Bouchard immediately made an impact on the team, setting a new school record in the 200y back in her freshman year. The following three years, Bouchard placed top three at NCAA’s in the 200y back, while continuing to make and break her own school records in both the 100y and 200y back events.

Bouchard has continued her success over the past couple years, competing in the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships over the summer where she posted best times in both the 100m and 200m back. Despite being unshaved and untapered, Bouchard was able to lower those best times even further at the Austin and Orlando Grand Prix, January 15-17 and February 12-14. In Orlando, her time of 1:00.55 in the 100 tied for first, and she touched the wall in her 200 at 2:08.99, over three seconds ahead of second place.

Bouchard contributes her recent success to the confidence she has built this year through her training. “I really took initiative with my training this year, and sat down with my coaches to set up a game plan.” she commented. Although Bouchard has been predominantly training middle distance the past couple years, this year she decided to throw in some sprint and distance work to switch it up. This combination has obviously been working so far; however, Bouchard doesn’t like to spend too much time celebrating her success, instead, her focus is on what can be improved for her next race.

With Canadian Trials quickly approaching, Bouchard is concentrating on maintaining a structured training regime throughout the month of March, which is typically a pretty hectic month for collegiate swimming. As for the actual meet, Bouchard will be able to race with the confidence she has built the past few months. “Canadian female backstrokers are at the top level, I don’t think it’s ever been like this in Canada.” she said. “So it’ll be whoever has that best day, that best race.”

As for her next steps following the 2014-15 season, Bouchard will continue to swim through 2016, while completing her masters degree. Following her graduation, Bouchard plans to apply to medical schools in both the U.S and Canada.


Source : Swim Swam