Parksville athlete Juliette Desvaux will join the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds track and field team next school year.
The University of Toronto also tried to recruit Desvaux, a Grade 12 sprinter from Ballenas Secondary, who decided to join the Thunderbirds.
“Having two major schools inviting me to be part of their athletic teams was pretty amazing,” said Desvaux. “UBC has a really great program and the nice thing is it’s closer to home. I got to go there in November to meet the coaches and I though it was great fit.”
Desvaux has been honing her sprinting skills in Parksville under the guidance of Mid Island Distance coaches Kim and Randy Longmuir, who are proud to see their student advancing to the next level. She especializes in the 100-metre and 200m distances, with personal bests of 12.46 and 25.31, respectively.
“I am really excited to be joining UBC,” said Desvaux. “Getting to this point in my track career has been a team effort. Kim and Randy have been so dedicated and encouraging. It wouldn’t have been possible without their support.”
Desvaux was looking forward to competing a lot this year but the COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted her plans and also disrupted her training program.
“I am not able to train with Kim and Randy due to COVID-19,” said Desvaux. “There are no team practices with coaches but they’ve been sending me all the workout schedule which I have been following. The schedule is easy to follow but it’s a lot harder to put in the same intensity training and also to be motivated.”
Desvaux is also disappointed not being able to achieve the goals she set for herself at the start of the year. She feels with the effort and hard work she’s put in she has improved but would have loved to know before heading to UBC.
“It was tough because we trained so hard all year, like all the winter months,” said Desvaux. “We’ve put in really hard sessions and we’ve kind of set our goals at the beginning of the year and the times we want to hit. But now we don’t know because we don’t have any meet so we can’t prove to ourselves that we’ve hit those times. It’s kind of a personal goal. I would have liked to see the improvements that I’ve made for myself.”
Desvaux is aware the level of competition is going to be higher at UBC, which competes at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, and includes American universities.
She is grateful to have fellow athletes who she can train with three times a week at the rubberized track in Nanaimo and thanked Iron Warehouse for supporting her athletic endeavours.