City swimming star headed to California on full-ride scholarship

Sarnia’s Maude Boily-Dufour, 17, has earned a full-ride swimming scholarship to San Diego State University. Troy Shantz

Troy Shantz

A Sarnia swimmer will be living in sunny California next fall.

Maude Boily-Dufour, 17, has earned a full-ride swim scholarship at San Diego State University.

Through a third-party scout, the Saint-François-Xavier student sent her resume to 80 different Division 1 schools. Though she heard back from most of them, many had staffed their teams or she wasn’t that interested.

But San Diego State was looking for a backstroker and the scout arranged a visit for the Sarnia Rapids star.

“I was in love. I loved it so much,” she said. “It’s such a beautiful campus and it matches me so well.”

Boily-Dufour leaves in August but hasn’t decided on a major, though education is a possibility.

She expects the coaching at San Diego’s women-only swim program will take her skills to another level.

“They have a long-course pool (and) they have the best resources,” she said. “I have so much potential unfulfilled … I’ll have everything I need.”

In the meantime, Boily-Dufour is preparing for the Pan Pacific games in April. She is ranked third in Canada among 15-to-18-year-olds in the 100-metre backstroke.

Her brother, Samuel Boily-Dufour, is currently swimming for Laurentian University in Sudbury.

Samuel’s career was reset in early 2016 when it was discovered he had supra-ventricular tachycardia – a heart rhythm disorder that cost him a U.S. university scholarship.

He is still able to compete but must closely monitor the condition.

“He just said, ‘Maude you belong in the States. Do what I wanted to do,’” she said.

“He’s super happy for me.”