Records Fall on Final Night of Ken Demchuk International Meet

by SwimSwam 0

December 19th, 2022 Canada, News, Paralympic & IPC Swimming

Courtesy: Swimming Canada

It was a record-breaking Sunday at the Ken Demchuk International Invitational meet in Vancouver.

Six swimmers produced eight record-breaking times on the final night of the three-day meet held at the UBC Aquatic Centre on the University of British Columbia campus.

Jacob Brayshaw of the KISU Swim Club in Penticton shaved over 11 seconds off his own record by finishing the S2 50-metre freestyle in one minute, 49.37 seconds during the morning preliminaries. He swam the final in 1:51.71.

It was the fifth record of the meet for the 20-year-old Vernon resident, who lives with muscular dystrophy. He also set new standards in the 50 and 100-m backstroke S2 and 100 and 200-m freestyle S2.

Brayshaw also had a top time of 1:55.61 in the 50-m breaststroke SB2.

Nikita Ens of the Saskatoon Lasers broke the SB2 50-m breaststroke record twice. She swam 1:41.60 in the morning preliminaries, bettering the mark of 1:44.27 Aly Van Wyck-Smart set in 2018. She lowered the time to 1:41.49 in the final.

“My coach and I have been making tweaks to the stroke,” said Ens, who also won the 50-m freestyle S3 in 1:13.40. “That has really helped.

“This is kind of an evaluation meet, what works, what doesn’t and where we should direct our training from here.”

Tyson Jacob of Team Quebec also had two record-breaking swims in the S5 50-m freestyle. His time of 41.83 seconds in preliminaries broke the old standard of 42.15 that had stood for seven years. He lowered that time to 41.60 in the final.

During the morning time trials, Shelby Newkirk of the Saskatoon Lasers swam the S6 200-m backstroke in 3:03.14, shaving over three seconds off her own record.

In the evening finals Newkirk won the 50-m freestyle S6 in 34.83 seconds.

Also in the morning time trials, Tyson MacDonald, who trains at the High Performance Centre – Quebec, swam the 200-m backstroke S14 in 2:16.51, breaking his own record of 2:17.22.

Antoine St-Germain of Team Quebec had a time of 3:13.72 in the S12 200 back, taking over seven seconds off the old mark set in 1998.

Nicholas Bennett, the Parksville, B.C. native who trains with Ravensong Aquatics in Qualicum Beach, B.C., had a successful meet winning all six individual S14 events he swam. On Sunday he won the 200-metre individual medley in 2:10.66 and the 100-m butterfly in 1:00.32. Earlier he had won the 100 and 200-m freestyle, 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke.

“It was a good performance for the first meet of the season,” said Bennett, who earned swim of the night three times and swim of the meet honors. “It was the first long-course meet in six months. I’m pretty happy with that.”

Arianna Hunsicker, who trains at the High Performance Centre – Quebec, won the women’s S10 50-m freestyle in 28.94 seconds. That earned her the swim of the night and swim of the meet award.

Wayne Lomas, Swimming Canada’s associate director of high performance and Para swimming national coach, was happy with the meet, which attracted around 60 competitors, making it the largest Para swimming competition held in Canada in four years.

“I am really pleased with every aspect of this event,” said Lomas. “The pool and accommodation facilities here at UBC continue to be perfect for our swimmers to perform. Congratulations to the swimmers and their coaches who achieved a Paris MQS, who established a new PB or broke a Canadian record.

“I’d also like to pay special credit to Mike Edey, Swimming Canada’s pathways systems and classification manager for his initiative in building the opportunity to conduct relays on each of the three evenings of racing.”

In other results:

  • Etienne Boutin-Cote of Team Quebec won the SB3 50-m breaststroke 1:22.82 and the 50 free S4 in 1:02.25.
  • Sebastian Massabie of the Pacific Sea Wolves took S6 50-m freestyle in 41.05 seconds and the SM6 200-m I.M. in 3:59.03.
  • Ali Diehl of the Prince Albert Sharks won the women’s SM9 200-m I.M. in 3:25.24 and the S9 50 freestyle in 35.87.
  • Reid Maxwell of the Edmonton Keyano Swim Club won the SM9 200-m I.M. in 2:43.17, 100-m butterfly S9 in 1:14.37 and the 50-m freestyle S9 in 29.77 seconds.
  • Gavin Baggs of the Mount Pearl Marlins had the top time of SM10 200-m I.M. in 2:55.47.
  • Gabriel Martel of Team Quebec took the SM11 200-m I.M. in 3:15.07, the 100-m butterfly S11 in 1:39.84 and the 50-m freestyle S11 in 36.37 seconds.
  • Jaime Cosgriffe of Swim Ontario won SM10 200-m I.M. in 2:45.35 and the S10 100-m butterfly in 1:12.35.
  • Hunter Helberg of the Fort McMurray Mantas Swim Club won the S12 50-m freestyle in 28.45 seconds and the SM12 200-m I.M. in 2:39.69.
  • Marian Catalin Barbu of Team Quebec won the SM7 200 I.M. in 3:12.73 and the 50-m freestyle S7 in 35.33.
  • In the men’s 100-m butterfly, Felix Thomas Cowan of the Samak Club won the S8 class in 1:11.42.
  • In the men’s 200-m IM, Riley Martin of KISU took the SM5 class 5:37.01 and Zach Zona of the Norfolk Hammerheads in SM8 in 2:46.25.
  • In the women’s 200-m I.M. Jessica Tinney of Toronto’s Variety Village won the SM5 class in 4:46.80, Danielle Kisser of the High Performance Centre –  Quebec the SM6 in 3:47.87, Tess Routliffe of the High Performance Centre – Quebec the SM7 in 3:07.75, Tatiana Nault of Team Quebec the SM8 in 3:36.75 and Emma Van Dyk of Brock the SM14 in 2:38.13.
  • Nathan Luscombe of the Gander Lakers won the 50-m freestyle S10 in 28.75 seconds.
  • In the women’s 50-metre freestyle Alisson Gobeil of Team Quebec won the S5 class in 45.91 seconds and Tucker Jordan of Swim Ontario the S4 in 59.43, Myriam Soliman of Mustang Boucherville the S7 in 40.41, Sumbul Zafar of Swim Ontario the S8 in 37.34 and Miori Henault of Team Quebec the S14 in 31.85.
  • Angela Marina of Swim Ontario won the S14 women’s 100-m butterfly in 1:11.96.
  • The mixed 200-m mixed 20-point relay was won by the Team Quebec squad of Tyson Jacob, Lysandre Lepage, Etienne Boutin-Cote and Alisson Gobeil in 3:45.31.
  • The Swim Ontario team of Tyson MacDonald, Kate Smith, Angela Marina and Antonio Fricano won the mixed 400-m 56-point medley relay in 4:31.55.

For full results go to

Formerly known as the Can Am Para-swimming Championships, the meet has been renamed to honour Ken Demchuk, a Canadian swim official from Regina who developed a points system that allowed swimmers from different classifications to compete in the same race.

Also attending the meet were swimmers who represented Canada at past Paralympics, including Walter Wu, Michael Edgson, Drew Christensen, Tyler Mrak, Stephanie McDougall, Jonathan Dieleman and Donovan Tildesley plus coaches Cory Beatt, Jane Blaine and Vince Mikuska.

“The opportunity to recognize Ken Demchuk, to re-connect with alumni from Canadian Paralympic swim teams of the past and provide so many of our swimmers with a heat and final racing experience are priceless and plays a critical role in the achievement of our short and medium term goals,” said Lomas.

“It was also exciting to see Provincial teams representing Swim Ontario and Fédération de natation du Québec attend the meet as teams, creating a perfect bridge between club and national representation.”

The meet is the first step in determining the size of Canada’s swim team at the Paris 2024 Paralympics.

To compete at the Paralympics, countries must earn qualification slots which determine the total number of swimmers that can attend the competition. These slots can be earned by performances at sanctioned meets in a period beginning from October of this year until February 2024.

Once it’s determined how many Para swimmers Canada can send to Paris, the final team will be selected at the Paralympic trials set for Montreal in May 2024.

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