Shelby Newkirk Breaks Mallory Weggemann’s 6-Year Old Americas Record

2017 Can-Am Para-Swimming Championships

More National Records went down on day 2 of the 2017 Can-Am Para Swimming Championships, starting in the very first event of the day: the women’s 50 free.

In the Class S11 final, Leticia Martinez of the USA Resident Team swam a 32.02 to break both the American National Record and the Americas Continental Record. The old National Record was hers in a 32.42 done last November.

3 records went down in various classes of the women’s 100 breaststroke. In prelims, Canadian Valerie Drapeau set the S5 National Record with a 2:01.19, and her countrymate Justine Morrier also broke the Canadian Record in the S14 class with a 1:25.34.

Neither swimmer was able to improve their respective records in finals, but both still easily won their races.

Shelby Newkirk broke the Canadian Record twice and Americas Records once in the 100 backstroke on Saturday. First, in prelims, she swam a 1:23.75 in the S7 class. In finals, she dropped more than a second to 1:22.63, which not only re-broke her own Canadian Record, but also took out Mallory Weggemann’s Americas Record.

The World Record in that event is a 1:21.57, which was broken by legendary German swimmer Kirsten Bruhn in 2012 – when she was 43-years old.

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Shelby Newkirk committed intentional misrepresentation at her classification 3 weeks ago. Could only do a 1:42 in 100 back 3 weeks ago on the day of her swim observations for classification and now she drops 20 seconds to set a record. People had a fit when Maddison Elliott did the same thing but it was only 8 second difference. She also added 30 seconds in breastroke and an extra 1:30 in 400free that very same day. She evidently thinks no one is paying attention. Is anyone going to protest before she sets a world record?


Speaking of intentional misrepresentation, when did Evan Austin get himself classed down to s7? This is really frustrating. He’s a clear s8 and competed as a s8 in Rio.


There is no speed component in classification.


lol you’ve obviously never been to classification. I’ve been classed 3 times it’s not a written rule but speed is always a component. Shelby needs to get kicked out intentional misrepresentation has caused havoc and she needs to be stopped.


Nope. Just a classifier. The only bench test that requires an repeatable speed is the coordination test. It’s done quickly because that what show the impairment. The technical test asks for race pace to demonstrate that the swimming is representative of the bench. Swimming slower so as to minimize coordination deficits (where applicable) does nothing to help an athlete’s case for impairment-for-the-sport-of-swimming The observation in competition is there because race conditions are pretty hard to replicate anywhere else. There is no part of the classification system that says that a performance is too fast or too slow to put a swimmer in a sport class. There just isn’t. What can, and does happen, is an athlete will present for classification… Read more »


Coordination tests .. touch your nose with your finger, tap fingers with thumb – not exactly hard to ham that up!
Lack of skill ‘Not generally a concern at International Classification’? Come on Australias’ Elliott, Patterson, Watson .. I could go on
Observation in classification ? Way up high on the bleachers watching multiple newly classified swimmers in one heat? Yeah right, that’s professional, fair & accurate.

You just have to admit that classification for neurologically impaired swimmers is detrimental to clean & fair sport because it is rife for manipulation by everyone – from athletes to classifiers. There is no confidence in the system used, the athletes, staff and classifiers.

Who are to ‘Perhaps’ and what level of classifier are you?


Good to have a classifier join in the discussion. So, given that speed is not a factor in classification we can assume that it is observation of impairment in the water test that is important. Could you please explain Lakeisha Patterson’s classification then? Severe enough to be S8 and won the 400 free in WR time in Rio. Alleged impairments are left hemiplegic cerebral palsy and Parkinsons Disease. So at race pace, great underwater footage of strong kicking off the wall at every turn, good consistent kick throughout the race, even splits/ no sign of neuromuscular fatigue typical of CP, held her form throughout breathing every 4th stroke, zero sign of rigidity of PD or spasticity of CP, just fingers… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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