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Veterans Tess Routliffe and Shelby Newkirk use Ken Demchuk meet as a test

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If it was a test, Tess Routliffe and Shelby Newkirk passed with flying colours.

Routliffe and Newkirk won two races each and Jacob Brayshaw continued to break records with his swims on Saturday at the Ken Demchuk International Invitational meet in Vancouver.

For veterans like Routliffe and Newkirk the meet is a point in time, showing them what has worked in training and where they need to improve.

Routliffe won the women’s SB7 100-metre breaststroke in one minute, 38.90 seconds. She also won the S7 100-m freestyle in 1:18.91.

“I’m happy with the swims,” said Routliffe, who trains at the High Performance Centre – Quebec and was a triple medallist at this year’s Para world championships.

“I’m happy to be where we are right now. We have training behind us. Now we can go into the next few months of more specialized strokes.”

Newkirk won the SB5 100-m breast in 2:10.42 and the S6 100-m freestyle in 1:27.61.

“This meet is kind of figuring out where we are at, see how the technique is going,” said Newkirk, a world champion gold medallist in the 100-m backstroke. “It’s a good time to play around with what works and what doesn’t.

“For me, I’m ahead of where I was last year. That’s always the goal at this point.”

Brayshaw of the KISU Swim Club in Penticton, B.C., surprised himself.

“I knew the pace was there but I’m happy I executed and got those records done,” said the Vernon, B.C., resident, who lives with muscular dystrophy.

Brayshaw broke his own Canadian record by swimming the S2 50-m backstroke in 1:48.73 during the morning preliminaries. He swam a time of 1:49.30 in the final.

He swam the S2 100-m freestyle in 3:48.16, lowering his time of 3:52.01 he swam in the preliminaries. That shattered his previous record of 4:07.79.

Brayshaw had three Canadian record-breaking swims during Friday’s opening night, twice in the S2 100-metre backstroke and once in the 200-m freestyle.

The meet, being held to Sunday at the UBC Aquatic Centre on the University of British Columbia campus, has attracted around 60 competitors, making it the largest Para swimming competition held in Canada in four years.

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.

Janet Dunn, Swimming Canada’s Para swimming performance pathway coach and national classification lead, said she was pleased with the performances after two days of competition.

“This meet is meeting all the expectations we had,” said Dunn. “We have our senior swimmers, we have new swimmers who have never been to an all Para meet before making finals.

“We’ve got a lot of personal bests and we’ve had an amazingly fun time with our relays.”

In attendance Saturday were swimmers who represented Canada at past Paralympics, including Walter Wu, Michael Edgson, Drew Christensen, Tyler Mrak, Stephanie McDougall and Donovan Tildesley plus coaches Cory Beatt, Jane Blaine and Vince Mikuska.

Nikita Ens of the Saskatoon Lasers had a busy night. She won the women’s S3 50-m backstroke in 1:12.05, the 150-m individual medley in 4:25.95 and the 100-m freestyle in 2.26.57.

Jordan Tucker of Swim Ontario won the women’s S4 50-m backstroke in 1:08.20 and the 150-m I.M. in 4:09.09.

Nicholas Bennett of Ravensong Aquatics won the SB14 100-m breaststroke in 1:07.36 and the 100-m freestyle S14 in 54.14 seconds.

Alisson Gobeil of Team Quebec took the women’s S5 50-m backstroke in 1:00.32 and the 100-m freestyle in 1:42.73.

Etienne Boutin-Cote of Team Quebec won the men’s S4 50-m backstroke in 1:03.81 and the 150-m I.M. in 3:53.36.

Tyson Jacob of Team Quebec won the S5 50-metre backstroke in 52.79 seconds and the 100-m freestyle in 1:42.64.

Sebastian Massabie of the Pacific Sea Wolves won the men’s 100-m breaststroke in 2:28.45 and the 100-m freestyle S6 in 1:33.01.

Jagdev Gill of McGill won the men’s 100-m breaststroke SB9 in 1:19.10 and the 100-m freestyle S10 in 58.88.

Reid Maxwell of the Edmonton Keyano Swim Club won the SB8 men’s 100-m breaststroke in 1:39.78 and the 100-m freestyle S9 in 1:03.08.

In other results:

In the women’s 100-m breaststroke, Jessica Tinney of Toronto’s Variety Village took the SB4 class in 2:37.44. while Danielle Kisser of the High Performance Centre – Quebec won the SB6 race in 1:51.34.

Ruby Stevens of Variety Village took the SB8 class in 1:58.99. Jaime Cosgriffe of Swim Ontario won the SB9 in 1:30.93 and Justine Morrier of Velox Natation the SB14 in 1:24.96.

In the men’s 100-m breaststroke Riley Martin of KISU won the SB4 class in 2:44.00, Jack Morgan of Swim Ontario the SB6 in 2:05.74. Reid Maxwell of the Edmonton Keyano Swim Club the SB8 in 1:39.78. Antoine St-Germain of Team Quebec won the SB12 class in 1:28.95.

In the women’s 100-m freestyle, Sumbul Zafar of Swim Ontario won the S8 in 1:24.30, Ali Diehl of the Prince Albert Sharks the S9 in 1:22.98, Arianna Hunsicker the S10 in 1:03.81 and Angela Marina of Swim Ontario the S14 in 1:03.43.

In the men’s 100-m freestyle, Marian Catalin Barbu of Team Quebec won the S7 in 1:14.27, Felix Thomas Cowan of the Samak Club the S8 in 1:04.50, Gabriel Martel of Team Quebec the S11 in 1:21.46 and Hunter Helberg of the Fort McMurray Mantas Swim Club the S12 in 1:03.07.

The Swim Ontario team of Jack Morgan, Charles Giammichele, Jaime Cosgriffe and Sumbul Zafar won the mixed 400-m 34-point medley relay in 6:13.65.

The Swim Ontario team of Tyson MacDonald, Angela Marina, Antonio Fricano and Kate Smith won the mixed 400-m freestyle 56-point relay in 4:31.55.

For full results go to

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.