15-year-old breaks two Canadian records at Can-Am Para-swimming


(ISN) – EDMONTON – Samantha Ryan of Saskatoon made sure she finished the Can-Am Para-swimming Championships on a high note Sunday earning two victories, both in Canadian record time, to conclude the three-day meet.

The 15-year-old established new national marks in the 200-m butterfly and the 400-m individual medley in the S10 disability category.

In the 200 fly, Ryan clocked two minutes and 52.98 seconds to smash the previous mark of 3:29.49 set by Amanda Donaher in 2006. In the 400 IM, Ryan finished in 6:09.33 which bettered the 6:24.81 swam by Alicia Denoon of Guelph, Ont., this past May.

”The meet hadn’t been going well for me so I was a bit surprised to get two records,” said Ryan, a double bronze medallist in her national team debut at the Para Pan Pacific Championships this past August. ”But I was determined to end today with a bang. I was especially pleased with my fly. I showed it is definitely improving after not doing so well in the 100 fly.”

Aurélie Rivard of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., the Team Aquatic Supplies Female Para-Swimmer of the Year in 2014, completed a strong competition with a victory in the S10 100-m freestyle and silver in the 100-m backstroke.

Her victory in the 100 free particularly stood out because she beat four-time Paralympic medallist Élodie Lorandi of France. Rivard was first in 1:01.14 and Lorandi followed in 1:02.62.

”I was pretty stressed about racing her,” said Rivard, 18, a Paralympic Games silver medallist in 2012. ”This was the first time I faced her since the 2013 world championships so I really didn’t know what to expect. It was definitely a good test for the upcoming year.”

Veteran Benoit Huot of Montreal also showed solid early season form with a silver medal in the 100-m backstroke. His arch rival Andre Brasil of Brazil was the winner in 1:01.53 and Huot followed in 1:03.61.

”I know I’m headed in the right direction,” said Huot, a 19-time Paralympic Games medallist. ”It’s a great way to finish 2014. For the first time since the London Games (in 2012) I feel I have that energy to swim fast. I’m really excited going into the New Year.”

Other Canadian records were lowered on Sunday by Katarina Roxon of Stephenville, N.L., in the S9 50-m breaststroke, Tess Routliffe of Caledon, Ont., in the S7 50-m breaststroke and Maxime Rousselle of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu in the S14 400-m IM.