2003 Athlete of the Month Awards

JANUARY
Nancy Kerr Curling Team

The team of Nancy Kerr (skip), Linda Burnham (third), Kendra Richards (second), and Gertie Pick (lead) won the SaskTel Mobility Provincial Senior Women's Curling Championships in Weyburn. The team then went on to win the Canadian Senior Women's Curling Championships in Lethbridge. Gertie Pick was also named to the All-Star Team. Due to their accomplishments, the team will compete at the World Senior Curling Championships in Winnipeg. The team was nominated by the Saskatchewan Curling Association.

The other nominees were: Kelsie Hendry, Saskatoon, University of Saskatchewan; Dustin Johnson, Moose Jaw, speed skating; and Jesse Laframboise, Balcarres, boxing.

FEBRUARY
Junior Men's and Women's Curling Teams

The Steve Laycock and Marliese Miller Curling Teams won all three final events to win the Canadian Curling Championships in Ottawa, Ont. The men's team finished first overall and the women's team was second overall after the round robin play. Due to these accomplishments, both teams will compete at the Junior World Championships in Switzerland. The teams were nominated by the Saskatchewan Curling Association.

The other nominees were: Brooke Ellis, Assiniboia, figure skating; and Kerry Simpson, Melville, speed skating.

MARCH
Kerry Simpson

Saskatchewan Speed Skater, Kerry Simpson of Melville is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. March Athlete of the Month Award.

Kerry Simpson, 21, finished first overall at the 2003 Olympic Oval Finale in Calgary by winning all the 500m, 1000m, 1500m and 3000m events. She also set a new Canadian record in the 1500m and achieved two personal bests. Simpson competed against 100 athletes from six countries in this competition. Due to her accomplishments she was named to the 2003-04 National Speed Skating Long Track Team. Simpson was nominated by the Saskatchewan Amateur Speed Skating Association.

The other nominees were: The Balfour Redman Senior Girls Basketball Team, Regina; Belinda Chou, Regina, Wrestling; and Meaghan Koshman, Regina, Gymnastics.

APRIL
Bruno Junior Axemen

This broomball team consists of 19 players and coaches Ray Bender and Mark Weiman. The team captured its second consecutive national title by winning the gold medal at the Canadian National Juvenile Broomball Championships (19U) in Montreal. Six provinces and 10 teams competed at the championships. One member was named a First Team All-Star and two members were named to the Second Team. The team was nominated by the Saskatchewan Broomball Association.

The other nominees were: Team Saskatchewan, wrestling; Nigel O'Quinn, North Battleford, taekwon-do; and the Saskatoon Aqualenes, synchro.

MAY
Viola Yanik

Viola Yanik of Saskatoon is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. May Athlete of the Month Award.

As a member of Team Saskatchewan, Yanik, 20, won a gold medal in her weight category at the Senior National Wrestling Championships. She now qualifies for the Senior World Championships in New York in August and the 2004 Olympic Trials. Yanik was nominated by the Saskatchewan Amateur Wrestling Association.

The other nominees were: Kris Nichols, Regina, baton twirling; the Golden Mile Senior Boys 5-Pin Bowling Team; Stacie Hogan, Regina, gymnastics; and the Saskatoon Aqalenes Varied Synchro Team.

JUNE
Kalim Keays

Kalim Keays of Tisdale is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. June Athlete of the Month Award.

At the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Dublin, Ireland, Keays, 21, won the gold in high jump, silver in shot put, and sixth in the 4 x 100 relay. Due to these accomplishments, Keays will compete in the Zone Qualifying Championships and the Provincial Championships. He was nominated by Special Olympics Saskatchewan.

The other nominees were: Kahl Boll, Fillmore, trapshooting; Chad Hankewich, Saskatoon, swimming; and Jean-Pierre Séguin, Saskatoon, fencing.

JULY
Howard West

Howard West, 90, of Saskatoon is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. July Athlete of the Month Award.

Competing in the 90-94 age category at the World Masters' Championships held in Carolina, Puerto Rico, West set a new Canadian record and won the gold medal in the throws' pentathlon event. He also won the bronze medal in both the javelin and the 200 metre race. West is entered to attend the National Masters Championships in Richmond, B.C. this month. He was nominated by Saskatchewan Athletics.

The other nominees were: Saskatchewan Soccer Association Under 14 All Star Team; Melanie Miazga, Saskatoon, volleyball; and Casey Berry, Saskatoon, baton twirling.

AUGUST
Kia Byers

Kia Byers, a canoeist from Regina, is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. August Athlete of the Month Award.

At the Western Canada Summer Games in Manitoba Byers won individual gold medals in the 200m, 500m, 1000m and 6000m. As a team member, she won gold medals in the K2-200m, K2-6000m and K4-500m, K4-1000m, and War Canoe. She also won team silver medals in the K2-500m and K2-1000m. Byers carried the Saskatchewan flag during the closing ceremonies.

At the National Sprint Championships in Welland, ON, she won gold in K2-1000m midget, silver medals in the K2-200m juvenile, and a bronzed in the 1000m midget. Due to these accomplishment, she will compete at World Cup events in Europe next year and at the 2005 Junior World Championships. Byers was nominated by the Saskatchewan Canoeing Association.

The other nominees were: Kelsie Hendry, Saskatoon, athletics; Richard McBride, Saskatoon, skeet shooting; Sydney Byrns, Saskatoon, sailing; Saskatchewan Baseball Team, Western Canada Summer Games; Cam Baerg, Saskatoon, rowing; Lindsay Cargill, Regina, synchro; and Elizabeth Collins, Regina, swimming.

SEPTEMBER
Morley Shanner

At the World Masters Weightlifting Championships, Shanner, 37, won the silver medal in the 35-40 year old, 105 kg weight class. Due to this accomplishment, the Estevan resident will compete at the Senior National Championships in Valleyfield, QC, in June, 2004.

The other nominee was Tara Eckert, Saskatoon, rugby.

OCTOBER
Chelsea Stone

Chelsea Stone of Regina is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. October Athlete of the Month Award.

At the Pan Am Championships in Orlando, Florida, Stone won a gold medal in sparring and a silver medal in patterns. She also won gold medals in sparring and patterns at the SaskCup in Regina. Stone was nominated by the Saskatchewan Taekwon-Do Federation International Inc.

The other nominee was Tyler Siwark, Prince Albert, football.

NOVEMBER
Justin Warsylewicz

Justin Warsylewicz, 18, of Regina is the Sask Sport Inc. November Athlete of the Month.

Warsylewicz set three Canadian Junior Men's Olympic Style records and finished third overall at the Can Am Long Track Speed Skating Championships in Calgary. He set a Canadian junior record in the 3000m, eclipsing the previous record by over five seconds. He also established the record in the 5000m, which resulted in a new Canadian Junior record for All Round Long Total Points. Warsylewicz was nominated by the Saskatchewan Amateur Speed Skating Association.

The other nominees were: Simon Bairu, Regina, Saskatchewan Athletics; Brian Guebert, Saskatoon, Football Saskatchewan; and Jan-Michael Pelechytik, Regina, Swim Saskatchewan.

DECEMBER
Nicole Cargill

Cargill, 19, was named to Canada's Olympic Team this month by placing ninth at the Synchro Canada 2004 Athens Olympic Team Trials in Montreal. Her path to the Olympics began in November 2002 when she competed at the Synchro Canada National Team Trials. After the final swim she was ranked ninth nationally, which enabled her to join the National A team and qualified her to compete at the Olympic Team Trials. Cargill was nominated by Synchro Saskatchewan.

The other nominee was Keith Roney, Regina, lawn bowling.