2004 Athlete of the Month Awards

JANUARY
Justin Warsylewicz

Warsylewicz, 18, was the overall champion at the 2004 Canada Post All Round Canadian Championships. This is the first time a junior has taken the overall title at this senior competition, and he broke two junior records in the 10,000m. At the Continental Championships in Calgary, he broke the junior record again and placed sixth overall. Due to these accomplishments, Warsylewicz was named to the national team that will compete at the World Junior Championships and the World All Round Speed Skating Championships. He was nominated by the Saskatchewan Amateur Speed Skating Association.

The other nominees were: Jan-Michael Pelechytik, Regina, swimming; Veronica Samayoa, Regina, weightlifting; and Megan Reid, Saskatoon, athletics.

FEBRUARY
Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson of Moose Jaw is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. February Athlete of the Month Award.

At the Junior World Long Track Speed Skating Championships in Roseville, Minnesota, Johnson, 19, won a gold medal in the 1,500 metres. He is the first Canadian in history to win the event at these championships. Johnson also placed fifth in the 500m, ninth in 3,000m and twelfth overall. These championships featured 118 of the best male and female junior speedskaters in the world, including the next generation of athletes who will compete in the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy. Due to these accomplishments, he may be named to the national team. He was nominated by the Saskatchewan Amateur Speed Skating Association.

The other nominees were Karyln Serby, Saskatoon, athletics; and the University of Saskatchewan Huskie Men's Wrestling Team.

MARCH
Kelsie Hendry

Kelsie Hendry of Saskatoon is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. March Athlete of the Month Award. Hendry, 21, broke her own Saskatchewan Native record in pole vault at the University National Championships in Windsor, Ont. Her mark of 4.20 metres eclipsed her previous record of 4.16m. This has been an award-winning year for Hendry as she was also named the 2004 CIS Female Field Athlete of the Year and received the Mary Ethel Cartwright Trophy as the University of Saskatchewan Female Athlete of the Year. Due to her accomplishments, Hendry will compete at the Senior National Championships in Victoria, B.C. on July 9-11.

The other nominees were: Synchronized Swimming Team Virtuoso; Adam Ens, Rosthern, volleyball; Kaylyn Kyle, Saskatoon, soccer; and Lee Hanson, Regina, taekwon-do.

APRIL

Bruno Axemen

This 20-member team, coached by Ray Bender and Dave Suer, won the National Broomball Championships in Montreal. One member won the tournament Most Valuable Player award, two were named First Team All Stars and one to the Second Team. The leading scorer for the tournament was also from Bruno. This is only the second time that a province other than Quebec or Ontario has won this title. The Bruno Axemen were nominated by Saskatchewan Broomball Association.

The other nominee was Simon Bairu, Regina, athletics.

MAY
Lisa Franks

Franks won several international competitions during the month. At the Swiss Marathon in Nottwil, Switzerland, Franks set a world's best time in the 42 km wheelchair marathon. At the German Trials in Mannheim, Germany, she won gold in the 100m, 200m and 400m. At the Daniela Jutzeler Memorial Marathon in Switzerland, she set world records in 100m and 400m and won gold medals in the 100m, 200m, and 400m. Franks was nominated by the Saskatchewan Wheelchair Sports Association.

The other nominees were: Adam Ens, Saskatoon, volleyball; Simon Bairu, Regina, athletics; Jeff Adamson, Saskatoon, wrestling; Tramaine Miles, Ochapowace First Nation, boxing; Casey Berry, Saskatoon, baton twirling; and Chelsea Stone, Regina, taekwon-do.

JUNE
Jayd Lukenchuk

A member of the Taiso Gymnastics Club, Lukenchuk, 14 enjoyed an outstanding performance at the Canadian Gymnastics Championships in Mississauga, Ont. He finished first overall and was named the All-Around Canadian Champion. He won gold medals on the rings and parallel bars, bronze on horse and high bars, fourth in vault and fifth in floor exercise. Lukenchuk is Saskatchewan's first All-Around Canadian Champion since Kevin Sharfe won in 1994.

The national championships featured 500 athletes from 10 provinces and two territories, and 14 gymnasts were in Lukenchuk's category. Due to this accomplishment, he was named to Canada's National Youth Team (Tyro). Lukenchuk was nominated by Gymnastics Saskatchewan.

JULY
Whitney Vanderleest

The 15-year-old was part of the Canadian team that competed on the European Tour in Hazenwinkel, Belgium. She won bronze medals in the K1 500m and K1 1000m, and silver medals in the K2 500m and K2 1000m. There were 25 competitors in her categories. Vanderleest also won three gold medals at the Canada Cup in Ottawa. Due to her accomplishments, she will represent Saskatchewan at the National Sprint Championships in August. Vanderleest was nominated by the Saskatchewan Canoe Association.

The other nominees were: Erin Ryan, Saskatoon, baton twirling; Nolan Johnson, Melville, archery; Dwight Safroniuk, Saskatoon, Special Olympics; Jeff Adamson, Saskatoon, wrestling; and Matthew Bodnaryk, Yorkton, taekwon-do.

AUGUST
Graham DeLaet

DeLaet, 22, was the first Saskatchewan golfer to be the tournament low qualifier at the Canadian Amateur Golf Championship. He finished the two round event at -5, which was two strokes ahead of the second place competitor. He won the first match 2-1 before losing his second match on the 19th hole. The competition featured 162 competitors from Canada, the United States, Mexico and Australia. Due to this accomplishment, DeLaet was named to the national team and will compete with Team Canada at the 4 Nations Cup in Japan. He was nominated by the Saskatchewan Golf Association.

The other nominees were: the Saskatchewan Under 19 Women's Rugby Team and the Optimist Twirling Connection Team.

SEPTEMBER
Amy Alsop

Alsop, 26, successfully defended her team's gold medal performance at the 2004 Paralympic Games in goal ball. She started nine games and scored 11 games including the game winner in the final against the United States. She finished first among centres and third overall in scoring. Alsop also only allowed 1.5 goals on 419 shots. She was nominated by Saskatchewan Blind Sports.

The other nominee was Steve Bilan, Saskatoon, University of Saskatchewan Huskie Football Club.

OCTOBER
Steve Bilan

As the quarterback for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Football Team, he has led his team to finish second in the Canada West Conference in the CIS Division after a 49-7 victory over the University of Regina Rams. During the pivotal game, Bilan completed 19 of 33 passes for a total of 369 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Bilan has been strong all season long, which is why he was named Canadian West Offensive Football Athlete of the Week two weeks in a row, and why he is ranked as the number one quarterback in the country and number two in the history of the Canada West Conference with 2,549 total passing yards. In September, Bilan also received the CIS Offensive Football Athlete of the Week Award.

NOVEMBER
Simon Bairu

Bairu, 21, a member of the Queen City Striders, won the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana. His university team finished second. He was also named the Big Ten Athlete of the Year. Bairu was nominated by Saskatchewan Athletics.

The other nominees were: Sarah Crooks, Fife Lake, University of Saskatchewan Huskie Women's Basketball; Neal Zaluski, Moose Jaw, Speed Skating; and the Kyle George Mixed Curling Team.

DECEMBER
Danette Doetzel

At the Canadian Cross Country Championships in Toronto on Dec. 4, Doetzel won the junior women's 5 km race with a time of 17:21. She was 34 seconds ahead of the second place runner. Doetzel was also on the Provincial Branch Team that won the silver medal with 75 points in the team competition.

2004 was an outstanding year for Doetzel as she won the Big 10 Championships on Oct. 31, was named Big 10 Women's Freshman of the Year, and was named Big 10's Cross Country Athlete of the Year.

A member of the Queen City Striders in Regina, Doetzel was nominated by Saskatchewan Athletics.