2005 Athlete of the Month Awards

JANUARY
Lucas Makowsky

Makowsky, 18, finished second overall at the Junior Canadian Long Track Championships in Winnipeg. He won the gold in the 3000m, silver in the 5000m, bronze in the 1500m and fourth in the 500m. Due to these accomplishments, he was named an alternate to the Junior World Championships and will compete at the Junior Country Match in Alkmaar, NED (only four Canadian men have been invited to compete at this meet). Makowsky was nominated by the Saskatchewan Amateur Speed Skating Association.

The other nominees were: Michelle Nelson, Saskatoon, boxing; Melanda Shay, Regina, baton twirling; and Kelsie Hendry, Saskatoon, athletics.

FEBRUARY
Kyle George Curling Team

The team of Kyle George (skip), Justin Mihalicz (third), David Kidby (second), and Chris Hebert (lead), won the 2005 Karcher Junior Men's National Championship in Fredricton, NB. 12 teams competed at the national competition representing all provinces and territories. Due to this achievement, the team will compete at the World Championhipships in Pinerolo, Italy. The team was nominated by the Saskatchewan Curling Association.

The other nominees were: Cory Niefer, Yorkton, Small Bore; Adam Sanden, Kamsack, Special Olympic; Kelsie Hendry, Saskatoon, Athletics; Dean Beuker, Watson, Hockey, Justin Warsylewicz, Regina, Speed Skating.

MARCH
Kerry Simpson

A member of the Canadian National Team, Simpson, 23, dominated the women's races at the Canada Post Cup #3 at the Calgary Oval, winning gold in the 500 metres, 1000m and 1500m. Due to this accomplishment, Simpson has qualified to compete in the 2006 Olympic Selection Trails. She was nominated by the Saskatchewan Amateur Speed Skating Association.

The other nominees were: Adam Sanden, Kamsack, Special Olympics; Karissa LePage, Regina, taekwon-do; and Kelsie Hendry, Saskatoon, athletics.

APRIL
Saskatchewan Junior Wheelchair Basketball Team

This nine-player team coached by Julien Gaudet won the bronze medal at the Junior National Wheelchair Basketball Championships in Waterloo, ON. This is the first medal won by a Saskatchewan team at a national championship. The team was nominated by the Saskatchewan Wheelchair Sports Association.

The other nominees were: Bonnie Dennis, Prince Albert, darts; and the Team Saskatchewan Master Women's Curlers.

MAY
Linda Ellerington

Ellerington, 44, from Miniota placed second at the 2005 Canadian Racquetball National Championships, defeating the number one female player in Canada to move into the final. Due to this achievement, Ellerington may have earned herself a spot on the Canadian National Team to compete in the "Americas in the Summer" tournament, and also a chance at the next Pan Am Games. Ellerington was nominated by Racquetball Saskatchewan

The other nominee was Jaret Gray, Rosetown, darts.

JUNE
Sarah Graham and Katy Haver

This duo captured the gold medal in senior women's doubles at the Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association Regatta in St. Catherines, ON. There were 2,000 athletes at this competition. Due to this accomplishment, they will be competing at the 2005 Canada Summer Games in Regina. Graham and Haver were nominated by the Saskatchewan Rowing Association.

The other nominee was Bonnie Dennis, Prince Albert, darts.

JULY
Whitney Vanderleest

Vanderleest won gold medals in K1-500m (individual), K4-200m, K4-500m and the K4-1000m at the Pan Am Canoe Championships in Lae Beauport, QC. There were 40 athletes competing in Vanderleest’s category level. Due to this achievement, Vanderleest has qualified to compete at the Junior World Championships in Hungary in August.

The other nominees were: Ken Orr, cycling; Viola Yanik, wrestling; Leah Vause, athletics; Margaret (Meta) Woods, swimming; and the Optimist Twirling Connection, baton twirling.

AUGUST
Cory Rublee

As a member of the provincial sprint canoe team at the Canada Summer Games in Regina, Rublee, 23, won gold medals in the C1-500m, C1-1000m, C1200m, C4-1000m and C1-6000m races. He competed against six other teams in his category level. Rublee will now compete at the National Championships in Montreal this September.

The other nominees were: the Saskatchewan Under 21 Men Provincial Rugby Team; Alexandra Wrubleski, cycling; and Morgan Kirzinger, rowing.

SEPTEMBER
Mark Lammens

Lammens, along with his brother Hank and Doug Sabin, earned fourth place in the three-man Etchell's class at the 2005 World Championships. The championships took place in San Francisco from September 1-10 and featured 72 boats from 13 countries, including seven Olympic medalists and sailors from the America's Cup.

In 2005, Lammens achieved gold in the single-handed Laser Class Championships at the National Masters in June, at the Mountain Madness in Blackstrap, and at the Ice Breaker competition hosted by the Regina Sailing Club. He also earned gold at the Volkswagen Newport Regatta in the Etchell's class with his teammates (Doug and Hank).

As a coach, Lammens instructed members of the Team Saskatchewan Sailing Team at the recent Canada Summer Games in Regina.

OCTOBER
David Stevens

A member of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies Football Team, Stevens, 22, helped lead his team to an 8-0 record and a number two ranking in the country. Stevens finished the season as the top ranked rusher and scorer in the Canada West conference. He also led the CIS in scoring and was the second leading rusher. Stevens was nominated by the University of Saskatchewan.

The other nominee was the Saskatchewan Wheelchair Rugby Team.

NOVEMBER
Simon Bairu

Simon Bairu, 22, Regina is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. November Athlete of the Month Award.

Bairu won his second consecutive NCAA Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. His university team also won the team title. Due to his accomplishments, Bairu was named All-American, and the 2005 Big Ten Athlete of the Year for the third straight year in a row.

Bairu was nominated by Saskatchewan Athletics. The other nominee for November was Cory Niefer, Yorkton, Small Bore.

DECEMBER
Christine Richardson

Christine Richardson of Regina is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. December Athletic of the Month Award.

At the World Junior Racquetball Championships in Mexico, Richardson, 15 competed in the 14U girls singles category and went 1-2 in the preliminary matches before winning four consecutive playoff matches to win the gold medal. Richardson also won the bronze medal in doubles. A total of 350 athletes from 19 countries competed in the event, including 12 in Richardson's category. She was nominated by Racquetball Saskatchewan.

The other nominees were Rusty Malinoski, Humboldt, water ski and wakeboard; Justin Warsylewicz, Regina, speed skating; and Kelsie Hendry, Saskatoon, athletics.