2008 Athlete of the Month Awards

JANUARY
Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers

Paige Lawrence, 17, and Rudi Swiegers, 20, of Kennedy are the recipients of the Sask Sport Inc. January Athlete of the Month Award.

This figure skating pair captured the silver medal in junior pairs at the BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships in Vancouver, BC. Due to this accomplishment, they were named alternates for the Junior World Figure Skating Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. They were nominated by Skate Canada Saskatchewan Inc.

FEBRUARY
Janine Polischuk

At the Canada West University Conference Championships, Polischuk, 23, won gold in the 60 metre hurdles, long jump and triple jump. She established a new conference championship record in the triple jump and also won a silver medal in high jump. Due to these accomplishments, Polischuk was named the Most Valuable Female and Female Field Performer of the Meet. She was nominated by Saskatchewan Athletics.

The other nominees were: Lucas Morin, Saskatoon, speed skating; Kendra Chernoff, Saskatoon, swimming; and the Stephanie McVicar Junior Curling Team.

MARCH
Eugene Hritzuk Senior Men's Curling Team

Skip Eugene Hritzuk, third Kevin Kalthoff, second Verne Anderson, and lead Dave Folk won the Canadian Senior Men's Curling Championships. The team will now compete at the World Seniors Curling Championships in New Zealand. The team was nominated by the Saskatchewan Curling Association.

The other nominees were: Kendra Schaaf, Craven, athletics, and Dwight Safroniuk, Saskatoon, Special Olympics.

APRIL
Kelsie Hendry

Currently the provincial indoor and outdoor record holder in the senior women's pole vault, Hendry, 25, recently achieved Athletics Canada's Olympic "A" Standard at two competitions. At the PVCC Outdoor meet in Arizona, she jumped 4.45m to win the event. She also outperformed 41 other competitors to win the UCSD Triton Invitational in California with a jump of 4.46m. She was nominated by Saskatchewan Athletics.

The other nominees were: Sean Barclay, Saskatoon, racquetball; Kelsey Nagy, Weyburn, figure skating; Shannon Phillips, Regina, taekwon-do; Alexandra Wrubleski, Regina, cycling; and the Saskatoon Aqualenes, synchronized swimming.

MAY
Team Saskatchewan, Hockey

The team, which consisted of 22 members, earned gold at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario in May. Three Team Saskatchewan members were also named All-Stars at the event. A total of 10 teams, representing nine Canadian provinces, participated in the competition.

The other nominees were: Team Saskatchewan, darts; Alexandra Wrubleski, Regina, cycling; Danette Doetzel, Melfort, athletics; Sam Valentine, Saskatoon, diving; Jessica Guenther, Saskatoon, synchro; Ilana Duff, Saskatoon, wheelchair sports; and Henry Pan, Saskatoon, badminton.

JUNE
Shannon Comerford

Comerford, 20, won the gold medal in the women's foil individual events at the Junior Nationals, Senior Selection #1 competition, and Junior Team Nationals. She was also the captain of Team Saskatchewan at the Junior Team Nationals. The Sr. Selection Circuit is the first of two Canadian Competitions used to select athletes who will be allowed to enter Sr. World Cups, and used to select athletes of the Sr. National Team. She was nominated by the Saskatchewan Fencing Association.

The other nominees were: Julia Garnet, Saskatoon, cycling; Lucas Baldo, Saskatoon, rowing; Ilana Duff, Bradwell, wheelchair sports; and Ralph Ibanez, Saskatoon, judo.

JULY
Kelsie Hendry

At the Canadian Track and Field Championships, Hendry, 26, won gold in women's pole vaulting with a jump of 4.30m. The championships also served as the Olympic Trials for the Beijing Olympic Games. Hendry's performance, along with her previous results this season, qualified her to represent Canada at the Olympics. This is Hendry's second consecutive year as the Canadian champion. She was nominated by Saskatchewan Athletics.

The other nominees were: Kendra Chernoff, Saskatoon, swimming; Ilana Duff, Bradwell, wheelchair sports; Christine King, Prince Albert, handgun; Thomas Ostapowich, Regina, wrestling; Fiona and Mike Vincent, Regina, canoe kayak; Taryn Wicijowski, Regina, basketball; and Alexandra Wrubleski, Regina, cycling.

AUGUST
Megan Gibson

Megan Gibson, 16, of Regina, competed as an individual and a crew member in team boat events at the Canadian Sprint Canoe Kayak Championships held in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. She captured three medals at the championships: gold in K-1 1000m, gold in K-1 500m, and silver in K-1 200m. Twenty-seven competitors participated in each event. Gibson also won bronze in the team boat event C-15 500m and placed fourth in the midget women's K-4 event. At the championships, 1,257 athletes participated from eight provinces and 39 clubs.

Due to her achievements, Gibson is a likely candidate for nomination to the Junior National Development Team and will be given the opportunity to represent Canada at the Junior International Regatta in Moscow this month. She was nominated by Canoe Kayak Saskatchewan.

The other nominees were: Rachael Edwards, Saskatoon, triathlon; and Aaron Misponas, Pinehouse, Special Olympics.

SEPTEMBER
Ilana Duff

At the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, Duff , 22, won a bronze medal in the 100m, had a second CR place finish in the 400m, a fifth place in the 200m and a fifth CR place in the 400m. She was nominated by the Saskatchewan Wheelchair Sports Association.

The other nominees were: Kaylyn Kyle, Saskatoon, Soccer; and Alex Wrubleski, Regina, Cycling.

OCTOBER
Stuart Twardzik

A member of the Canadian National Junior Boxing Team, Twardzik, 17, won gold at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games held in India last month. To capture first place, he defeated boxers from New Zealand, Wales, and India. Nine boxers competed in his event, while 99 athletes in total participated in the boxing venue at the Games. Twardzik was nominated by Boxing Saskatchewan.

NOVEMBER
Kendra Schaaf

Schaaf, 18, won her second consecutive Canadian Junior Cross Country Championship in Guelph, Ontario as a provincial team member. She qualified for the World Championship in Jordan, March 2009, and the NCAC team in Orlando FL. She finished 12th at the NCAA championship in Indiana earning All-American honors as the Washington Huskies won their first ever team title. As a freshman, she won the PAC-10 championships, the Tiger Invitational, and Sundodger Invitational. She was nominated by Saskatchewan Athletics.

DECEMBER
Michael Qing

Qing, 16 from Regina, recently competed as a member of Team Canada at the 2008 Down Syndrome International Swimming Organization World Swimming Championships in Portugal, where he dominated the competition. At the event, he won seven gold medals and set seven new world records. Qing placed first in the 50m Fly, 100m Fly, 50m Breast Stroke, 100m Breast Stroke, 100m Back Stroke, 50m Free, and 1,500m Free. Due to his achievements, Qing was named the Male Athlete with the highest points at the competition.

At the championships, 150 swimmers from 11 countries were in attendance, with 50 swimmers participating in each of Qing's events.