2014 Athlete of the Month Awards

DECEMBER
Bree Crookshanks

Bree Crookshanks of Regina is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. December Athlete of the Month Award. She was nominated by Swim Saskatchewan.

Crookshanks competed in the Thunderbolt Junior International Swim Meet, which consisted of 200 swimmers from three countries. She finished sixth in the 200m breaststroke and earned tenth place finishes in the 50m breaststroke and 100m breaststroke. She twice broke the 15-to-17 girls provincial record in the 200m breaststroke -- in the preliminary round and finals. She also broke the senior/open record in the finals.

Crookshanks qualified for the Canadian Swimming Championships and Trials due to her performance. It was the first time she has achieved a Canadian Swimming Championships qualifying time and she is now able to compete at senior national level meets.

NOVEMBER
Max Kirkpatrick Curling Team

The Max Kirkpatrick Curling Team of Swift Current is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. November Athlete of the Month Award. The team was nominated by CurlSask.

Kirkpatrick's curling squad won a gold medal at the Canadian Mixed Curling Championships, defeating the Northwest Territories 7-4 in the final. It was Saskatchewan's 10th gold medal, all-time at the event, tying the province with Alberta for first.

Thanks to the win, Kirkpatrick's team - also consisting of Jolene Campbell (Third), Chris Haichert (Second) and Tee Jay Haichert (Lead) - will be competing at the inaugural World Mixed Championships next September.

The other outstanding nominees for this month were:

  • Kali Christ, Speed Skating, Regina - finished as the top Canadian female in the 1500m event at two ISU World Cup events. She is currently the second-fastest Canadian female long track speed skater in the 1000m and was the only one to qualify for two distances at the ISU World Cups.
  • Shannon Comerford, Fencing, Saskatoon - competed in the Senior World Cup. She placed 84th in a field that included 148 participants and is a member of the Women's National Foil Team.
  • Kelly Wiebe, Athletics, Swift Current - earned a silver medal at the Canadian Cross Country Championships in the senior men's 10km division. His club team won the senior men's gold medal, and he helped Canada to a seventh place finish (its best ever) at the International Chiba Ekiden - a mixed gender team endurance relay.

OCTOBER
Milos Kostic

Milos Kostic of Regina is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. October Athlete of the Month Award. He was nominated by the Saskatchewan Triathlon Association Corporation.

Kostic took home his eighth world title at the 2014 Ironman World Triathlon Championships. Kostic competed in the 70-74 age category, competing against 31 athletes from eight different countries. The event consisted of: 3.86 km open water (ocean) swim, 180.25 km bike and 42.22 km run (full marathon).

The other outstanding nominees for this month were:

  • Brandon Chow, Team Handball, Regina - won a gold medal with Canada's U21 men's handball team at the IHF North American Zone Team Handball Championship. Was the only Saskatchewanian on the team and was one of the youngest members. Canada qualified for the Continental Cup.
  • Keegan Christ, Speed Skating, Regina - placed first in the 1,000 metre, second in the 500m and fifth in the 1,500m events at the Oktoberfest Competition in Calgary. Broke his own provincial record in the 500m and 1,500m during the qualification rounds.
  • Danielle Drury (Saskatoon) and Graham Frattinger (Martensville), Racquetball - competed at the Junior World Racquetball Championships. Drury finished third in U18 Doubles and ninth in U18 Singles. Frattinger placed fifth in U16 Doubles and 17th in U16 Singles.
  • Paige Hodson, Horseback Riding, Casa Rio Estates - won a gold medal in individual horse jumping at the Canadian Interprovincial Equestrian Championships. She received first, second and third-place ribbons in her other jumping events, while being named to Team Bronze in jumping and the Overall Bronze Team.
  • Matt Johnson, Athletics, Regina - won the Stewart Cup Memorial Cross Country and he was the Open Men's Provincial Champion at the Saskatchewan Athletics Provincial Age Class Cross Country Championships. He also won the University of Saskatchewan Sled Dog Cross Country Championships.
  • Nikki Todd, Squash, Regina - won the qualifying competition and finished third overall at the Team Canada Trials to become the first Saskatchewan player to ever be selected for the national team.

SEPTEMBER
Jillian Gallays

Jillian Gallays of Saskatoon is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. September Athlete of the Month Award. She was nominated by the Saskatchewan Amateur Wrestling Association.

Gallays won a bronze medal at the Senior World Wrestling Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on Sept. 9. There were 28 participants in her division.

The other outstanding nominees for this month were:

  • Jessica Furlan, Athletics, Regina - competed for Canada at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Continental Cup on Sept. 13-14 in Marrakech, Morocco. She placed seventh with a time of 10 minutes 16.51 seconds in the women's 3000m steeplechase.
  • Ralph Ibanez, Judo, Saskatoon - won a gold medal in the International Judo Federation (IJF) World Judo Veteran's Championships in Malaga, Spain on Sept. 25-27. He competed in the 65 kg ages 66-70 division against competitors from seven other countries. It's his sixth world title.
  • Tyler Wright, Golf, Regina - after winning the Saskatchewan Mid-Amateur Men's Championship by 10 strokes, Wright advanced to Canadian Men's Mid-Amateur Championships on Sept. 16-19. He placed 46th in a field of 156, including players from four countries and 10 provinces. He was also named a finalist for Top Male Player of the Year Award, which will be given out in October.

AUGUST
Logan Campbell

Logan Campbell of Saskatoon is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. August Athlete of the Month Award. He was nominated by the Saskatchewan Sailing Clubs Association.

Campbell won a silver medal at the IFDS World Championships in Halifax, N.S., which featured 16 countries. As a result of Campbell's silver-medal performance, he and the rest of his crew (Paul Tingley and Scott Luttes) have qualified Canada for the Sonar class at the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil.

The other outstanding nominees for this month were:

  • Bob Hudson, Para-Archery, Leoville - won silver at the Canadian National Archery Championships/Canadian Open and scored a 1337 at the FITA 1440 target, which qualifies him for the Para Pan Am Games.
  • Colin Finnie, Horseshoe Pitching, Kenaston - placed first at the Canadian Championships and the qualifying Western Classic. Finished first at the Fall Frolic and was second at the Paddockwood event in Prince Albert.
  • Auriel Bill and Amy Yule, Water Polo, Regina -members of the 18U Women's National Team that finished second at the Women's 18U World Championships. Was the team's first medal on the Junior World stage since 2003.
  • Grant Wilkie, Lawn Bowling, Saskatoon - won gold at the U25 World Junior Cup Qualifier, which qualifies him for the U25 World Junior Championship. Won gold at the Canadian Championship Men's Triples. Won silver at the 2014 Canadian U25 Championships.
  • Kylie Zirk, Canoe Kayak, Saskatoon - earned gold in the C1 Slalom event at the Minden Hills Open. Won gold (K1 Slalom) and silver (C1 Slalom Junior Women) medals at the Canadian Whitewater Championships, qualifying for the Junior and U23 World Championships.
  • Jarret Kenke, Canoe Kayak, Saskatoon - won two gold medals at the Canadian Sprint Canoe-Kayak Championships (Junior Men K2 1000m, Junior Men K2 500m) and three silver medals (Junior Men K1 500m, Junior Men K1 1000m, Junior Men K2 200m). Results will likely earn Kenke a spot on the National Senior Development Team.
  • Sara Murray, Athletics, Saskatoon - won gold at the National Youth Championships in the Women's U18 Heptathlon, establishing a Saskatchewan Athletics Youth Women's record. Part of the bronze-winning U18 Women's 4 X 100m Relay team.

JULY
Brianne Theisen-Eaton

Brianne Theisen-Eaton of Humboldt is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. July Athlete of the Month Award. She was nominated by Saskatchewan Athletics.

Theisen-Eaton won the gold medal in heptathlon at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. Her score of 6,597 points over the two-day discipline was just shy of the Games’ record of 6,695. Her performance was the second best score in Games history. Theisen-Eaton also set a new Games record in the 200m by finishing in 23.41 seconds.

The breakdown of her other events included: 110m Hurdles – 13.18 seconds, 1097 points, High Jump – 1.84 meters, 1029 points, Shot Put – 13.71 meters, 775 points, Long Jump – 6.44 meters, 988 points, Javelin – 43.13 meters, 727 points, and 800m – 2:11.46, 943 points.

The other outstanding nominees for this month were:

  • Jonathan Phillips, Volleyball, Caronport – was named the Top Passer and Top Defender at the National Team Challenge Cup and won the silver medal at the U21 NORCECA Men’s Championships.
  • Team Saskatchewan U15 Provincial Basketball Team with players from Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Regina, Warman and Wilcox – won the gold medal at the Canadian National Championships.
  • The North American Indigenous Games Canoe Kayak Team for Saskatchewan – won 50 medals at the Games including 15 gold, 23 silver and 12 bronze.
  • Lindsay Kinnear, Special Olympics, Lumsden – won the 200m and long jump, was second in the100m, third in the 400m, and fourth in shot put at the Special Olympics Canada National Games.
  • Kaycee Schroeder, Triathlon, Dundurn -- won gold in all three National Youth Elite Series races and was ninth in the Youth/Junior Relay National Series Relay Race.
  • Sawyer Buettner, Football, Moose Jaw – won the silver medal at the Football Canada Cup, was named the Offensive MVP and All-Star Quarterback, and set tournament records for his passing efficiency.
  • David Samayoa, Weight Lifting, Regina – finished sixth at the Commonwealth Games.
  • Michael Qing, Swimming, Regina – won five gold medals at the Special Olympics Canada Summer Games.

JUNE
Larissa Werbicki

Larissa Werbicki of Saskatoon is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. June Athlete of the Month Award. She was nominated by the Saskatchewan Rowing Association.

Werbicki began the month by winning gold in both the senior women's 63 kilogram single and the senior women single at the Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association Championship Regatta in St. Catherines, Ontario. She dominated both events - winning the senior women's 63 kg single by 16.57 seconds, and the senior women's single by 13.47 seconds. Werbicki is one of a handful of rowers in the regatta's 69 year history to win both events.

She followed that performance by winning gold at the Rowing Canada Aviron Under 19 Selection Championships where she won by 8.7 seconds. Based upon her performance, she was invited to attend the tryouts for the Youth Olympics and World Junior Rowing Championships team. Following this trial process, Werbicki and her partner from British Columbia will be the only boat representing Canada in women's events at the World Junior Rowing Championships in Germany and the Youth Olympics in China. Both events will be taking place in August.

The other outstanding nominees for this month were:

  • Jessica Furlan, Regina, athletics - won gold in the senior women's 3000m steeplechase at the National Senior Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick;
  • Shawna Ryan, Saskatoon, cycling - won two silver medals in the Para Women B division at the Global Relay Canadian Road Championships in Lac-Megantic, Quebec;
  • Jean Roney, Regina, lawn bowling - won gold at the Canadian Singles Lawn Bowling Championships in Edmonton, Alberta;
  • Becky Richter, Saskatoon, wheelchair athletics - won a silver and bronze at the IPC Grant Prix Championships in Berlin; and four gold at the Canadian Track and Field Championships in Moncton, New Brunswick;
  • Jillian Gallays, Saskatoon, wrestling - won gold at the German Grand Prix in Dormagen, Germany and at the Austrian Ladies Open in Gotzis, Austria;
  • Ben Lapointe, Saskatoon, canoe polo - placed 8th at National U21 Selection event; and qualified to be part of the U21 National Team for the World Championships.

MAY
Yorkton Terriers

The Yorkton Terriers are the recipients of the Sask Sport Inc. May Athlete of the Month Award. The team was nominated by the Saskatchewan Hockey Association.

In May, the Yorkton Terriers won their second consecutive SJHL title and moved on to compete in the Western Canada Cup. They placed first in the Western Canada Cup and secured their place to represent Western Canada at the National Junior A Championship RBC Cup in Vernon BC.

On May 18, the Yorkton Terriers faced off against eastern champions Carlton Place Canadiens (Ottawa) in the RBC Cup final. With only three minutes left in the game, the Terriers were down 3-1 but made a remarkable comeback with two goals that were just eight seconds apart. The game went into triple overtime and was the longest game ever played in RBC Cup history. The Terriers scored late in the third overtime and won their first National Junior A Championship title.

The other outstanding nominees for this month were:

  • Jessica Furlan, Regina, athletics - won the senior women's 3000m steeplechase event in Guelph, ON and set a new record. She moves on to compete at the National Senior Championships in Moncton, NB in June;
  • Ashtin Bear, Prince Albert, darts - won gold in Senior Boys singles and silver in mixed doubles at the Canadian Youth National Dart Championships in Dartmouth, NS.
  • William Brooke, Saskatoon, fencing - second among 75 participants in the Senior Men's Epee division of the 2014 Canadian National Fencing Championships in Toronto, ON.
  • David Samayoa, Regina, weightlifting - won gold in his division and broke three provincial records at the Canadian Weightlifting Nationals in Saskatoon. He will represent Canada at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland in July.
  • Tim Landeryou, Saskatoon, and Christine Richardson, Regina, racquetball - Tim placed second in singles and second in doubles while Christine placed third in singles and second in doubles at the Canadian National Racquetball Championships in Brossard, QC. Both will represent Canada at the World Championships in June.

APRIL
Prince Albert Mintos and Weyburn Gold

The Prince Albert Mintos and Weyburn Gold Wings are the recipients of the Sask Sport Inc. April Athlete of the Month Award. Both teams were nominated by the Saskatchewan Hockey Association.

The Prince Albert Mintos won the National Midget AAA Championships by defeating Grenadiers de Châteauguay 4-3 in the third overtime period. This was the longest game in the 40 year history of the Telus Cup. Prior to winning the national title, the Mintos defeated the Notre Dame Hounds in the Western Regional Championships.

The Weyburn Gold Wings defeated the Edmonton Thunder 2-1 to win their first National Female Midget AAA Championship. The Gold Wings won the provincial title and then defeated Pembina Valley to win the Western Regional Championships, allowing them to secure a place at the Esso Cup National Championships.

The other outstanding nominees for this month were:

  • Madison Sthamann, White City, diving - finished third overall at the International Youth Meet in Dresden, Germany;
  • Eugene Hritzuk Master Men's Curling Team/Merle Kopach Master Women's Curling Team, Saskatoon - both teams won national titles at the Canadian Masters Curling Championships in Coaldale, AB.
  • Ian Frattinger, Martensville; Jared Gudereit, Regina; and Danielle Drury, Saskatoon, racquetball - all finished first in their respective events at the Junior National Racquetball Championships in Grand Prairie, AB.
  • Breanna Franklin, Regina, gymnastics - finished first all around and on the floor, and third in beam at the Western Canadian Gymnastics Championships.
  • Kelsey Jensen, Weyburn, water polo - won the silver medal at the Commonwealth Championships in Aberdeen, Scotland, and was chosen the Most Valuable Goalie.

MARCH
Michael Qing

Regina's Michael Qing is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. March Athlete of the Month Award.

Michael captured three gold medals at the US Paralympic Spring Swimming Nationals in Florida in the 100m free, 50m fly and 100m fly events. He also set a Canadian record for the 100m fly event in his class, improving his ranking to 7th overall in the world and qualifying him for the 2014 Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships August 6 to 10 in Pasadena California.

Michael was nominated by Special Olympics Saskatchewan.

The other outstanding nominees for this month were: The Saskatchewan Junior Wheelchair Basketball Team - won Saskatchewan's first national wheelchair basketball gold medal at the Junior National Wheelchair Basketball Championships; Brianne Theisen-Eaton, Humboldt, athletics - silver at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Poland; Scott Perras, Regina, biathlon - gold, silver and bronze at the Canadian Biathlon Championships; Brittany Hudak, Prince Albert, Para-Nordic skiing - 10th, 11th and 12th place finishes at the Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia; and Madison Sthamann, White City, diving - gold at the Ontario Provincials and Dresden International Youth Championship Trials.

FEBRUARY
Mark McMorris

Mark McMorris of Regina is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. February Athlete of the Month Award.

Mark won a bronze medal in the inaugural event for Men's Snowboarding Slopestyle, and Canada's first medal of the games, at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on February 8.

Only two weeks before at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado, Mark suffered a broken rib during a slopestyle event.

The other nominee was Jeremy Eckert, Regina, athletics.

JANUARY
Paige Lawrence and Rudi Swiegers

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

From January 9-12, Paige and Rudi competed in the 2014 Canadian Tire Skating Championships in Ottawa where they won a bronze medal in the pairs division. As a result, they were named to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Canadian Figure Skating Team and the 2014 Canadian Team for the World Figure Skating Championships.

Paige and Rudi are the only skaters named to the Olympic team that are registered members of the Saskatchewan club where they began their competitive skating careers - the Wawota Skating Club.

The other nominees were: Alyssa Clairmont, Regina, diving; and the 2014 Saskatchewan Women's Squash Team.