2019 Athlete of the Month Award Recipients

Rylan Wiens

Rylan Wiens of Pike Lake is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. May Athlete of the Month Award. He was nominated by Dive Saskatchewan.

Wiens began the month by winning two gold medals and setting two provincial records at the Toon Town Western Classic. He followed that performance with another gold medal at the Canadian Senior Summer Diving National Championships. He defeated 13 competitors at the Nationals including the long-reigning champion in a dramatic fashion. He received five out of seven "10s" on his final dive to take the lead. His final score was 102 points, which is the most points attained on one dive ever at a Senior National Championships, and enabled him to bring home Saskatchewan's first gold medal at these championships.

The other outstanding nominees for this month were:

  • Daphne-Anne Hodgson, Regina, weightlifting - finished second at the Canadian Senior Weightlifting Championships and broke three provincial records.
  • Danielle Drury, Saskatoon, racquetball - won gold and bronze medals at the Canadian Racquetball Championships and is now ranked fourth overall on the National Team rankings.
  • Team Saskatchewan 19U Men, water polo - became the national championships and had members receive the Most Valuable Player, Most Valuable Goalie, and Most Valuable Coach awards.
  • Kenzie Priddell, Regina, synchro - won two gold and a silver medal at the Canadian Synchro Championships, and was named to the Senior National Team.

Shelby Newkirk

Shelby Newkirk of Saskatoon is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. April Athlete of the Month Award. She was nominated by Swim Saskatchewan.

Newkirk placed first in the S7 100 metre Backstroke and broke a world record at the Canadian Swimming Trials in Toronto. She also placed eighth in the S7 200m Backstroke and broke a world record in the preliminary competition, while winning a bronze medal in the S7 100m Freestyle.

Newkirk has been selected to the Canadian World Para Swimming Team that will compete in London, England, in September.

The other outstanding nominee was:

  • Danielle Drury, Saskatoon, Racquetball - won bronze in the doubles category at the Pan Am Championships in Barranquilla, Columbia. Her partner was Jennifer Saunders of Winnipeg. The duo has qualified to represent Canada at the Pan Am Games.

Michael Qing

Michael Qing of Regina is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. March Athlete of the Month Award. He was nominated by Special Olympics Saskatchewan.

Qing won three gold medals in swimming events at the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, UAE: M02 Division 1,500 metre freestyle, C01 Division 4x100m medley relay, and M08 Division 800m freestyle. He also won a bronze medal in the M06 Division 400m freestyle.

The other outstanding nominees were:

  • Regina Avengers Sledge Hockey Team - won gold at Matt Cook Memorial Cup - Western Canadian Sledge Hockey Championship in Leduc, AB. The team posted victories over the Edmonton Storm (11-1), Calgary Stingers (5-0) and Saskatoon Ice Tornadoes (4-3).

  • Kade Johnson, Yorkton, Golf - finished first overall and won gold at the Arkansas Collegiate golf tournament. His team also finished first overall. Johnson placed seventh overall and his team finished eighth at the Broncho Invitational Golf Tournament in Oklahoma.

  • Keely Shaw, Saskatoon, Cycling - won a world championship medal in the Women's C4 event at the Para Track World Cycling Championships in the Netherlands. She set a Canadian record at the event and also finished second in the individual pursuit event.

  • Saskatchewan Weightlifting Association's Western Men's Weightlifting Team - finished first as a team at the Western Canadian Weightlifting Championships in Lake Country, BC. David Samayoa finished first in the 89 kilogram weight class and won the best male lifter award. As a result, he will be competing in the Pan American Championships. Graham Unruh (109 kg) and Tyler Siwak (102 kg) also placed first. Other athletes who medaled included Colton Anderson (2nd, 73 kg), Jason Cain (2nd, 81kg), Dallas Odgers (3rd, 73 kg) and Lucas King (3rd, 89 kg)

    The following athletes broke provincial records: Dallas Odgers, senior provincial 73 kg snatch (105 kg); Jason Cain, masters provincial 81 kg snatch (109 kg), clean and jerk (141 kg) and total (250 kg); David Samayoa, senior provincial 89 kg snatch (153 kg), clean and jerk (182 kg) and total (335 kg); Tyler Siwak - masters provincial 102 kg snatch (129 kg), clean and jerk (163 kg) and total (292 kg); Graham Unruh, senior provincial 109 kg snatch (140 kg) and total (311 kg) records.

  • Michelle Harrison, Saskatoon, Athletics - won gold in the 60m hurdles at the U Sports Track and Field Championships in Winnipeg, MB. She also won silver in both the 4 x 200m relay and 4 x 400m relay and placed sixth in the 300m and 60m races. She also set a University of Saskatchewan record in the indoor women's 60m hurdles with a time of 8.27 seconds.

  • Kali Christ, Regina, Speed Skating - won a silver medal in the 1,000m at the Oval Grand Prix. At the Oval Finale - Canada Cup 4, she placed fifth in the 1,000m, 11th in the 500m, and13th in both the 1,500m and 3,000m.

  • Sherry Anderson and Bruce Korte Senior Curling Teams, Delisle and Saskatoon - Sherry Anderson's team placed first at the Everest Canadian Senior Women's Curling Championship in BC with a record of 9-3. It was the third straight Canadian championship for the team, which will now represent Canada at the 2020 World Senior Women's Curling Championships.

    Bruce Korte's team won gold with a 12-0 record at the Everest Canadian Senior Men's Curling Championship in BC. The team will represent Canada at the 2020 World Senior Men's Championship.

Julianne Labach

Julianne Labach of Saskatoon is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. February Athlete of the Month Award. She was nominated by Saskatchewan Athletics.

Labach finished third in the 1,000 metre race and ninth in the 800m at the Boston University David Hemery Valentine Invitational, setting Saskatchewan Athletics indoor records at the senior women's level for both races.

She also won gold in both the 600m and 1,000m, and silver in the 1,500m at the U Sports Canada West Track and Field Championship. She helped the University of Saskatchewan Women's Track and Field Team finish first overall. Labach was named the U Sports Canada West female track athlete of the year for the second consecutive year.

The other outstanding nominees for this month were:

  • Brian Palaschuk, Regina, Swimming - won silver in the 200m Individual Medley and bronze in the 400m Individual Medley at the USPORT Swimming Championships in Vancouver. He also set a senior provincial record in both races.

  • Logan Pletz, Regina, Biathlon - won gold in the Individual 15 kilometre at the Canada Winter Games, which was Saskatchewan's first gold medal at the event. He also competed at the World Youth Championships in Slovenia, placing 19th in the Sprint race and 44th in the Pursuit race. This was an international competition with between 60 and 90 competitors in each race.

  • Team Fiedelleck, Melfort, Curling - won gold at the Special Olympics Saskatchewan Provincial Winter Games in Regina, going undefeated through four games with a point differential of 42-4. They will be moving on to the 2020 Special Olympics Canada National Winter Games in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Jessica Frotten

Jessica Frotten of Regina is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. January Athlete of the Month Award. She was nominated by the Saskatchewan Wheelchair Sports Association.

Frotten set a Canadian record while winning the bronze medal in the T53 400 metre race at the Canberra International Track Meet. She also won a silver medal in the T53 200 m, bronze in the T53 5000 m, sixth in the T53 800 m, and seventh in the T53 1500m. A few days later Frotten competed at the Oz Day 10 km road race in the Open Division and finished seventh. These were both international competitions with participants from all over the world.

The other outstanding nominees were:

  • Ryan Rousell, Asquith, Fencing - won gold in Sabre, silver in Epee and bronze in Foil at the North American Wheelchair Fencing Cup.

  • Logan Pletz, Regina, Biathlon - finished first and third in events at the National Youth Biathlon Trials and finished 19th in Sprint and 29th in Individual at the Youth World Championships, which was the best finish for a Canadian male biathlon athlete.

  • Max Litzenberger, Judo, Saskatoon - won gold in the Elite 8 (closed Nationals) and is now eligible to compete at the World Junior Championships.