2019 Athlete of the Month Award Recipients

Graeme Fish

With his first medal in Group A World Cup competition, Moose Jaw speed skater Graeme Fish has been named Sask Sport Inc.'s December Athlete of the Month.

Fish won a bronze medal in the 10,000-metre long track race at the World Cup 3 in Kazakhstan on Dec. 8. In the race, he competed against athletes from seven other countries. Fish was also named Top Canadian at the event. With the finish, he ranks fourth overall in distance skating internationally. He is also the top 10,000-m skater in Canada, higher than reigning Olympic gold medallist Ted-Jan Bloeman.

He also competed at the World Cup 4 in Japan Dec. 13-15. He placed 13th in the 5,000-m race. Fish holds both the 5,000-m and 10,000-m provincial records.

Fish was nominated by the Saskatchewan Amateur Speed Skating Association.

The other outstanding nominees were:

  • Emma Spence, Regina, Swim - Nominated by Swim Saskatchewan

  • Ashlyn Schmitz & Tristan Taylor, Shellbrook, Figure Skating - Nominated by Sask Canada - Saskatchewan

Euan Litzenberger

After winning three medals in three straight weekends, Saskatoon judo athlete Euan Litzenberger has been named Sask Sport Inc.'s November Athlete of the Month.

Litzenberger's November medal count in the 50-kilogram class began with a bronze-medal finish at the 16-country Quebec Open in Montreal. He added a silver medal a week later at the 13-country Ontario Open. The 15-year-old returned to Saskatchewan to capture a silver medal in the Watrous Provincial Judo Tournament.

Litzenberger was nominated by Judo Saskatchewan.

The other outstanding nominees were:

  • Graeme Fish, Moose Jaw, Speed Skating - Nominated by Saskatchewan Amateur Speed Skating Association

  • Kaitlyn Harrison, Craven, Athletics - Nominated by Saskatchewan Athletics

Courtney Hufsmith

A silver-medal finish at the Canada West Cross Country Championships led Saskatoon's Courtney Hufsmith to be named Sask Sport Inc.'s October Athlete of the Month.

Hufsmith, a fourth-year athlete for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, finished the 10-kilometre race in a time of 30:35 to capture second place in the conference. Her time helped the Huskies to a team bronze medal, the best team finish since 2012. She was also named a Canada West First Team All-Star and qualified for the U SPORTS National Cross Country Championship in November, where she finished 15th in the country.

In October, Hufsmith was also named Huskie Athletics Athlete of the Week and won the Saskatchewan Athletics Senior Female Athlete of the Year award at the annual Bob Adams Awards banquet.

Hufsmith was nominated by Saskatchewan Athletics.

Nolan Barnes

After setting World and Canadian records at the Disabled World Water Ski Championships, Saskatoon's Nolan Barnes has been named Sask Sport Inc.'s September Athlete of the Month.

Barnes set world record in the MP2 Slalom and a Canadian record in the MP2 Jump at the 2019 Disabled World Water Ski Championship in Skarnes, Norway this summer. His records were ratified in September.

With 11 countries in the competition, Barnes finished first in the MP2 Seated Slalom, second in the Men's Seated Overall, third in the MP2 Seated Jump and third in All Men's Overall. His scored was 42 per cent better than his last World Championship appearance and 36 per cent better than anyone else from Canada has done.

Barnes was nominated by Water Ski & Wakeboard Saskatchewan.

Other Nominees:

  • David Samayoa, Regina, Weightlifting - Nominated by Saskatchewan Weightlifting Association

Julee Stewart

Julee Stewart of Regina is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. August Athlete of the Month Award. She was nominated by the Saskatchewan Baton Twirling Association.

Stewart won gold in the Adult Elite 3-Baton and placed fifth in the Adult Elite Artistic Twirl event at the International Cup in Limoges, France. She also was a member of an artistic group at the International Cup that placed third.

Stewart also competed in the Grand Prix held in Limoges where she finished sixth in Adult Elite Solo and 12th in the Adult Elite 2- Baton. She was also part of an Elite Team at the Grand Prix that finished eighth. Stewart competed at the Elite level in all her events which is the highest level offered at any baton competition.

The other outstanding nominees were:

  • Brielle McCullough, Regina, softball - competed in the Women's Canadian Championships where her team placed second, and she was named the All-Star Infielder and MVP for the qualifying round.

  • Jayden Hingley, Saskatoon, canoeing - won 10 gold medals and two silvers at the Western Canada Summer Games. He also competed at the Canadian Sprint National Championships where he won two bronze medals in the JR men's C2 500m and in the U18 Men's C2 200m.

  • Carter Lucas, Saskatoon, waterski - placed first, third and fourth in his events at the Canadian National Waterski championships. He also placed second and had two fifth place finishes at the Can-Am Championships.

  • Bradyn Giraudier, Assiniboia, athletics, Special Olympics - competed in the Western Canada Summer Games where he won gold in the 200m, shot put and the 4 x 100m mixed relay. He also won two silver medals in the 100m and long jump.

  • Team Saskatchewan, athletics - placed first with a combined score of 2161 points at the 2019 Western Canada Summer Games. This is the first time that a team from Saskatchewan has finished first in the athletics portion of the games.

  • Krystal Shaw, Regina, swimming - at the Para Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru, Shaw won three silver medals in S7-100m Freestyle, S7- 100m Backstroke, and the S7- 50m Freestyle. She also won bronze as part of the Medley Relay Team.

Jarret Kenke

Jarret Kenke of Saskatoon is the recipient of the Sask Sport Inc. July Athlete of the Month Award. He was nominated by Canoe Kayak Saskatchewan.

Jarret won silver in the men's K2 1000m and placed 4th in the men's K4 500m at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. There were 41 countries at this competition.

The other outstanding nominees were:

  • Courtney Hufsmith, Saskatoon, athletics - won bronze in the 1500m at the Summer Universiade in Napoli, Italy, and set a new Sask Athletics record.

  • Julee Stewart, Regina, baton twirling - won a gold medal in adult solo, adult medley, adult solo dance, adult 3 baton, adult 2 baton and senior freestyle at the Canadian Baton Twirling Championships. She also won four Grand National titles.

  • Lila Stewart, Regina, diving - at the Junior Development National Championships, she won gold in tower, silver in 1m, and bronze in 3m. Stewart was also named to the Canadian Junior Pan Am National Team.

  • Danny Klughart, Prince Albert, golf - won the Scotia Wealth Management Saskatoon Amateur Golf Championships, the Saskatchewan Amateur Men's Championships, and the Saskatchewan Mid-Amateur Men's Championships, where he was named provincial champion.

  • Emma Spence, Regina, swimming - won gold in the 200m breaststroke and placed 4th in the 200m individual medley at the Canadian Junior Swimming Championships. She also won gold in 3 events, two silver and a bronze at Long Course Provincial ManSask Championships.

Mike Vincent and Ivan English

Mike Vincent of Regina and Ivan English of Saskatoon are the recipients of the Sask Sport Inc. June Athlete of the Month Award. They were nominated by Canoe Kayak Saskatchewan.

The duo won the Yukon River Quest which featured 21 participants from five countries. This competition was a men’s tandem marathon canoe race from Whitehorse to Dawson City, Yukon – a distance of 715 km. They won the race with a time of 44 hours and 59 minutes, which was 6 hours and 43 minutes ahead of the next place finishers.

The other outstanding nominee was:

  • Danny Klughart, Prince Albert, golf - finished tied for third at the Scotia Wealth Open Golf Championships in Nipawin, first overall at the Lobstick Open Golf Championships at Waskesiu Lake, first at the Lobstick Match Play at Waskesiu, and first at the Scotia Wealth Management Saskatoon Amateur Golf Championships.

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.