Jennifer Jones’ women’s curling team that will represent Canada at the Sochi Olympics was named Manitoba’s team of the year for 2013 by the Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.
Meanwhile, Chicago Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews was named male athlete of the year and swimmer Breanne Siwicki was named female athlete of the year at the 58th annual MSSA awards banquet that was held in Winnipeg on Sunday.
Jones’ foursome, which includes former Brandonite Jill Officer at second as well as third Kaitlyn Lawes and lead Dawn McEwen, had a solid season. They won their record sixth provincial women’s curling crown and went on to finish second at the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
Their best highlight, however, came in Winnipeg at the Roar of the Rings Olympic qualifiers in December. The Jones team went 6-1 in the round robin and then defeated Sherry Middaugh 8-4 in the final to earn the right to represent Canada at the Olympics.
Jones received 25 first-place votes and 156 points. Matt Dunstone’s Canadian junior curling championship team finished second.
Siwicki won six medals at the Canada Summer Games, including gold in the 1,500 metre, in which she broke the Games record by more than 11 1/2 seconds. She received 14 first-place votes and 126 points, narrowly beating Brandonite Lisa Barclay for the award. Barclay, who was named the MVP of the Canadian Interuniversity Sport women’s volleyball championship while guiding the UBC Thunderbirds to their sixth straight title, received 118 points. Barclay was also a member of the national women’s volleyball team.
Toews, who also won the award in 2007 and 2010, won the Frank Selke trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward and the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks. He had 23 goals and 48 points in the 2012-13 season and a plus-minus rating of +28. Toews received 25 first place votes and 156 points to win the award.
Glenboro golfer Josh Wytinck, who was named co-winner of the Manitoba Amateur Golfer of the Year, was a finalist for the award.
Brandon-born broadcaster Daren Millard of Sportsnet was also named to the MSSA Media Roll of Honour.
» Brandon Sun