Sports briefs: Local athletes headed to Paris Olympics, Paralympics

Results from Olympic and Paralympic qualification events, as well as WHL awards, and Saskatoon Valkyries game results.

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It was a weekend of celebration for many local athletes who have been working to earn a spot on Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic rosters for the upcoming Paris Games.

At the Canadian Swimming Trials in Toronto, Saskatoon swimmer Blake Tierney was announced to the Team Canada roster following his performance, which included a Canadian record-setting time of 1:56.74 in the men’s 200-metre backstroke. Paris will be Tierney’s Olympic debut.

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Also at the event on the Para swimming side, Saskatoon’s Shelby Newkirk and Meadow Lake’s Nikita Ens were nominated to their second Paralympic team, with the official team announcement scheduled for closer to the Paralympics.

Saskatoon’ Graham Olson will be joining the Canadian swimming team’s support staff as a performance analyst.

Meanwhile, in Windsor, Ont., Saskatoon’s Margo Erlam claimed the top spot in the women’s 3-metre event at the Canadian Diving Trials to earn her nomination to Team Canada for the Olympic Games, joining Pike Lake’s Rylan Wiens who was previously nominated in the men’s synchronized 10-m platform event.

Diving’s official team announcement is scheduled for June.

Competing abroad at the last-chance qualifier in Hungary, Humboldt’s Paige Crozon made history, helping her team defeat the hosts 21-10 to finish third at the event and become the first-ever Canadian 3×3 basketball team to qualify for the Olympics.

Brett Mirwald named WHL Goaltender of the Year

Saskatoon’s Brett Mirwald was announced earlier this month as the Del Wilson Memorial Trophy recipient for Western Hockey League Goaltender of the Year.

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Playing with the Vancouver Giants this season, Mirwald led the league in saves (1,723), minutes played (3,190) and tied for third in both wins (29) and save percentage (.913), with a record of 29-22-3-0 in 55 games played in the 2023-24 campaign.

He was named WHL Goaltender of the Week five times throughout the season, more than any other goalie, and also recorded 10 games where he stopped more than 40-plus shots on goal.

Saskatoon Valkyries secure first place

With a 41-7 victory over provincial rivals the Regina Riot on Saturday night, the Saskatoon Valkyries have moved to 3-0 on the season and secured first place in the Western Women’s Canadian Football League Prairie Conference.

Quarterback Alex Eyolfson completed 19 of 29 passes, including three touchdown passes to Reed Thorstad, Ricki Obed and Sarah Wright.

Obed and Wright also ran in a touchdown each, while kicker Grace Moehler added a field goal, a punt single and five converts and the Valkyries defence earned a safety.

The Valkyries will wrap up the regular season with a road game in Winnipeg against the Manitoba Fearless on June 3.

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