They were both in the running last year; this year they ran away with it.
And, for the first time in our nine years of dishing out year-end awards to local teams, athletes and coaches, the Female Athlete of the Year Award has ended in a tie.
Hockey player Kristy Oonincx and volleyball/basketball standout Jenn Prokopetz have been named co-winners of the Times-Herald's Female Athlete of the Year Award for 2002.
Our panel of five -- including Times-Herald sports scribes Rick Moore, Randy Palmer and Matthew Gourlie, along with Country 800's Drew Haubrich and James Gallow -- each had nine nominees to choose from and Oonincx and Prokopetz were runaway winners.
Three of the five awarded Oonincx a first place vote while the other two selected Prokopetz. Prokopetz, however, had three second place votes as compared to two for Oonincx, resulting in the tie.
While it's the first time the Female Athlete of the Year Award has ended in a tie, it's not the first time we've had a tie for an award. In 2000, Caronport high school basketball coach Gib Hinz and Moose Jaw curling and baseball coach Roger Anholt were named co-winners of the Coach of the Year Award.
Oonincx, now in her second year with the University of Minnesota Gophers women's hockey team, had a standout season as a rookie, scoring 17 goals and adding 21 assists for 38 points in just 32 games. That was fourth best on the team, despite the fact she missed the first six games with an injury. And her plus-41 rating was tops on the team.
While helping the Gophers to the Frozen Four -- the women's national championship tournament -- she was named Rookie of the Week three times.
So far this season she has 12 goals and eight assists in 18 games.
Prokopetz, meanwhile, dominated the basketball and volleyball courts in her Grade 12 year at Central. She first helped Central win the Moose Jaw High School Senior Girls' Volleyball League crown and then led the high school basketball league in scoring and helped Central win that title, too, as well as the provincial crown.
She was also a member of the Saskatchewan Juvenile (Under-18) volleyball team and won the Laurie Anne Leier Memorial Award for academic and athletic achievement from the Saskatchewan Volleyball Association.
She's now a regular member of the University of Regina Cougars' women's volleyball team.
Finishing in third place in the voting was Moose Jaw golfer Lorie Boyle who qualified for her 13th Canadian women's amateur golf championships by coming out of nowhere to finish fourth at the provincial championships at the Moose Jaw Hillcrest.
Boyle trailed by 11 strokes entering the fourth and final round of play but made up 12 shots with a final round 76. At nationals, she was on the verge of making the cut for the final round but was derailed in the third round by heat exhaustion. She also won her 16th city crown in her 16th try.
Finishing fourth in the voting was hockey player Dawn Froats who finished her season with the Maine Black Bears with a 7-5-1 record and a 3.08 goals against average. So far this year she is 2-1-1 with a 2.20 goals against average.
Among the others receiving consideration from our judges was figure skater Carlee Anderson, rugby player Nicole Meyer, 10-pin bowler Monique Belanger, judo competitors Kailey Large and Stephanie Legault and lawn bowler Kim Stevenson.
Other year-end award winners announced were the Central Cyclones football team (Team of the Year), Brian Towriss (Coach of the Year) and Clark Gillies' NHL Hall of Fame nomination (Story of the Year).
Appeared in the Moose Jaw Times-Herald Jan 2, 2003