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profileedmonton.com

FEMALE ATHLETES

VOLUME 1 ISSUE 4 DECEMBER 09


PEOPLE LAUREN GILLESPIE

UofA

AMANDA SCHNECK

UofA

LAURA WILLIAMS

NAIT

MEAGAN O’NEILL

MacEwan

MARISA HAYLETT

UofA

ERIN WALSH

UofA

NAIT

KATIE SEYS

KYLA MARSHALL

MARCELLE VERSTER

MacEwan UofA

EDITOR

SCOTT FRANCIS WINDER

EDITOR

JULIAN THOMAS WILLIAM FAID

ART DIRECTOR

MATTHIAS EDWIN SMALE

PHOTOGRAPHER CRAIG HOBBS

CONTACT sticks@andstones.ca ADVERTISING INQUIRIES ads@andstones.ca

Cert o. nSW -COC-208 3


PROGRAM EDUCATION YEAR 5 SECOND LANGUAGE FRENCH FAVOURITE ITEM OF CLOTHING BOCA HOODIE

CLOTHING PROVIDED BY LULULEMON ATHLETICA

HOMETOWN LETHBRIDGE, AB

LAUREN GILLESPIE UofA


Yeah, it was a bit crazy. That year I qualified for nationals and got into my first ‘B’ final. I was swinging my arms to warm up before the race, like I always do, and I felt a big pop and lots of pain. Turned out, I had popped my shoulder out. I probably should have told someone, but I didn’t want to let the team or my coach down. I pushed my shoulder up against a wall until I felt it pop back in and then I swam the race. You’re crazy! Were you swimming with one arm? No, actually I ended up getting second in that race and getting a fast enough time that I qualified to compete in the Beijing Olympic trials. Unfortunately, I’m still doing rehab on that shoulder to this day. Sometimes you have to do things just for the story… Did you grow up swimming? I come from a family of swimmers. My uncle is the coach for the national team, my aunt was an Olympic swimmer, my mom was an alternate on the Olympic team and my dad did a lot of competitive swimming as well. So, no pressure… Does it get annoying to train for so many hours a week all year just to try to shave a single second off your time? Forget a second, if I could shave off half a second I’d be ecstatic! I’d be happy to be a few hundredths of a second faster for some of my races. What’s a secret that you can let me in on, most people wouldn’t know about swimmers? I hope I don’t get in trouble for this, but we’re not allowed to shave our legs until right before a big swim meet. We might go months without a shave. The whole team will have a big shave party in the hotel room the night before. That also goes for the men’s team. Nothing brings you together as a team like helping shave a male teammates back… I’m sorry I asked…

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THREE

I know swimmers can get pretty intense about their sport, but I heard a story about you racing with a pretty serious injury that you have to tell.


PROGRAM ENGINEERING YEAR 4 IDEAL VACATION BRAZIL DRINKS BUBBLE TEA FAVOURITE 90’S FAD PUFFY BANGS

AMANDA SCHNECK UofA


It’s the 60 Meter hurdles, followed by High Jump, then the Shot Put, then Long Jump and finished off with an 800 Meter run. It just sounds like you have trouble making up your mind. Does that many events make for a ridiculous training schedule? I try to get a technical practice in for each event once a week, plus I’ll have weight training or some speed and endurance training during the week too. Competing in five events does mean putting in a little bit of extra time, but I like it because it keeps the trainings more interesting and varied.

Material Engineering, I’m in what’s called the Biomedical Options Stream. My degree will say: “Bachelor of Science in Materials Biomedical Engineering Co-op”. Oh, I’m also in the co-op program so I do some work terms!

FIVE

So you weren’t content with just one sport? You had to find one that included five events in one? Give me the rundown on what exactly a Pentathlon is…

And you’re an executive on the University Athletics Board?! You are some type of machine… I’m actually also involved with the Engineering Student Society and the Materials Engineering Club… Just stop... I feel like such a slacker right now.

On top of all this training, I’m told you keep an impressive GPA and you’ve won a big engineering scholarship. Do you ever have any free time?! It rarely happens, but if I have heaps of time to do something, it becomes less focused. When I know I only have two hours to finish something, which is often the case, I know I need to focus on it and get it done. What type of engineering work are you doing?

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It is. You have to win provincials and then playoff to win in your region. Being from Manitoba, we had to play against Saskatchewan. I actually played against my two current roommates in regionals. The winning team from each region goes to the Esso Cup and we made it all the way to the final and won 5-2. Do you hang your gold medal at home for your roommates to see? I didn’t think it would be very nice, so I didn’t even bring it.

I’ve heard you’ve already become well known for your goal celebrations… I hear they’re epic. I get really excited when I score! It really doesn’t happen very often. I run around the ice jumping and screaming. It’s mostly fist pumps and jumping into people. I get made fun of for it. Word has it, you’re a bit of an overachiever. Why do people say that? My guess is that it’s because of the program I’m in. It’s called Cytotechnology, and they only have room for six people making it the most competitive program at NAIT. Also, I’m allergic to Protein, so some things are a little more difficult for me. Thanks to that allergy, they’ve nicknamed me “Protein” or “Proton”.

You’re too nice. How’s the season been so far? Wow, protein… That’s some allergy. Great! My coach set out a goal for me at the start of the season to score two goals and have three assists by December, and I already have the two goals.

PROGRAM CYTOTECHNOLOGY YEAR 1 NICKNAME PROTEIN FAVOURITE TEAM TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS MOTTO “GO HARD OR GO HOME”

LAURA WILLIAMS NAIT

SEVEN

Your biggest accomplishment, in your young hockey career, was winning the Esso Cup, a national tournament for women’s hockey ages 15-18. Is it a long road to the final?


EIGHT

PROGRAM PHYSICAL EDUCATION YEAR 2 NICKNAME MEAGO MOST OF YOUR MONEY GOES TO TIME WITH FRIENDS MOTTO EVERYTHING TURNS OUT OKAY IN THE END

MEAGAN O’NEILL MacEwan


Your story is incredible and inspiring. Tell me about your battle with cancer. I started at MacEwan in September of 2007 and was then diagnosed with cancer in October. I went from finding out I had cancer and thinking I would only need a little bit of chemo and some radiation, to being a full-on inpatient at the hospital and having to drop out of school. It all happened really quickly and I didn’t have a lot of time to adjust. How did you’re team take the news? My mom came with me and held my hand as I told the team. She cried the entire time. I told everyone all the details from start to finish, and it wasn’t until I looked around and saw them all crying that I broke down. Seeing their reaction made me realize that they were like another family. Wow, that must have been a tough thing to do. How did your team help you through the process? Even though I obviously couldn’t play, the coach made sure I knew I was still a part of the team and he would visit me every Tuesday. A group of girls would come to visit me once or twice a week and bring me food and things to keep me busy. The team would also keep me up-to-date on the games by texting me the scores as soon as the game was over. Was it difficult to have to miss out on volleyball? It had its ups and downs for sure, but I never felt far removed from the team. They kept me close and that meant a lot. During the season, my coach would take my jersey and lay it on the bench, so it was like I was out there with them the whole year. Looking back, what have you gained from this whole experience? My best friends were on that team and they went through it with me. They helped me through a lot of confidence issues too. I was on steroids leading to some weight gain, and the treatment left me shiny bald. They were by my side and made me feel okay with everything. I’ve met my best friends through volleyball and I wouldn’t change that for anything.


PROGRAM EDUCATION YEAR 4 ON TWITTER TWITTER IS STUPID FAVOURITE BRAND NAME LULULEMON

CLOTHING PROVIDED BY LULULEMON ATHLETICA

FAVOURITE FOOD McGRIDDLES

MARISA HAYLETT UofA


Rule #76: “No excuses, play like a champ”. It’s from the movie, “The Wedding Crashers”. We have all The Wedding Crashers’ rules up in our team room. We pick different rules to go by every week. Of course, we try and relate them to basketball in some way because they can be pretty inappropriate. I won’t make you go more in-depth… Is there anything that the team does together to get ready for a game? We dance around in the team room and rock out to old school music. We’ll put on something like Spice Girls or Backstreet Boys and get pumped up. You would probably hear us if you came to a game and walked by the team room just before we hit the court. How has the team been so far this season? We’ve been great. We have a really young team because we lost four or five girls who graduated last year. We’ve had five new girls come in and it’s been a huge transition from last year. I think a lot of people doubted us because of all the changes, but we’ve proven ourselves. I didn’t have any doubts. What’s it like playing against some of those big girls? There are some beasts on a few of the teams! Simon Fraser has two girls that are close to 6’4”, it’s crazy! I’m sure it helps them be the number one team in the country. We’re totally undersized compared to that, but we have our ways around them. We have to rebound like crazy against big girls like that. The “big mamma jammas” as my coach says. Would you want to be any taller than you are now? Oh god no! I mean… It’s great for basketball, but what happens when you’re done? I already think I’m too tall sometimes. Some girls on our team have a hard enough time finding shoes that fit as it is. I can’t imagine being 6’4”! I’m 6’4”, what are you trying to say?

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THIRTEEN

As one of the team captains for the Pandas Basketball team, what’s the team motto?


FIFTEEN

PROGRAM PHYSICAL EDUCATION YEAR 3 FAVOURITE BOOK TIME TRAVELERS WIFE FAVOURITE COLOUR GREEN BEST SPOT IN EDMONTON PANDAS’ VOLLEYBALL GAMES

ERIN WALSH UofA So you play a special position, the Libero, for the Pandas Volleyball team. I’m going to assume you get asked the same question a lot: “Why do you wear a different coloured jersey?” Go ahead and tell everyone so that you never get that question again. The Libero has to wear a different coloured jersey because they have unlimited substitutions in the back row. I’m basically a defensive specialist. I don’t want to get you in trouble with your team, but for everyone that doesn’t know, the Libero subs into the game for people who can’t pass, right? Pretty much… As much as I love my team, that’s essentially my job. Sorry! If they get angry, you can put the blame on me. Speaking of the team, how does it look this year? Right now, we’re ranked 3rd in Canada. We’re a young team and we only have one starting player that returned from last year. It’s good thought,

everyone works so well together and we’re having fun doing it. It doesn’t seem to matter that we’re a little younger and more inexperienced than most teams. Between Volleyball and completing a Phys Ed degree, you must be all sports all the time. Pretty much. I originally wanted to do physiotherapy. Now, as odd as it sounds, I want to go into Interior Design. I’m just not sure how I can do that in Edmonton. That’s not sports… Why the change? I’ve always been better at practical things, like construction and art, and I think I’ve lost a lot of it being here. I took an interior design class last year and I really enjoyed it. That being said, I would also like to be a personal trainer. I hear Edmonton’s getting a new arena, maybe you could fuse the two.


PROGRAM DENTAL TECHNOLOGY YEAR 2 HOMETOWN LONDON, ON PET-PEEVE BAD GRAMMAR MOST OF YOUR MONEY GOES TO SHOPPING

KATIE SEYS NAIT


Well, you know how girls think that when they talk to guys, they’ll stare at their chest? I find I’m like that with teeth. I’ll be talking to someone and staring at their teeth and they’ll totally know I’m doing it. I’ll walk away from a conversation never having looked them in the eyes. It’s bad. Well I guess you’re the loser here, I happen to have beautiful eyes. Speaking of eyes, have you ever blackened someone’s eye with a volleyball? I hit a girl in the nose once! She got knocked out! She came back into the gym a half hour later and she had two black eyes! I felt awful! I guess if you ever smash someone’s teeth, you can just make them a set of veneers as an apology. I never thought of that! You don’t see as many people getting hit in the face in college, but to be honest it’s always a goal. A goal? Interesting insight… So do you have any weird pregame rituals? I always paint my nails before a game. I guess everything I do is very hands-on, and in volleyball everyone is always looking at your hands. I make sure they look nice and they have to be painted with a new coat the day before. It’s also sort of a team neatness thing. Everyone should look good when they’re playing. I noticed you have T.R.R.R on the back of your jersey this year. Can you tell me what it stands for? No, it’s a secret! It’s our team saying for the year. Apparently, we’re allowed to tell people once the season is done. Come on! Just give me the exclusive… No way, we’re not allowed to tell anyone! We’ve had a lot of people try to guess what it is, but no one is even close. Now that you’ve told me that I can’t know what it means, it’s all I want to know!

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SEVENTEEN

Before we begin, I know you’re taking Dental Technology. Do you immediately hone in on someone’s teeth the moment you meet them? No lie, I’m a bit nervous.


She’s the U.S. Fastball national team pitcher. She’s been to the Olympic games and has won gold a bunch of times. She pitches 70 mph, which is my goal. I also like that she’s girly! She proves you can still be girly and play a sport to its fullest.

PROGRAM COMMERCE YEAR 3 NICKNAME PIPES

That’s why you wanted the glamour style sports photo?

DRINKS CARAMEL APPLE MARTINI

For sure, I’m definitely girly on the outside, but when it comes to sports, I get intense! That’s the other side of me a lot of people don’t know.

IDEAL SUPER POWER INVISIBILITY

I think most people don’t even know MacEwan has a fastball team. How is that possible? That’s an issue for sure. We’re having a really hard time getting it to be a part of the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC). We need all the schools to agree and we need a bunch of petitions signed before we get in. We just want it to be known that there is a fastball team and we want people to come out to watch. Is it a way bigger sport in the USA? Yeah, it’s big down there. I was offered four scholarships from major schools in the states when I finished high school. I would have done that, and it would have gotten me closer to my goal of being on the national team, but I think I was a bit young and I wanted to be close to my family. Once you’re done your degree, are you going to commit to Fastball full time? That’s the plan. I’m going to join a team here in the city and we’ll train three times a week. The goal is to get to nationals and get an invitation to the national team try-outs. Just show them your picture and they’ll see you’re the next Jenny Finch.

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KYLA MARSHALL MacEwan

NINETEEN

You wanted our photographer to take a photo of you like you were Jenny Finch. I hope we pulled it off, but tell me who she is exactly.


PROGRAM PHYSICAL EDUCATION YEAR 6

As the president of the University Athletics Board, you pretty much know everything sports related that goes on at the U of A. I hear you have a tendency to go to every home game, and even out of town games, to support the teams.

FAVOURITE FOOD MAC AND CHEESE

Yeah, this weekend I’m traveling to Victoria to watch the Field Hockey team, paid out of my own pocket! In general, I see about three different sports every weekend. I try to be there for all the teams and support everyone. Sports are obviously a big part of my life.

DREAM JOB GYNECOLOGIST

You were born in South Africa where Rugby is more of a religion than a sport. How was the transition when you moved to Canada?

HOMETOWN CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

I moved here in 2000. I was a big field hockey player, having played for twelve years. Once I got here, I felt I needed a change, so I made the switch to Rugby. It was an easy choice seeing as how it is the top sport in South Africa. I had heard the Rugby program here was great too. They’ve won five national titles and a lot of ex-Pandas play for Team Canada now too. As if watching three sports every weekend and playing Rugby wasn’t enough, you also decided to take up wresting? Rugby is only in the fall, and I felt that it wasn’t going to motivate me enough to try and keep fit during the off-season. I took up the challenge of joining wrestling. It has really helped with my fitness, and my tackling and technique have gotten way better. Tell me about the intimidating tattoos on your forearms. They appear to be written in Afrikaans, and if I were an opponent of yours, I’d be freaked out. I had them done in a Zombie font. I like to tell most people that one of them says “Hate” and the other says “War”… Just to be intimidating. But in reality, they say “Love” and “Unique”. They’re to remind me about what’s important in life.

MARCELLE VERSTER UofA

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Profile Edmonton - December 2009  

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