CHARLOTTETOWN – Recognizing that sport can be a life-long endeavour, Sport P.E.I. has announced the finalists for the masters award, celebrating the achievements of those aged 35 and over who are still competing at the highest levels.
Finalists for this award, which will be presented at the annual awards banquet in Charlottetown on April 11, are Michael Gaudet (distance running), Ruth Stavert (stick curling) and Paul Wright (cross-country skiing).
P.E.I. has a tradition of producing outstanding endurance athletes, and one of the toughest is Charlottetown’s Michael Gaudet, who is formerly of Summerside.
Formerly a marathon swimmer who can boast swimming around Manhattan Island, Gaudet concentrates now on distance running, In 2013, he showed that he is one of the best in Canada for his age group.
At the BMO P.E.I. Marathon, Gaudet ran a personal-best of 3:14:30, not just winning the 60-to-69 age division but finishing 15th overall. His time was the ninth fastest in the country for his age group, and the fastest by a runner from Atlantic Canada.
Gaudet – who in 2012 ran 275 kilometres, tip-to-tip from Tignish to Elmira in 42 hours and 18 minutes – also had fine results at the Wascally Wabbit 80-kilometre Trail Run (completed in 9:47:21); the Age of Sail Marathon in Port Greville, N.S. (first overall in 3:32:54), and the Maritime Race Week-end at Fisherman’s Cove, NS (10th overall, in 3:32:17).
In 2012, Gaudet received the Ewen Stewart Inspirational Runner Award from Roadrunners P.E.I.
Cornwall’s Ruth Stavert is the Jennifer Jones of the stick curling community.
In 2013, she won an unprecedented four titles, from provincial all the way through to a national championship.
A great advocate of this modified form of the game, Stavert has been stick curling since 2007, and has become its most skilled competitor.
Last year, with regular partner Gloria Clarke, Stavert won the provincial title for a fourth time, and the Maritime championship in Montague, before Clarke had to take time away through ill health.
With new partner Eileen Blanchard, Stavert showed the country that she was one of the best, winning the 10-team women’s division on home ice at the Cornwall Curling Club. To round out the sweep, Stavert and Blanchard also claimed the 55-plus Provincial Games’ title.
For her efforts, Curl P.E.I. recognized Stavert as the senior female athlete of the year.
Bedeque’s Paul Wright just keeps rolling along, and this inspirational athlete, for whom age is just a number, enjoyed another great season on the trails.
A highlight of Wright’s year was another double gold-medal-winning performance at the Canadian championships in Huntsville, Ont., where he won both the 10-kilometre and 20-kilometre classic events in the 55-to-59 age division.
It was Wright’s second straight year for double gold, and his third in the last four years, and brought his total medal count as a masters athlete at the nationals to 20.
In addition, Wright was first overall at the Wostawea Loppet 20-kilometre event in Fredericton, N.B.
In Gatineau, Que., considered a world loppet event, he was third in his age division in the 55-kilometre classic, behind competitors from Finland and Russia.