Vanessa Monar Enweani
Vanessa Monar Enweani was Canada's most accomplished female long jumper in the 1990s, winning the national senior championship six times, and she took her talent to international heights where she was a medallist in three major meets.
She was born in Saskatoon and showed an early interest in athletics and ballet. While attending Holy Cross, she became a standout performer for Saskatoon at the provincial high school championships, enjoying an outstanding meet in 1987 when she won the high jump, long jump, triple jump and 100 metres in the senior girls' division. She was a medallist nine times at the provincial high school championships and holds two records, 5.88 metres in the junior long jump and 6.62 metres in the senior long jump.
Vanessa's success at the University of Saskatchewan led her onto the international stage as early as 1989 and to the World University Games in Duisburg, Germany. The trip to Germany was the first internationally where one of her teammates was sprinter Cyprian Enweani. Four years later, they were married.
One of her shining moments internationally came in Buffalo where she was second in the long jump with a distance of 6.21 metres at the 1993 World University Games. All the while, Vanessa was continuing to make her mark at the Canadian championships and this podium presentation in 1997 was one of the six titles she won nationally in long jump. Vanessa won the gold medal in the long jump, reaching 6.30 metres in the 1997 Francophone Games in Madagsacar.
She marched with the Canadian team at the 1998 Commonwealth games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and later finished 11th in the long jump. The 1999 season was another busy one, with Vanessa sharing a moment on the Sierra Nevada in Spain with her coach, John Grammatik, and Catherine Bond-Mills, a side trip from the world championships where she was competed. She was also at the Pan-American Games that summer, finishing fourth at 6.53 metres in the long jump.
Vanessa won the Ethel Catherwood award as most outstanding female athlete at the University of Saskatchewan in 1990, the Fred Tees Memorial trophy as the most outstanding Canadian university athlete in 1993, and the Cal Bricker award as outstanding Canadian in jumping events in 1993.