Arctic Edge continues medal haul

If you ask Whitehorse Arctic Edge figure skater Bryn Hoffman, 12, for some of her results from last season, she doesn't remember the specifics, but that's a good thing says her coach Harold Sher.

If you ask Whitehorse Arctic Edge figure skater Bryn Hoffman, 12, for some of her results from last season, she doesn’t remember the specifics, but that’s a good thing says her coach Harold Sher.

“She’s a forward-thinking athlete – what she did last year really doesn’t matter to her,” said Sher. “She focuses on what she’s doing right now and what’s ahead of her, and that’s good.”

Last weekend Hoffman and teammate Kevin Caron competed at the BC Coast Regional Championships in Chilliwack, BC, bringing home three medals between them.

Skating in the senior bronze ladies and the silver interpretive events, Hoffman won gold in both, while Caron, 18, won silver in the junior men category.

“She’s a very good athlete and it’s very important for skaters to be athletes as well as artistic and physical,” said Sher. “She’s a really strong little girl. She has a lot of flexibility and she can do some amazing stuff with her flexibility.”

For the senior ladies routine, which she did to music from the Disney movie Ratatouille, Hoffman outshined the competition by landing all seven of her double jumps.

“I did all my double jump combinations and only did singles after them,” said Hoffman. “I had a little fall at the beginning, but after that I landed everything.

“In interpretive you don’t do any jumps or anything, you act out the music,” added Hoffman, who did her interpretive to a Beach Boys medley.

Caron, who is currently studying kinesiology at Simon Fraser University, also pulled off some big jumps at the Regionals, landing two triple salchows and a triple loop.

“It’s the first time I’ve had three or four triples in my program, so that was a first and they all went really well,” said Caron. “I didn’t have the cleanest landings, but for what I’ve been practicing, it was a really good competition.”

In his career, he has qualified for the Western Challenge twice, competed at the Junior Nationals and the Canada Winter Games, and was an alternate at last season’s National Championships.

The results in Chilliwack are just one part of the ongoing success both Hoffman and the Artic Edge Skating Club has had so far this season.

In April Hoffman skated at the Vancouver Island Skate International Competition and won the golden hat trick with top performances in interpretive, elements and skills events.

Then in August’s BC SummerSkate Competition in Burnaby, BC, Hoffman won gold, as did teammates Rachel Pettitt and Kelcy Armstrong in their respective divisions.

“Last year was a big learning year for (Hoffman),” said Sher. “She had probably two double jumps consistent and her other jumps were on their way. This year her main improvement has been with consistency in double jumps – not only consistency, but cleanness. She could do the double jumps but she was under rotating last year.

“This year she’s getting full marks for rotation.”

Even if she was losing points for under-rotation, last season Hoffman was one of the top five skaters in BC/Yukon region for her category, said Sher..

“She has done extraordinarily well in her artistic, interpretive programs,” said Sher. “This year she’s competing in the senior bronze and she’s ready for the Arctic Winter Games.”

More recently Arctic Edge skaters have had continued success. Over Thanksgiving weekend, Pettitt, 10, won a bronze medal in the pre-juvenile ladies category at the Saskatchewan First Skate in Saskatoon. Pettitt was one of only five skaters chosen to represent BC and the Yukon at the event.

The following weekend, Millie Austin, 17, won gold at the Autumn Leaves event in Kamloops, BC. Competing in the junior ladies division, Austin received personal best scores in both her short and long programs for the top-spot.

“It was really good, but it was a really small competition,” said Austin. “It wasn’t a really competitive one so it was good for practice.

“I landed my double axel in my short program, so that was pretty good. The long (program) was good too.”

Hoffman will be skating in the Yukon Championships in December and is hoping to represent the Yukon at the Arctic Winter Games in March.

In mid November Caron will be competing at the BC Sectionals in Richmond, BC.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com