Whitehorse’s Arctic Edge Figure Skating Club sliced through the competition at the Vancouver Island Skate International over the weekend in Parksville, BC.
With a dozen team members in attendance, Arctic Edge took in nine medals, four fourth-place finishes and gold and silver ribbons in performance programs, for the club’s best performance at the competition.
“Every skater had something positive happen this weekend,” said Arctic Edge coach Michelle Gorczyca. “So that was nice.”
For Arctic Edge’s Rasheeda Slater, 15, her fourth appearance at the competition was a memorable one, winning her first gold medal in the sport, coming in the preliminary elements.
“After it I thought I skated OK,” said Slater. “I thought some of the girls that skated after me skated better, but I guess not.”
Slater also came 10th in the introductory interpretive event and won silver in the preliminary women 11-and-over after a “bad” warm-up, hurting her arm and hitting her chin on the ice while attempting an axel.
“When I went out there the spin I had in the beginning was wonderful, and, in fact, some of the judges commented to my coaches about it,” said Slater. “That was great. I felt like I could have spun for hours.
“I ended up landing my axel, which was wonderful. It was nice to land it in competition finally.”
Teammate Rachel Pettitt, 12, who recently represented the Yukon at the Canada Winter Games, had some top results. Her first competition with new music, Pettitt skated to a silver in the silver interpretive.
“This was my first competition with the music – it was a tango piece,” said Pettitt. “Well, I had it at Yukon Championships and the judges said they really like it because every move was on a different beat. That’s just my fun one, so there’s no really hard jumps in that.”
After taking seventh in her short program, Pettitt stepped things up for first in the long, landing her double-axel, and taking bronze in the pre-novice women category.
“It has definitely improved since the Canada Games. There’s more rotation,” said Pettitt of her double-axel. “I thought I performed well in all my programs.”
Yukon’s Kelcy Armstrong also made a couple podium appearances, winning gold in introductory interpretive.
“I had a lot of expression on my face and I had a lot of fun with it,” said Armstrong. “I’ve been doing that program for a year now.”
Armstrong also took ninth in junior bronze women 12-and-under with a personal best score, breaking 20 points, and then captured silver in senior bronze elements.
“I landed my double-flip, which was my goal and was really big,” said Armstrong. “I was happy about that.
“I feel good about all my results.”
Bryn Hoffman came out strong, starting off with a silver in the gold interpretive.
“I was happy with it,” said Hoffman. “The scores were lower for everybody. So I thought I skated it OK.
“This is only the second time I’ve skated this program, so I think it was the best I’ve performed it.”
Hoffman also took fourth overall in the pre-novice women.
Artic Edge skaters Maria Peter and Makayla Kramer, both competing in their first Outside meet, had a productive weekend. Peters took silver in the preliminary elements while Kramer matched that in the pre-preliminary elements, and grabbed a gold ribbon for her performance program. Teammate Tessa Moore, along with two sixth place finishes, was awarded a silver ribbon for her performance program.
“It’s for the girls when they first start competing,” said Gorczyca of performance programs. “There’s not an actual ranking. The girls either receive a gold, silver or bronze ribbon.”
Other top Arctic Edge finishes include Zoey Krause taking a fifth and a fourth, Kayla Armstrong with two fifth-place finishes, Jenelle Clethero with a fourth, Ariel House a sixth and Morgan Madden with an eighth place finish.
This year’s VISI marked the start of Skate Canada’s Pond to Podium program, making it the first of five competitions in which skaters accumulate points up to the BC Sectionals, where an overall winner is crowned.
“In the competitive events, it is also kind of a bursary program,” said Gorczyca. “So if girls land certain jumps in their category, they can receive a bursary amount. So for a triple jump in pre-novice, they can receive a $200 bursary, I believe.”
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